After an unbelievable performance against Amari Cooper last week, Stephon Gilmore has made it that much harder to dispute his Number 1 corner title.
And fresh off a 94-yard, 2 touchdown performance against the Colts, DeAndre Hopkins continues to uphold his status as an elite wide receiver.
On Sunday night when the Pats head to NRG Stadium, these two will match up for what could be a playoff preview between two likely division champions and what will be one of the best individual matchups of the season.
This season, Belicheck has trusted Gilmore to go on an island with practically every receiver the Pats have faced, and after holding Amari Cooper catch-less with an interception last week it’s doubtful Gilmore has lost that trust.
As far as receivers Gilmore has faced this season, the best comparison to Hopkins would have to be Odell Beckham, who Gilmore shut down in their week 8 clash.
Hopkins and Beckham are known for having some of the best hands and catch radius in the league. The two also have similar speed with Hopkins running a 4.41 40 yard dash at the combine in 2013 and Beckham running a 4.43 in 2014.
Where Hopkins has Beckham beat though is his ability to get those one on one jump balls. Hopkins is 2 inches taller than Beckham with a 36 inch vertical.
When Gilmore matched up with Beckham he held the receiver to 5 receptions for 52 yards, with 2 of his catches and 10 of his yards coming off bubbles screens Gilmore couldn’t do much about. A similar performance against Hopkins would be a big win for Gilmore and the Pats.
For Hopkins, his biggest challenge at corner this season was Jalen Ramsey back in week 2 while he was still a member of the Jaguars. Against Ramsey, Hopkins was held to just 5 catches for 40 yards. It is worth noting however, that as divisional opponents Ramsey and Hopkins have seen a lot of each other since Ramsey entered the league in 2015.
Finally, when these two last met at Gillette Stadium in September of 2018, Hopkins finished with 8 receptions for 78 yards while Gilmore had an interception in a 27-20 win for the Pats.
Prediction: Stephon Gilmore continues his campaign for Defensive Player of The Year by holding Hopkins to 4 receptions for 51 yards in a 24-16 win for the Pats.