DeAndre Hopkins’ natural chemistry with Kyler Murray has led to 22 receptions

Saints receiver Michael Thomas set the NFL record last season with 149 catches. He made 20 of those in the first two weeks.

Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins has 22 catches already this season. His previous best through the first two games was 14 receptions, which he accomplished three times with the Texans.

Yes, it’s early, but it has Hopkins on pace for 176 catches. His career high is the 115 receptions he made in 2018 with Houston.

“I really don’t look at stats too much, but just the way my body feels and the game plan going into it, this is the best I’ve felt on a Week Three,” Hopkins said, via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic

Hopkins has made All-Pro each of the past three seasons, averaging 105 receptions for 1,372 yards and 10 touchdowns. He arrived in Arizona in a trade from Houston already regarded as one of the top-two receivers in football.

He looks even better paired with Kyler Murray.

“I envision greatness, just like he does,” Murray said. “I feel like he can have a great year. The first however many years we’re together, I feel like as long as we put the work in, it should be hard to stop.”

Hopkins has never led the league in receptions or receiving yards. He currently ranks first in receptions and fifth in receiving yards.

Baker Mayfield talked last week about his connection with Odell Beckham has to come naturally. The Browns teammates haven’t found that yet. But Murray and Hopkins have hit it off from the start.

“We just kind of hit it off through natural vibes,” Murray said. “He’s a real good dude. And then from there, you’ve got that quarterback-receiver connection, and it’s something I can’t really explain unless you played the game and been a part of it.

“I think we kind of just naturally have that connection already.”