No one’s quite certain what the rest of Austin Hooper’s 2017 season will look like, but the popular breakout candidate certainly started things off with a bang, reeling in two grabs for 128 yards and a touchdown. It was the 88 yard score, complete with stiff-arm, that caught everybody’s attention.
We’ll hopefully break that play and the busted coverage that enabled it later this week, but for now, you owe it to yourself to read this Austin Hooper quote, where he talks about how weird and magical that catch felt.
Falcons TE Austin Hooper's colorful quote on being the beneficiary of Bears' blown assignment on decisive 88-yd TD: pic.twitter.com/ogcSSxf5d1— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) September 10, 2017
Presumably if Hooper keeps making plays like this, it will come to seem routine, but you do have to remember that this is novel to him now. Leading the team in receiving yardage and touchdowns by a wide margin, even for one week, is a very cool thing for a young tight end. Hopefully he’s just getting started.
We’re willing to bet Hooper will finish the season fourth or so on the team in targets, but he may wind up being Atlanta’s second-most productive receiver behind Julio Jones. That’ll certainly be true if he can get behind the defense a couple more times like that.