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DeAndre Hopkins outplaying Andre Johnson for Texans

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For the past two months, the Houston Texans' wide-receiver pecking order has resembled the 2013 Chicago Bears, when Alshon Jeffery threatened to overtake Brandon Marshall as the straw that stirs the drink.

Much like Jeffery, 2013 first-round draft pick DeAndre Hopkins has graduated from breakout candidate to legitimate star in his second season.

Hopkins had already bypassed Andre Johnson as Houston's most productive receiver before a Week 13 performance that was the most dominant we have seen since Jeffery almost single-handedly dismantled the Vikings defense early last December.

Hopkins began the game with a pair of diving catches, burned Titans cornerbacks for a pair of long touchdowns and racked up nearly 100 yards after the catch, just missing two more scores inside the 5-yard line.

The performance was so complete that it earned Hopkins the highest single-game wide-receiver grade ever handed out by analytics site Pro Football Focus.

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock dissected Hopkins' attributes this week on NFL NOW's Mayock Slants, pointing out the former Clemson star's naturally strong hands, development as a route runner, adjustment at the point of the catch and a determination to score every time he touches the ball.

Hopkins might have garnered as much notice for those hands as Giants rookie sensation Odell Beckham if the spectacular catch to the right had been nationally televised.

Mayock also pointed out that it helps to have Andre Johnson drawing double coverage, but believes Hopkins has reached the point where the two receivers are helping each other.

"I'm just happy to see the kid grow as a player," Johnson said this week, via ESPN.com. "Comparing this year to last year, it's amazing. It's fun to watch. I'm glad I can be here and just see it. I'm very happy for him. Just to see him grow and I know he is going to continue to get better and better. I wish I could have had him earlier in my career."

With four games left to play, Hopkins has already joined Johnson as the only receivers in franchise history to generate more than 1,000 yards in a season. He's now on pace to finish with 80 receptions, 1,388 yards and eight touchdowns, while surpassing Johnson as the team's most dangerous playmaker.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews a busy Week 14 schedule and recaps the Cowboys' win over the Bears. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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