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Marcus Peters vs. DeAndre Hopkins a pivotal matchup

On the first play of his NFL career, rookie Marcus Peters jumped DeAndre Hopkins' route and picked off Brian Hoyer.

The interception helped the Chiefs build a big lead they would not relinquish in a Week 1 win over the Houston Texans.

After making the pick, Peters later gave up a pair of touchdown catches to Hopkins.

Ahead of Saturday's playoff bout in Houston, Peters said he only remembers one thing from the matchup with one of the NFL's top receivers.

"We won," Peters said, via ESPN.com. "Ain't nothing else to remember. We won the game."

The interception was the first of eight for Peters this season (tied for the NFL lead) -- a year which should end with the corner winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

"That was huge," Peters said of his first NFL interception. "It wasn't just me making the play. It started with Justin (Houston) putting the right tackle in (Hoyer's) lap. The quarterback couldn't see."

Saturday's matchup between Peters and Hopkins will key the playoff contest. Houston's offense essentially boils down to misdirection plays and throws to Hopkins. If Peters and the rest of KC's secondary slows down the circus-catch machine, it will cripple Houston's entire offensive output.

Every game, all season

Marcus Peters vs. DeAndre Hopkins:
Hopkins ranks third in receptions (111) and receiving yards (1,521)
Peters ranks seventh in passer rating allowed (55.5)
Week 1 matchup: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 28 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 75.4 passer rating

DeAndre Hopkins when targeted with a rookie in coverage (career):
Targets: 34
Receptions: 18
Yards: 289
TD-INT: 3-1
Passer Rating: 98.8

"He's a good young corner," Hopkins said of Peters. "He's in the Pro Bowl for a reason. The interception, he just happened to be at the right place at the wrong time. It was a miscommunication between my quarterback and I, but you have to give a kid credit for being at the right spot."

Peters then glowed about the receiver in turn: "He's had a (heck) of a year. That's big for him. He had Andre Johnson leave him this year and he had to step up, and that's what he did. You've got to respect that."

Neither of these teams is close to the same as the Week 1 meeting. The Texans have been the best defense since the halfway point of the season, and Hoyer is eminently more comfortable under center -- not looking over his shoulder. For the Chiefs, Alex Smith is in better control of a more potent offense, and young playmakers like Peters and Dee Ford on defense have become household names.

The battle between Hopkins and Peters could end up being the most entertaining of any one-on-one matchup the entire weekend.

"We'll go out there, and I'm going to make my plays and he's going to make his plays," Peters said, "and hopefully the Chiefs get a (victory)."

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