5. Things I liked: Dustin Hopkins
I know, I know… you have no idea why I have him on this list. He missed a 51 yarder! Hear me out..
Dustin Hopkins was one of the few players we can officially say had a terrible preseason. Now, preseason football is almost impossible to use as a unit of measurement for most positions. But kickers have one job: kick the ball through the upright. It doesn’t matter how, just find a way to make it happen.
But Hopkins struggled this past preseason, which led many fans and media pundits to demand some sort of competition at the position. But Ron Rivera stuck with his Hopkins, and for week 1, it paid off (mostly.)
Hopkins went 3-of-4 from the field with an extra point but missed a 51-yard kick in the fourth quarter after a penalty and a -2 yard catch that made the kick a bit more challenging. It wasn’t his finest performance, and Hopkins as a whole continues to struggle from 50 yards and beyond. But statistically, Hopkins has been very effective on mid-range kicks and showed exactly that today.
Again, he’s no Justin Tucker. But anyone who accounts for more than half of the team’s total points deserves a hat tip, and on a day where good things were hard to find, Hopkins lands on the list of things I liked.