Saturday, September 10, 2022

Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson looking to extend his Week 1 history

by Brad Berreman

September 9, 2022

Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson has had some productive season openers, and he seems sure to continue that Sunday against the Eagles.

Many Lions fans remember T.J. Hockenson’s historic NFL debut. Against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 of the 2019 season, he had six receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Repeating that 100-yard game has proven challenging for Hockenson since his debut, as in it’s the only 100-yard game of his career thus far.


But Hockenson has been productive in season openers.


  • Week 1, 2020 vs. Chicago Bears: five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown 
  • Week 1, 2021 vs. San Francisco 49ers: eight receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown

Hockenson actually owns some NFL history based on what he’s done in Week 1 games.


Via the Lions’ PR department, Hockenson is the only tight end in NFL history to have at least 50 yards and a touchdown in each of his first three Week 1 games.


Week 1 matchup vs. the Eagles sets T.J. Hockenson up to extend history


In Week 1, the Lions take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Matthew Berry, the “Godfather” of fantasy football now of NBC Sports, said it best (with my possible slight paraphrase on the beginning) on Sirius XM Radio Thursday.


There are three certainties in life: Death, taxes and start your tight ends against the Eagles.


Not than many of Hockenson’s fantasy managers are really considering benching him this week, but Berry’s sentiment is easy to get behind. The Eagles allowed the most receptions and touchdowns to tight ends last year, as well as the sixth-most yards. They might be better against the position this year, but they’ll have to prove it.


In last year’s game against the Eagles, a 44-6 loss for the Lions, Hockenson had 10 receptions (on 11 targets) for 89 yards without a touchdown.


Betting the over on Hockenson’s yardage over/under prop (47.5) over at FanDuel feels like it’ll cash on Sunday. History, and a great Week 1 matchup, practically guarantees it.

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