LeBron James, NFL Twitter React to DeAndre Hopkins Stunning Catch

When the Arizona Cardinals traded for DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason, many questioned the wisdom of then-Houston Texans head coach and de facto general manager Bill O'Brien to allow the star wideout to swap Texas for Arizona.

The Texans' loss has been the Cardinals' gain so far this season, a feeling which was sharply exacerbated on Sunday as Hopkins pulled off what is hitherto the play of the season.

With the Cardinals trailing by four points at home against the Buffalo Bills and 11 seconds on the clock, Arizona had a first-and-10 from at the Bills' 43-yard line. With no timeouts left, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray went for a Hail Mary, taking the snap before scrambling to buy time and then heaving the ball upfield as far as he could.

Don't ever say it's impossible... pic.twitter.com/lqe2UkxsCT

— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) November 16, 2020

Despite being covered by three Bills defenders, Hopkins somehow caught the pass and managed to hold onto it, giving the Cardinals a 32-30 win. Even for a player of Hopkins' calibre the feat seemed nigh-on impossible and it set social media alight.

LeBron James, a man who knows a thing or two about making the seemingly impossible look routine, marveled at Hopkins' athleticism and succinctly summing him up as "different", a feeling shared by Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk.

WOW WOW WOW!! HOP HOP HOP! @DeAndreHopkins My bro different!!

— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 16, 2020


— Christian Kirk (@ckirk) November 16, 2020


— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) November 16, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has repeatedly defied physics over the last two seasons, but even he was stunned by the Cardinals' Hail Mary.

"DeAndre Hopkins is a monster man," the reigning Super Bowl MVP tweeted.

@DeAndreHopkins is a monster man!!!

— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) November 16, 2020

Eli Manning, a man not known for his dynamos throughout his career, encapsulated the feelings of plenty of NFL players.

"There are only a select few of us that can make a play like this," the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback wrote on Twitter, while Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss suggested it was time to call off the race for the play of the week award—and, for that matter, probably for the play of the season too.

There are only a select few of us that can make a play like this! Ha https://t.co/7mYbWMOKpF

— Eli Manning (@EliManning) November 16, 2020


— Randy Moss (@RandyMoss) November 16, 2020

Even the PGA Tour official Twitter account join in the praise, describing Hopkins' leap as one of the best in the history of Masters Sunday.

DeAndre Hopkins with ONE of the best leaps in Masters Sunday history ... #BUFvsAZ pic.twitter.com/hMa8NK5Dd6

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 16, 2020

NFL Network host Rich Eisen, meanwhile, perfectly summed up the thought of everyone watching. "Never say never, I guess. Wow."

Never say never, I guess. Wow.

@DeAndreHopkins⁩ ⁦@K1⁩ ⁦@AZCardinalspic.twitter.com/SOmDO4un30

— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) November 16, 2020

To put the impact of Hopkins' play into context, according to Next Gen Stats, the Cardinals had an eight percent chance to win prior to his 43-yard receiving touchdown.

After the catch, Arizona's chances rocketed to 99 percent, the second highest increase of any play this season after Matthew Stafford's walk-off touchdown pass in the Detroit Lions' road win against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7.

Hopkins' stunning catch was both his only touchdown reception and Murray's only touchdown pass on Sunday. The former finished with 127 receiving yards and seven receptions over 12 targets, while Murray completed 22 of his 32 passes for 245 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. As it's become routine, however, the first overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft made the difference with his legs, racking up 61 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

The Cardinals improved to 6-3 with the win over the Bills and moved top of the NFC West on point differential ahead of the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks, who are also 6-3. Buffalo, meanwhile, remains top of the AFC East despite slipping to 7-3 but their margin over the Miami Dolphins has shrunk to one game.

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 after catching the game-winning touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at State Farm Stadium on November 15 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals won 32-30. Norm Hall/Getty