DeAndre Hopkins probably should have known a flag was coming.
When he caught a first-down catch midway through the second quarter in a 10:38 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, the Arizona Cardinals receiver stood up and counted two defenders who had been in cover.
DeAndre Hopkins fined for mocking pic.twitter.com/SehWui1HVe
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) November 22, 2022
That didn’t sit well with officials, who, according to the book, have little choice but to call it a mockery.
Hopkins should have known this was coming — as little fun as NFL officials can make. Because if the rule book isn’t his thing, chances are he saw Philadelphia Eagles receiver AJ Brown pull off the exact same counting celebration three weeks ago.
Brown said he was fined $5,000 for each point.
My two little fingertips the other day cost me 5,000 each. I will keep my hands, feet and other objects to myself from now on lol 😭😭😭
— AJ Brown (@1alwaysopen_) November 5, 2022
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 22, 2022
AJ Brown shouldn’t have been flagged for mockery. DBs deserve to be fooled around like this pic.twitter.com/dnVUDHpZZr
— Jack Crosby (@JCrosbyCBS) October 30, 2022
Hopkins has seven catches on eight targets for 77 yards in the first half, but he caught just two more to close with 103 yards as the offense shrank. Meanwhile, the 49ers hit the Cardinals hard with their running play en route to a 21-0 second-half lead in favor of San Francisco.
Colt McCoy throws to DeAndre Hopkins on every third downpic.twitter.com/lv1ho2Sey1
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) November 22, 2022
If the penalty was painful, well, hubris caught up with Arizona soon after. Two plays later at the Cardinals 45, Arizona quarterback Colt McCoy threw to running back James Conner, who flipped the ball in the air, leading to a San Francisco interception by Jimmie Ward.
The 49ers rushed for 46 yards in three games, and a touchdown catch by George Kittle gave San Francisco a 14-3 lead, up 8:42 in the first half.
The Cardinals would respond quickly, rushing 75 yards over four minutes to make it 14-10 at 4:19 per second.
San Francisco made a field goal with 43 seconds remaining to get another touchdown at halftime.
Getting back to Hopkins, the penalty didn’t go down well with the football crowd overall.
DeAndre Hopkins, out here just counting the defenders it took to get him grounded by flagging him for mocking the NFL, is essentially saying math is illegal, please do something @nflcommish
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 22, 2022
This is how the NFL wants DeAndre Hopkins to act pic.twitter.com/3UfYjqzFsK
— Chuck Goldberg (@chuckgoldberg) November 22, 2022
I, for one, am appalled that Deandre Hopkins was pointing the finger at us
not once but twice
— Kate Magdziuk (@FFballblast) November 22, 2022
Don’t stop the punishment. DeAndre Hopkins must be suspended. The kids watched it! pic.twitter.com/kT305CfNDt
— Zachary Krueger (@ZK_FFB) November 22, 2022