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TJ Hockenson

NFL

TJ Hockenson must have a big game for the Lions against Chicago

The Detroit Lions have been rolling offensively, but they’ll definitely be tested in Week 10 against the Chicago Bears. For the Lions’ offense to continue their momentum, T.J. Hockenson must have a big game for the Lions against Chicago.

Throughout the week, the Bears have undoubtedly spent most of their time game-planning ways to slow down Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. As a result, Hockenson should have plenty of opportunities to make a difference in this game.

Over the past three weeks, Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense has totaled 1,051 passing yards and 85 points scored. Despite their offensive success, Detroit has lost two of their past three games by a combined 24 points.

Above all, Hockenson was a non-factor in the offense in that span with only seven receptions for 109 yards. Altogether, the rookie tight end has caught 22 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.

However, Hockenson had six receptions, 131 yards, and a touchdown in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. That means that he has only totaled 16 receptions for 165 yards and one touchdown since then.

Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that Hockenson can be a talented tight end in the NFL. The Lions selected Hockenson with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft and for good reason.

In college at Iowa, Hockenson showcased his ability to be a versatile tight end. So far, it has taken time for the former Hawkeye to translate his game into the NFL. But the rookie pass-catcher is poised to be a difference-maker on Sunday versus the Bears.

Again, Chicago knows that they are going to need to contain Golladay and Jones to hinder Detroit’s aerial attack. In light of that, Hockenson will have to be on the same page as Stafford all game.

The Bears may have a 3-5 record, but their defense is still one of the most talented groups in the NFL. Chicago still has the ninth-ranked defense in the NFL and boasts the 14th ranked pass defense.

While they’ve been formidable against the pass, the Bears’ defense has had their fair share of struggles against tight ends. Just last week, Zach Ertz had nine receptions for 103 yards and one touchdown.

This year, Chicago has given up 52 receptions (fifth-most in the NFL) and have surrendered 548 yards (fourth-most in the NFL) to tight ends. Given that, Detroit’s young tight end should be able to succeed on Sunday.

Also, with the Lions having issues replacing Kerryon Johnson in the backfield, Stafford is going to put the ball in the air often. That should result in more targets in the direction of Hockenson in Week 10.