4 key matchups for the Panthers vs. Cardinals in Week 4

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) D.J. Moore and Brandon Zylstra
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) D.J. Moore and Brandon Zylstra /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson vs. DeAndre Hopkins

Donte Jackson‘s production so far this season has been impressive, for the most part. The cornerback already has two interceptions to his name despite missing almost all of their Week 1 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. But his matchup with DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday is easily the sternest test of his credentials so far.

The Carolina Panthers will be counting on Jackson to keep Hopkins quiet, which is easier said than done. The wide receiver has made an instant impression since a bombshell trade that landed him with the Arizona Cardinals and he seems to have developed an instant rapport with Kyler Murray.

Hopkins is a three-time All-Pro selection who has brought in 32 of 37 targets thrown his way in just three weeks. This has resulted in 356 receiving yards, one touchdown, and a superb 89.4 grade from Pro Football Focus to further highlight the sensational start he has made in a new environment.

Jackson has the speed to go down the field with Hopkins, of that there is little doubt. The wideout is an exceptional route-runner who has the size to trouble even the best shutdown corners in the business. But if the former LSU standout can hold his own against an all-time great, then it will be another substantial shot in the arm for a player who is looking to make the most out of being the Panthers’ No. 1 option.