Analyst Pushes Lions to Involve T.J. Hockenson More Within Offense

T.J. Hockenson

Getty T.J. Hockenson fights for yardage vs. Seattle in 2022.

While the Detroit Lions were not able to put away a win in Week 4, it wasn’t for lack of trying on tight end T.J. Hockenson’s part.

Hockenson was a major weapon for the Lions all day on the field, and was a big reason the Lions were even in the game until the end. That’s a reason that the team could need to make more of an effort to get Hockenson involved even when everyone is healthy according to an analyst.

After the game, ESPN’s Eric Woodyard analyzed some of the major takeaways from the wild game and as he said, the big day from Hockenson only served to prove why the Lions should get him involved all along.

“Hockenson had a season-high eight catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns along with a 2-point conversion. With so much talent on offense, quarterback Jared Goff has targeted other options more often but should consider getting Hockenson more involved moving forward through creative playcalls from offensive coordinator Ben Johnson,” Woodyard wrote.

On Sunday, October 2, the Lions seemed to do just this with Johnson. The coach was able to move Hockenson around a ton and get him into favorable matchups all over the field. Then, the player simply made a play when all was said and done in order to get into the end zone multiple times.

Hockenson showed he can be counted on to step up and deliver. Perhaps now, the team can find a way to exploit his advantages when they have all their weaponry.

Hockenson Loved Major Game for Lions

With almost no other targets to depend on, the Lions turned to Hockenson and he dominated on the field in a big way. Hockenson put up a gaudy 179 yards and 2 touchdowns in arguably his best career performance on the field.

The biggest play of the day was an 81 yard catch and run for Hockenson which showed how athletic he is on the field and all the things he can do. As he said after the game to the media, it was a play he was delighted to be able to make.

“I loved it. I loved getting out, getting loose, getting in space. That was a fun one for sure,” Hockenson said in describing the play after the game.

The huge plays helped serve notice that Hockenson was here to stay on the day, and was just the beginning in terms of the praise he would receive for what he was able to do.

Hopefully, it’s just the beginning in terms of big plays he can make for Detroit’s resurgent offense, too.

Hockenson Explosion Could Make Extension Likely

Coming up next offseason, the Lions have a big decision to make with regards to Hockenson’s future. The team will have to see if they can hammer out a long-term deal in the months ahead.

A big worry this season for many fans was whether or not Hockenson would be able to have a major role in the offense. So far, their concerns were proven true given some of Hockenson’s light production early in the season. This game, though, shows what a major weapon the tight end can be for the team’s offense.

An extension decision hangs in the balance, and with more big weeks like this, the team’s move seems like a layup. Hockenson is continuing to come into his own on the field, and looks like a big piece of the offense moving forward.

Perhaps the only thing he lacked in his young career was a breakout game. With that behind him, Hockenson can take the next steps moving forward and making a case for himself long-term in Detroit.

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