Chris Hogan has moved past the point of showing signs. He's done more than that.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder proved yet again on Sunday that he is a veritable deep threat for the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, catching four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown in a 41-25 win over his former team in Buffalo. For the season, Hogan is now averaging 20.6 yards per catch.
To put his explosive nature of his play-making into perspective, Hogan is one of just five receivers in the league who has played at least 25 percent of his team's offensive snaps and is averaging 20 yards or more per catch, according to Pro Football Focus.
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The others? Jets wideout Eric Decker (21.6 yards per catch average), Bills wideout Marquise Goodwin (21.5), Steelers wideout Sammie Coates (21.3) and Falcons wideout Julio Jones (20.0). Hogan's teammate Rob Gronkowski (22.0) is the only non-receiver on the list.
That's it. That's the group. If you want to narrow it down to players with at least 15 receptions, then only Coates, Jones, Hogan and Gronkowski would make the cut.
Hogan's speed, which Bill Belichick said recently has long been apparent to the Patriots, was on display late in the first quarter when he ran by Bills corner Stephon Gilmore for a 53-yard score to go ahead, 14-3.
"Maybe if I had a good release at the line, the ball was going to come to me," Hogan said of the play. "Once I got off the line and looked back, the ball was in the air. It seemed like tha ball was in the air for a really long time. I knew it was just one of those things, go up, make a play. And Tom made an awesome throw. Didn't even have to stop."
He added: "On those deep balls, you never know when the ball's going to come so you always have to be prepared. You gotta get off the line first. After that, it's just about making a play."
He's done that time and again through eight games this season, catching five of the 10 deep passes (traveling 20 yards or more in the air) sent his way this season for 220 yards. He's made an impact in the short-to-intermediate range as well, but it's his long plays in wins over the Cardinals, Browns and Bills that have stood out.
"[Hogan] had a chance," Brady said of his teammate's long score. "It looked like they were favoring coverage to the other side of the field. You know when you do that that it's one on one back side, and he had a good inside release.
"Hog's fast. He runs by people and they don't catch him. If you just put it out there for him and let him run under it, he's able to make those plays. He's done that all season long for us. It was great . . . That was a big play in the game."
Hogan's speed has meshed with one of the many facets of Brady's game that is currently on point. Not usually known for his deep accuracy, Brady leads the league in yards-per-attempt (9.8), and he's completed nine of 15 deep passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns -- good enough for a rating of 143.7 on those throws.