Game recognizes game -- to a certain extent.
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore recently was asked on The Ringer's "The Bakari Sellers Podcast" to name the five NFL wide receivers he believes are the hardest to play against.
Gilmore's answer, as transcribed by USA TODAY:
"[Antonio Brown], you got Tyreek Hill just because of his speed, you got Odell Beckham (who's) pretty tough. … Julio Jones, I would say he’s in my top five too, probably one or two, but I haven’t played against him. … Michael Thomas … he’s a monster."
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It's hard to quibble with that list of elite wideouts. But guess who didn't make Gilmore's top-five list? First-team All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins, whom NFL.com ranked as the league's No. 1 receiver last season.
In case you forgot, Gilmore and Hopkins have a history, stemming from their Twitter beef following the Houston Texans' win over New England last December.
Might that beef have been on Gilmore's mind when he named a guy who played one game last season (Brown), a guy who finished 26th in the NFL in receiving yards (Beckham) and a guy he hasn't even played against (Jones) instead of Hopkins?
It's possible -- although Gilmore limited Hopkins to five catches for 64 yards in that Dec. 2019 contest, so perhaps the Patriots cornerback simply has less trouble with Hopkins than he does with these other talented receivers.
If Hopkins feels slighted by Gilmore's snub, he can let the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year know this season: Hopkins' Arizona Cardinals visit the Patriots on Nov. 29.