Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The 2014 NFL Pro Bowl was a total shake-up from what fans had become accustomed to. The thing is, that what fans had become accustomed to for decades, had also become increasingly boring and buttoned-down.
This year, the league decided to do a fantasy football-type draft for the Pro Bowl, which brought together players from both conferences. Two inter-conference players, QB – Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) and WR – DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles) hooked up early for a long touchdown pass. Still, if we look deeper into Jackson’s stats, there may have been one of Luck’s regular targets that could have been equally (if not more ) suited to fill that wide receiver spot.
Luck’s top receiver this season was T.Y. Hilton. When WR – Reggie Wayne went down in October, Hilton (in his second pro season) became Luck’s favorite and most productive target. Hilton had 138 targets and 82 receptions this season, for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. In two postseason games, Hilton also racked up 17 receptions, for 327 yards and two scores.
Jackson’s regular season numbers were a bit better than Hilton’s, but there still may have been room for T.Y. to make the team. Jackson had 82 catches on 126 targets, resulting in 1,332 yards and nine toucdowns. In one playoff game, Jackson only caught three passes for 53 yards, and was scoreless.
Had Hilton been the top receiver for Indianapolis all season, then he may have had a better shot at the Pro Bowl. With Wayne looking to return in 2014, Hilton may have to once again take a back seat to Reggie on the roster. still, the experience that Hilton gathered this season, should help him reach all-star status for years to come.