T.Y. Hilton Moves Pretty Fast. If Colts Fans Don’t Stop, Look Around, We Could Miss His Special Season
Let’s stop and appreciate what T.Y. Hilton has done this season, folks. He’s not only playing at an elite level that very few Colts have for the storied franchise’s history, but is also quickly becoming one of the best wide receivers in all of football.
It’s time to give the man his due.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is not only being paid like an elite NFL wide receiver, but this season, he’s clearly playing like it.
While the 5th-year wideout has been unfairly criticized at times for “not bringing it every game” or “being too small” at a diminutive, yet dangerous 5’9″, 180 pounds, Hilton has been every bit of an elite wide receiver this season.
Having signed Hilton to a 5-year, $65 million extension before the beginning of last season, the Colts were clearly expecting big things from their go-to wideout, and the 2x Pro Bowler has clearly delivered–arguably even exceeding expectations.
Currently, Hilton so far has 69 receptions for 1,088 receiving yards and 5 touchdown receptions on the season.
Not only does he lead the Colts in both receptions and receiving yards, but his receiving yards are the 2nd most in the league only to Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.
How is Hilton’s season going?
Funny you should ask…
While a healthy Andrew Luck obviously plays a huge part, he already has the same amount of touchdown receptions as last season through just 12 games and only needs 37 receiving yards to surpass last year’s total. He needs 14 more receptions, 258 receiving yards, and 3 touchdown receptions to set new season career highs and still has 4 more games to do it.
For perspective, per Pro Football Focus (subscription), Hilton’s +86.0 grade overall is currently the 6th best among all NFL wide receivers–which is a great mark.
Colts fans have frequently complained in recent seasons that the team has lacked a big bodied possession wideout (guilty as charged myself) or at least a wide receiver that has a knack for consistently moving the chains like former great Reggie Wayne so frequently did for the franchise for first downs.
However, Hilton has the 5th most first downs among all wide receivers this season.
The only wide receivers ahead of him are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Evans (6’5″, 231 pounds), the Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones (6’3″, 220 pounds), the Pittsburgh Steelers Antonio Brown (the best wide receiver in football), and the Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald (6’3″, 218 pounds).
Besides Brown, Hilton has been performing at an ‘elite level of possession wideout’ of players that are at least 4 inches taller and roughly 40 pounds heavier.
I’m just getting started though…
Pick a Hilton stat.
There are quite a few great ones to choose from recently:
While having Luck healthy (who missed 7 games last season) and playing at an MVP caliber level at quarterback has been clearly key, Hilton has taken it upon himself to be a leader not only in the locker room for the team’s young wideouts, but also on the field with his stellar play:
"Oct 9, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA;Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) and Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) embrace after their victory over the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports“I think he’s playing at a really, really, really high level,” said Andrew Luck earlier this week. “I think he’s improved certainly every year we’ve been together, and I’d say he’s probably playing at the highest level he’s ever played at. It’s fun to watch. It’s fun to be a part of. He does some very special things.”"
Nicknamed “the Ghost”, Hilton has continued to bust coverages consistently for the Colts and is no doubt the team’s most dangerous weapon–leaving Luck and the offense always searching for more ways to find a way to get the football in his hands:
"“I think he’s always been a dynamic guy with the football in his hands,” added Luck. “I think back to our rookie year, and he was a punt returner. Had a punt return for a touchdown.”“So he’s always been a guy that you know at any moment could break, could go (to the house) and maybe there’s more opportunities that have popped up this year, but I think he’s always been very aggressive with the ball in his hands,” concluded Luck. “Again, that’s the fun part as a quarterback to watch, to watch him do his thing.”"
For Colts fans, it’s time to watch and take notice of Hilton’s spectacular play on the field because what we’re seeing this season is something special.
He’s not only quickly becoming one of the franchise’s all-time greats at wide receiver, but he’s starting to become one of the best wide receivers in all of football right now.
As Ferris Bueller so eloquently stated, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Let’s not make that mistake with Hilton, folks–he’s pretty fast, but we’re stopping to smell the roses right now because we don’t want to miss acknowledging such a special season.