The Colts Offense looked dynamic through the air on Sunday. The Surprise of the game… the focus on getting the ball to Nyheim Hines.
When the Colts picked Nyheim Hines in the 4th round of this years draft, it seemed to be that their first intention for him was going to be for punt and kick returns. As the preseason began, the Colts soon realized that returning was not going to be his specialty. And after the first 3 weeks of the season, it looked as if the Colts were struggling to find a spot for him where he could contribute. Well, after Sunday’s game against the Texans, I think it’s safe to say they have.
Hines recorded 9 receptions for 63 yards and two touchdowns in his best game so far this year. The Colts made it a top priority to get the ball in his hands on Sunday, as he totaled 11 targets, and also added 4 carries to that. They positioned him all over the field, and Hines definitely stepped up to the challenge of a larger role, most notably his acrobatic touchdown grab that started the Colts comeback midway through the 3rd quarter.
This successful outing now raises some questions about how this Colts offense will operate moving forward. With Robert Turbin returning to the lineup, and Marlon Mack on his way, there will not be a ton of chances for Hines to get touches in the backfield. What this does mean is that he will probably morph into more of the wide receiver type of player, which will be interesting to see as he doesn’t have the typical attributes of those at the position. What we know for sure is that the Colts will continue to put him all over the field and get the ball in his hands, something that worked to perfection on Sunday.
This offense showed against Houston that it can be more than just Hilton and Luck, and it will have to be if it wants to thrive as the season continues. If Hines continues to play like he did against the Texans, with other weapons like Ebron and Hilton on the field, this Colts pass offense will be feared by defenses around the league.
These past two years we have not been able to say that. While Matt Hasselbeck and Jacoby Brissett both were valiant over those seasons, the pass offenses were not feared. As we saw against Houston, Nyheim Hines could, and hopefully will be that missing piece the Colts needed to have that feared pass offense that we knew they could.
There will be a lot of questions heading into the game this Thursday against New England. But after Sunday, we no longer need to question if Hines fits in with this Colts offense. He does.