The NFL released its 2021 schedule on Wednesday night, and Indianapolis Colts fans waited with great anticipation to know when the team’s toughest matchups will be.
As is tradition before the big reveal, however, some of season’s biggest fixtures started trickling out on social media before the announcement. Those included some of the most intriguing primetime showdowns, key reunions, and a large chunk of the Week 1 slate.
When it comes to the latter, the Indianapolis Colts confirmed they’ll play host to the Seattle Seahawks to kick off the new campaign. It goes without saying this isn’t an ideal draw for the playoff-hopeful Colts, but there’s actually reason to be optimistic.
For starters, Indianapolis holds a 7-5 all-time advantage against the Hawks. On top of that, TY Hilton has a tendency to go nuclear whenever these teams meet. In fact, the star wideout was virtually unstoppable in the their 2013 meeting, a game the Colts won 34-28.
Well, with their Week 1 matchup officially confirmed, it seems fitting to take a stroll down memory lane and sing Hilton’s praises for carrying the Colts offense back in that game, which is just the second time the team’s have squared off over the last nine seasons.
Revisiting when Colts receiver TY Hilton toasted the Seahawks in 2013 ahead of the team’s Week 1 matchup next season.
The Colts ultimately needed a fourth quarter rally to come out on top, but if not for the consummate connection between Andrew Luck and Hilton, this game likely would’ve been determined (in Seattle’s favor) before the final 12 minutes.
Though Hilton didn’t have high volume, he made the most of his opportunities, notching five receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns on just six targets. To say that both of the former second-round pick’s scores were huge would be an understatement.
The first, a 73-yarder, pulled Indianapolis to within five points with just over one minute remaining in the first quarter after they fell down 12-0 courtesy of a field goal, a punt blocked for a safety (of course), and a Russell Wilson passing touchdown.
Ironically enough, Hilton’s second touchdown also came with the Colts trailing and seemingly losing their grip on the game. With Seattle holding a 25-17 advantage late in the third quarter, Luck and Hilton connected for a 29-yard score to make it a two-point game.
After thoroughly dominating the fourth quarter with a couple of long drives, Indy eventually walked away with a 34-28 victory to improve to 4-1 on the year.
For a player who entered the league in 2012, this was easily the best performance of Hilton’s career up until that point. While the four-time Pro Bowler logged five 100-yard receiving games, he never had a multi-score game to his name before Week 5 against Seattle.
There’s no denying Hilton is on the proverbial back nine, but we don’t doubt he’s capable of erupting for another show-stopping performance against the Seahawks, whose secondary isn’t very good. If that happens, we’d give the Colts an excellent chance at starting the 2021 season undefeated.