Michael Pittman Jr. is having yet another impressive seasons as the No. 1 receiver for the Indianapolis Colts. This year, Pittman has gotten some help with the pass-catching duties thanks to the emergence of rookie Josh Downs, but MPJ is still the guy. Through Indy’s first 10 games, Michael Pittman Jr. has played in all 10, recording 66 receptions for 677 yards and three touchdowns.
Not only is Pittman on pace for the best season of his career, but he’s on pace to do something that hasn’t been done by a Colts receiver since Pittman’s wide receiver coach Reggie Wayne did it. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler pointed out that Pittman is on his way to 100-plus catches and 1,100-plus yards. The last Indianapolis receiver to do that in a single season was Reggie Wayne back in 2012.
Michael Pittman Jr. is having a special season for the Colts
Naturally, one of the first thoughts after reading this is: no way TY Hilton didn’t do this during his stretch as a dominant receiver. However, he didn’t. While TY Hilton had several elite seasons for the Colts, he was pretty efficient with his catches. Hilton had four seasons with 1,100-plus receiving yards. In those seasons, he had 91, 82, 76, 69 receptions. Simply put, he was ripping off a lot of big plays.
While Pittman hasn’t been as explosive, he’s been reliable and consistent. He has been targeted 98 times and caught 66 of them— catching 67% of his targets. He has caught passes deep, intermediate, and short. Something Pittman has been really good at this season is taking short passes for big gains. That’s why he has been involved in so many wide receiver screens.
This potential career year couldn’t come at a better time for Pittman, as he’s playing on the final season of his rookie contract. If Pittman remains healthy, he should definitely be able to hit these numbers. With that level of production, he’ll be signing a big contract this offseason. Hopefully it’s a long-term contract with the Colts.