INDIANAPOLIS – The Ghost has been eerily quiet to start the first contract year he’s faced in his NFL career.
Entering the 2020 season, Hilton loved how he was feeling physically and said it was reminiscent to the 2016 campaign, in which he led the NFL in receiving yards.
He was gushing about playing with Philip Rivers.
The results so far haven’t been at a normal Hilton-level, and it resembles too much of what we’ve seen since Andrew Luck retired.
In 5 games this season, Hilton has 19 catches for 231 yards and 0 touchdowns (on pace for 60 catches for 739 yards this season) which is the quietest start of his career.
-His 100-yard game drought is now 18 games long (including playoffs)
-He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 6 of last season
-He hasn’t had more than 75 receiving yards in a game since the 2019 season opener
The heavy burden Hilton has carried for the Colts pass catching group is back on him this season, with the injuries to Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman adding to that.
Hilton did receive 10 targets this past Sunday (the most for him in a year), finishing with 6 catches for 69 yards.
“We’re always looking for ways to get (Hilton) involved,” Frank Reich said earlier this week. “He’s our number one guy. I thought he played well (Sunday). We have to continue to work to get him involved…because he is really shifty and instinctive. Like the first play of the game (last Sunday), he just has a way of finding that soft spot in the zone and getting a sure completion.
“But T.Y. Hilton is still the speed guy that we want to get him the chunk plays down the field, so we have to continue to work on that.”
Reich couldn’t be more correct.
The Colts desperately need for Hilton to return to that unquestioned No. 1/Pro Bowler form.
Sure, Hilton has drawn several pass interference penalties in 2020, which have helped the Colts offense. But the passing game is still lacking in critical situations.
Selfishly, for Hilton, he could use a flip in that as well with contract negotiations looming in a few months.
“I can only control what I can control and when the ball comes my way, I’ll be ready,” Hilton said last week. “Whenever my team needs a play, I’m always there to make a play. I’m out there having fun.”
This is certainly not how Hilton envisioned such an important season for him starting.
But Reich is adamant that the team’s most accomplished skill player has not shown frustration.
“I haven’t sensed it from him personally,” Reich says. “He’s a very competitive guy, but what I appreciate about T.Y. is he’s also a great team player. If he’s feeling that frustration, he’s done a good job of putting the team first and not showing it to us.”