Here’s something we can all agree on: T.Y. Hilton is in the midst of a disappointing stretch. If production is used as the single metric, there’s no sense in debating this. Five receptions for 61 yards in a three-game span is not nearly enough for a guy who led the NFL in receiving yards last season. But the Indianapolis Colts’ Pro Bowl wideout cannot and should not be judged merely by his recent numbers. If you want a truer indication of what’s happening, no problem. Just go to the tape. What that tape says is there are a number of factors in Hilton’s meager production of late, most of them unrelated to his own performance. It’s not as if Hilton forgot how to play football within the past three weeks, not when he put up a 177-yard performance against the San Francisco 49ers four weeks ago. The tape shows Hilton doing what Hilton always does: Stressing defenses, making precise cuts and running smooth routes. He looks like he always looks. What’s changed is just about everything else. Defenses are paying particular attention to Hilton, as the Bengals did last week in rolling a safety to Hilton’s side of the field throughout the game. Meanwhile, the Colts aren’t getting consistent production from other receivers, making Hilton more of a target. The routes assigned to Hilton on some play calls are deeper routes that tax the team’s shaky pass protection. And, finally, quarterback Jacoby Brissett is a factor, too, as he is not totally comfortable throwing into the tight windows teams are creating around Hilton.
Colts' T.Y. Hilton is struggling, but he's doing his part
Indianapolis Star | Nov 4