Week Fourteen Analysis:
It's been a tough stretch for T.Y Hilton against premier pass defenses over the last three weeks (Tennessee twice and Arizona), and unfortunately he'll get little relief against the Bengals. Even with their best cornerback Leon Hall on IR, Cincinnati has still stifled opposing receivers and rank fifth in touchdowns allowed to the position (seven). The Bengals are tough but they aren't impenetrable though. Keenan Allen just went for 106 yards against them last week, and opposing No. 1 receivers have either scored or topped 80 yards in Cincinnati's last four games. Last Sunday, Hilton saw fewer than eight targets for the first time in seven games, but he undoubtedly remains Andrew Luck's primary receiving threat.
Week Twelve Analysis:
T.Y. Hilton was just tortured by Tennessee's killer cornerback duo of Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty, and the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a train in the form of Patrick Peterson. The Colts are at Arizona this week, and Hilton is sure to be shadowed by the Cardinals' All-Pro corner, who practically eliminated Cecil Shorts from the box score last week. It's no guarantee he'll do it to Hilton, but he'll certainly make for tough sledding. T.Y. has seen 23% of his team's targets over the last four weeks and is clearly the Colts' top receiving threat, but this matchup is less than ideal, so be warned.
Week Eleven Analysis:
T.Y. Hilton has caught seven balls and topped 120 yards in both games since joining the starting lineup … what took so long? But you need to be wary of his matchup with the Titans on Thursday night. Tennessee has not allowed a wide receiver to score in their last seven games, which is amazing. And over the last month, they've held opposing wide receiver units to eight receptions and 102 yards per game. The Alterraun Verner Void obliterates the right side of the field, but if Hilton shifts to the left, he'll face Jason McCourty, who is ranked sixth in pass coverage among cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus.
Week Ten Analysis:
The Houston Texans had allowed one touchdown to wide receivers in 395 minutes of play before T.Y. Hilton went for a hat trick in the final 15 of last Sunday night's game. Colts OC Pep Hamilton cannot continue to cripple the team with his anemic run-heavy approach. Andrew Luck has aired it out in the last two games, averaging 39 pass attempts, and Indy came away with huge victories. Hopefully the trend continues at home against the Rams, whose promising pairing of Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan at cornerback has soured significantly. According to Pro Football Focus, they are respectively ranked 76th and 91st in pass coverage among corners and combine for an opposing quarterback rating of 128!
Week Nine Analysis:
It's a shame it took a season-ending injury to Reggie Wayne to get T.Y. Hilton in the starting lineup. But after appearing in roughly two-thirds of offensive snaps, Hilton finally has a real shot to shine with starter's playing time. The Colts are at the division rival Texans this week, a team that Hilton scored on in each game against last year and totaled 189 receiving yards. Houston has been hard to pass on this year, and their receptions and yards average against receivers are best in the league. It's a tough matchup and the Colts have gone run-heavy, but T.Y. deserves a try with so many teams on a bye.
Week Seven Analysis:
During his short career, Hilton is averaging 70 yards per game at home as opposed to less than 50 on the road, and he's totaled 264 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games at Lucas Oil Stadium. You may have heard Peyton Manning and the Broncos are paying a visit this week, and Denver is one of four teams allowing over 200 yards per game to wide receivers, and in the last three weeks, only one team in the league has surrendered more scores to the position. Denver gets Von Miller back, which solidifies their defense, but the over/under is set at 56 points, and plenty of pass attempts can be expected for both sides.
Week Six Analysis:
Let's put T.Y. Hilton's 140 receiving yards and two touchdowns last week against Seattle in perspective: In their last 32 regular season games, the Seahawks have allowed only four players to finish with over 100 yards and one touchdown – that's it. Hilton has clearly established himself as Indy's second receiver ahead of Darrius Heyward-Bust, who has just three catches for 33 yards on 12 targets in the last two games. The Colts next take on the Chargers and their soft defense that's surrendering over 200 yards and nearly 1.5 touchdowns per game to receivers.
The tale of T.Y. Hilton is a tale of two receivers. There's the speedy, downfield threat that recorded five 100-yard games last season, and scored in four of them. There's also the T.Y. who had 8 games in which he did not crack 40 yards. Some of this inconsistency can be expected when you pair a rookie quarterback with a rookie wideout, but the Colts saw enough in Hilton to let Donnie Avery walk and only replace him with Darrius Heyward-Bust. As Reggie Wayne has turned primarily into a slot receiver (only Wes Welker ran more routes from the slot than Wayne), Hilton is now the prime outside receiver on an offense that features a gun-slinging former first overall pick. I kind of like those odds for a late round flier.