For the first time since 2008 (Reggie Wayne) the Indianapolis Colts will have a player lead the league in receiving. That’s right, T.Y. Hilton finished the season fist in the league with 1,448 yards.
Hilton joins the likes of Raymond Berry, Marvin Harrison and Wayne as the only Colts to ever lead the league in receiving. But Hilton’s approach was different than his predecessors.
At just 5’9″ Hilton is not your typical NFL number one wide receiver. But his ability to get into open space reminds you or Marvin Harrison. Now his route running is not that crisp, but he can take the top off the defense like Reggie.
However, Hilton had just 14 receptions in the redzone this season. The least among receivers in the top 5 in yards this season, and far less than the likes of Wayne and Harrison in their dominate years. Translation? Hilton was at his best in the middle of the field.
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81 percent of his catches came from the Colts own 21 yards line to the opponents 21 yard line. The highest percentage from the previous Colts leaders when they lead the league in receiving.
With his short stature 5″9″, Andrew Luck tends to target Donte Moncrief 6’2″ down their. It shows when all of Moncrief’s 8 touchdowns came inside the redzone. So could Hilton leave a legacy like that of Wayne and Harrison?
Of course, but in a different way. The league has never seen a passing offense like it has over the last four seasons. Teams are throwing the ball at a ridiculous rate. That will allow Hilton to pad his stats.
No one will likely ever match the crazy number Harrison put up, but Hilton can come close. Over the last three seasons Hilton has grown into his own. Forcing teams to double-cover him, but his still finds open space. His ability to break out of routes is second to none in this league.
Basically, expect Hilton to continue to thrive in Indianapolis. Especially with Andrew Luck under center.