Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) makes a catch and scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

TY Hilton deserves the most praise for Indianapolis Colts win


The Indianapolis Colts comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday was the result of a great passing attack and the ability to take advantage of key injuries on the Chiefs. While the Colts did get lucky that Brandon Flowers and Jamaal Charles went down with injuries, Luck and the Colts made their own luck in the second half by coming back from being down 38-10 to winning 45-44. Luck is the best quarterback in the game at leading comebacks, and he deserves the praise he is getting. However, I feel like T.Y. Hilton was the true MVP of yesterday’s game, because he was brilliant for the entire game; Luck was awful for a half before being beyond brilliant in the second half. And without Hilton’s huge performance, he wouldn’t have been beyond brilliant and the Colts would have lost.

The Colts initially had a rough time replacing Reggie Wayne for several weeks, but it appears that they have finally realized the best way to replace Wayne is to throw the ball to T.Y. Hilton often. For some odd reason, the Colts just didn’t get the ball to the man who is easily their best playmaker on offense, and that hurt them for a few weeks in the aftermath of Wayne’s injury. Hilton had monster performances in the first two games following Wayne’s injury, but he was held under 50 receiving yards in six of the next seven weeks.

Then, Hilton finished the season with 11 receptions for 155 yards in an absolutely monstrous game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and you wouldn’t think that the Jaguars had a strong secondary after what Hilton did to them.

But those 155 yards pale in comparison to what Hilton did to the Chiefs yesterday, as he blew up for 13 receptions, 224 yards, and two touchdowns against a Chiefs secondary that has very good corners. Even before Brandon Flowers went down, Hilton was beasting. After Flowers went down, Hilton was even better, but I think that has more to do with Luck doing a better job; Sean Smith, who covered Hilton after Flowers went down, has had a better season than Flowers, honestly.

Anyway, Hilton was a friggin’ monster, and those 224 yards and two TDs were the most important things for the Colts in yesterday’s memorable win over the Chiefs. Hilton showed off excellent route-running, and he was able to get open almost at will. The Chiefs simply didn’t have an answer for him, as he hauled in 13 receptions on a whopping 18 targets. The thing about the Chiefs defense is that they have excellent corners, but their safeties are suspect in deep coverage (as Peyton Manning and Eric Decker can attest). Hilton took advantage of that in a monster performance, as he ran some great routes to get by the CBs before bursting over-the-top. That 64-yard TD pass to win the game for the Colts was a thing of beauty from Hilton, and he is definitely one of the game’s best playmakers. We’ve known about Hilton’s big-play ability for quite some time, but he took things to another level on a big stage yesterday; Luck and the Colts can feel even better about him being a No. 1 WR, and the Colts next opponent will definitely have to double him. The Chiefs came in with a bad gameplan against Hilton, and it costed them.

Prior to the game, I tweeted out that Hilton needed to play like a No. 1 WR in order for the Colts to win, and he was even more awesome than I could have expected. It’s also safe to say that the Colts wouldn’t have won without him playing that well.


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