Even though the regular season is over, we are still going to keep giving out our “Player of the Week” awards here on the site, especially now that the stakes are higher in the postseason. One player who went above and beyond the call of duty moreso than the other standouts during Wild Card week was Indianapolis Colts star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who has proven himself to be a true No. 1 wide receiver in his own right. I mean, can you imagine how good the Colts passing attack will be with Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, and Hilton in their third years with Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen back in the fold?
Anyway, while Luck was terrible in the first half and beyond brilliant in the second half, Hilton was beyond brilliant throughout the entire game. Before the game, I tweeted that T.Y. Hilton would be the X-Factor in the Colts-Chiefs game, and I stated that Hilton would “pretty much have to” be great in order for the Colts to defeat the Chiefs. Well, Hilton was beyond great, and he was simply uncoverable out there. I don’t think there’s ever been any doubt that Hilton is one of the most talented playmaking receivers in the game, but he really took things to another level, especially in a playoff game. If Hilton didn’t play that well, then the Colts most likely wouldn’t have beaten the Chiefs 45-44 in epic comeback fashion.
I mean, just look at the numbers Hilton put up. He caught a mind-boggling 13 passes on 18 targets for 224 yards and two touchdowns, which means that Luck averaged 12.4 yards per attempt when throwing it to Hilton. Moreover, Hilton netted you 34 points in your playoff fantasy league if you used him, and that fantasy-point total puts an easy-to-digest and rather large, singular number to further show just what kinds of numbers he put up against the Chiefs.
The injury to Brandon Flowers helped him, but Hilton was honestly eating up Flowers even before the injury. People will say, “Yeah, but Flowers’s injury brought out the floodgates,” but I would argue that what actually “brought out the floodgates” for Hilton was the fact that Luck finally started throwing the ball better. This made the Hilton-Luck combo go from “deadly” to “lethal”, and the Chiefs simply had no answer.
Somebody on the Chiefs needs to be held accountable for not double-covering the man who is easily the best threat on the Colts right now, and the Chiefs deep coverage was definitely spotty (Hilton averaged over 17 yards per reception). But at the end of the day, Hilton was also going up against talented and physical corners on the Chiefs side, so it wasn’t like he beat up on little tykes in single coverage. No, Hilton’s 224 yards came as a result of speed, explosiveness, savvy route-running, and the kind of brutally efficient play that we usually praise quarterbacks for.
There were some great Wild Card performances, but none of them hold a candle to what T.Y. Hilton did to the Kansas City Chiefs defense on Saturday. 224 yards and two TDs on 18 targets is just downright dirty, and his 64-yard TD catch to win the game for the Colts with 4:21 left was a thing of beauty.