NFL Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts: T.Y. Hilton Quickly Entering Rookie of the Year Talks


Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is perhaps the quietest, but yet most effective, rookie in the NFL this season. Entering Sunday’s matchup with the Buffalo Bills, Hilton had 30 receptions for 455 yards and four touchdowns this young season. He did all of this in 10 games as he was inactive in their week one game with the Chicago Bears.

Today, Hilton single handily led the Colts to their 20-13 victory as he had two more touchdowns with one through the air and one on an early punt return in the first quarter. Take his two scores away and the Colts lost 13-6. That’s how big he came up.

He also showed us his toughness and he was knocked out cold with an unacceptable helmet to helmet hit by a Buffalo Bills defender in the second quarter. The hit at first looked like Hilton’s season if not career may be in jeopardy. He laid on the turf near midfield not moving and and with where the hit took place in the bottom of his helmet made it look serious.

Hilton not only returned to action just one quarter later, he scored the game winning touchdown to lead the Colts to their seventh victory of the season and all but clinched an AFC playoff spot. That’s remarkable.

Hilton’s first touchdown on a punt return was the Colts’ first punt return in 76 games as they haven’t had one returned for a touchdown since 2007 against the Oakland Raiders. Hilton made some finesse moves and broke away with his quickness to wow the sold out capacity crowd in Lucas Oil Stadium.

With 33 more yards and two more touchdowns, he now had 488 yards on 33 receptions and six total touchdowns including a punt return. That’s not rookie numbers–especially by a guy drafted 92nd overall and having 12 wide receivers drafted in front of him.

I’m going to be honest and say I was skeptical with his pick by the Colts in last April’s draft. After taking Andrew Luck and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen respectively, I didn’t think they needed an unheard of guy from Florida International University with their fourth selection. He’s not only proving me wrong but making a case for Rookie of the Year.

Hilton, was the first rookie to eclipse the 100-yard receiving mark this season and one of two to do so. Only Justin Blackmon has gone over 100 yards receiving and he did that last week. Hilton has now done that three times and leads all rookie receivers in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

Today was his day and he rightfully deserves all the attention. It’s remarkable to think where the Colts are heading with a rookie receiver doing all of this in his first year with a rookie quarterback throwing to him.