Colts’ T.Y. Hilton ‘back to being me’ after talk with his grandma, believes production is about to increase

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing better than a little bit of home cooking and Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton seemed to get a taste of it this week in hopes of trying to break his current slump to begin 2020. Through Indy’s first two games of the regular season, the veteran pass-catcher has hauled in just seven of his 14 targets for 81 yards. In the Colts’ most recent win in Week 2 over the Vikings, Hilton had just three catches for 28 yards. If he keeps that current pace over a 16-game schedule, Hilton would be looking at just 56 receptions for 648 receiving yards, which would be a career-low when playing a full season. 

Luckily for Hilton, he doesn’t see that trend continuing and, if he’s right, we’ll have grandma to thank. Hilton noted that he received a phone call from his grandmother on Monday night. The two talked and now Hilton says he feels more like himself and believes he’s in a position to get himself out of this current funk. 

“She just always keeps it 100 with me,” Hilton said, via the official team website. “She always shoots it straight with me and lets me know what’s up. She’s my rock, she’s my heart, and she called me and told me that the person that she seen on TV wasn’t her grandbaby. She knew that that wasn’t me. So, you know, it hurt me for her to tell me that, but she’s always kept it real.

“She said, ‘You look frustrated,’ and that’s not the way I play this game,” he added. “I’m always happy, always excited. So I’m back to being me. I’m good.”

In fairness to Hilton, it may not all be him as it relates to this slump. Philip Rivers is still trying to mesh within the Colts offense and the veteran quarterback hasn’t been pushing the ball downfield over the first two games. His average air yards per completion (the number of yards traveled through the air from the line of scrimmage to a completed catch) is just 4.7 yards, which is down nearly two yards from the previous two seasons. With the deep ball being Hilton’s bread and butter, this dynamic on Rivers’ front could also be a key factor in his lack of production. 

What’s fortunate for Hilton, however, is that he’ll square up against a New York Jets defense on Sunday that is surrendering 29 points per game so far in 2020 and has a so-so secondary that is giving up an average of 241.5 yards through the air. This is a pretty solid landing spot for a receiver looking to get back on track. 

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