Colts’ notebook: T.Y. Hilton breaks out vs. Houston
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In case there was any doubt, Jack Doyle was yelling at T.Y. Hilton.
Hey, man, get up!
It was that type of play, and that type of Sunday afternoon for the Indianapolis Colts’ uncharacteristically quiet wideout.
At what appeared to be the end of Hilton’s catch-and-run with a Jacoby Brissett pass in the third quarter, Hilton dove over Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson near the Texans 32-yard line. He remained on the ground for a second, but heard inspiration from a teammate.
“Jack was behind me screaming, ‘Get up, get up. He ain’t touch you, he ain’t touch you,’’’ Hilton said.
So, he did. Hilton got to his feet and put the finishing touches on an 80-yard touchdown, the second-longest of his big-play career. It was reminiscent of Marvin Harrison’s 46-yard TD against the Denver Broncos in a 2013 AFC wild-card playoff game. When three Broncos failed to touch him down, Harrison made them pay.
As it turns out, Hilton might not have needed the advice.
Lined up to the right of the formation, he beat man-to-man coverage and gathered in Brissett’s pass over the middle and in stride.
“They switched to pass me off to the safety, so I knew I had to just beat him to the other side,’’ Hilton said. “I caught it and I was determined not to go down. I saw one-on-one with (Jackson).’’
Before he encountered Jackson along the left sideline, Hilton received effective downfield blocks from Donte Moncrief and Chester Rogers.
“I cut back and I kind of dove over (Jackson),’’ Hilton said, “so I knew he didn’t touch me. I was just hoping nobody else touched me and I just got up and ran.
“I think they pretty much thought I was down.’’
Replay upheld the ruling on the field, of a touchdown.
“Great heads-up play,’’ Chuck Pagano said. “And it’s great instincts, I mean great instincts to avoid the guy and have the wherewithal and instincts to bounce up and run it in.’’
It was the second lightning bolt between Brissett and Hilton – they collaborated for a 45-yarder on the Colts’ opening drive – and brought an abrupt end to the quietest three-game stretch of Hilton’s career. He finished with five receptions for 175 yards and the two TDs. The yardage total is the fourth-fattest of Hilton’s career, including the playoffs, and the third time this season he’s had at least 153 yards in a game.
In the three previous games, Hilton had managed five receptions for 61 yards on 19 targets.
“Nobody remembers all the other stuff,’’ he said. “November football is different. We just wanted to come out here and get a win to start off on the right foot.’’
Hilton’s success at the expense of the Texans was no surprise. Sunday marked the fifth time he’s cracked the 100-yard mark against them. His 11-game totals against Houston: 60 catches, 1,117 yards, nine TDs.
“I don’t know. It’s just crazy,’’ he said. “I don’t know, maybe I just loving playing here.’’
- Davis? Coach’s decision: So much for Pagano clearing up any uncertainty regarding why veteran cornerback Vontae Davis didn’t make the trip to Houston. The team announced the decision Saturday, only offering it was not injury-related.
Pagano was asked if Davis will return next week.
Did Davis aggravate a groin injury?
“It was a coach’s decision.’’
It was mentioned there are conflicting versions regarding Davis’ situation. He had his normal rest day Wednesday and was a full practice participant Thursday and Friday. Davis missed the first three games of the season with a groin injury.
“It’s a coach’s decision.’’
Is Davis healthy?
“It’s a coach’s decision.’’
Davis, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
- Vinatieri? He’s No. 2: Adam Vinatieri’s methodical climb up the NFL’s career scoring chart continued Sunday, leaving him with one man to chase: Morten Andersen.
Vinatieri moved past Gary Anderson (2,434 points) into the No. 2 slot with his PAT on the Colts’ opening drive. He finished the day with 8 points – two PATs, 22- and 53-yard field goals – to push his career total to 2,442. Morten Andersen holds the NFL record with 2,544 points.
“He’s money,’’ Pagano said. “He’s the GOAT. Will go down probably as the greatest of all time. Now he’s chasing the other Andersen.
“Future first-ballot Hall of Famer. It’s fun to watch. I’m glad I have a front-row seat.’’
- This and that: Brissett completed 20 of 30 passes for 308 yards and the two TDs to Hilton. His 122.6 passer rating is a career high. . . . Doyle led the team with eight receptions that produced 63 yards. Over the last two games, he’s had 20 catches for 184 yards and one TD.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.