- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- T.Y. Hilton stands all of 5-foot-9 and weighs 178 pounds. That doesn't stop him from displaying his confidence.
The Seattle Seahawks learned that earlier this season when cornerback Richard Sherman insulted Hilton. He responded by grabbing six catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns while also letting the Seahawks know they made a mistake by talking.
Then with questions surrounding who will take over the role of being quarterback Andrew Luck’s go-to receiver with Reggie Wayne out for the rest of the season, Hilton woke up in the second half against the Houston Texans and finished with seven catches for 121 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday night. Luck targeted Hilton a team-high 12 times.
Wayne had a little chat with Hilton at halftime to get him going.
“He looked me in the eyes and told me, ‘You owe me one, man. Go out there and do what you do best, just go out there and have fun,’” Hilton said. “Once I hit the second half, I was able to get it going and after the game he said, ‘Now that’s what I’m talking about. That’s what I’m talking about.’ We just kind of took that moment in.”
Things aren’t going to get easier for Hilton. He’ll likely start seeing some double teams as opponents try to slow him down.
That comes with success.
“Everybody else’s game has got to pick up because [teams are] going to find ways to not let [Hilton] wreck the game,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “We know that and certainly our opponents are going to do everything they can to make sure he doesn’t have seven catches for 121 yards and three touchdowns.”
Who will complement Hilton in the receiving department?
Now that’s the where the real challenge is.
Darrius Heyward-Bey only caught one of the six passes thrown his way Sunday. He left in the second half to get evaluated for a possible concussion. He didn’t have a concussion and Pagano said he should be fine.
Griff Whalen grabbed just three of the nine passes thrown to him. But to Whalen’s credit, he did make a 17-yard reception on the Colts’ game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. Tight end Coby Fleener had three receptions for 64 yards and made a nice catch on their two-point conversion.
Luck was 11-of-28 for 150 yards on passes not thrown to Hilton against the Texans.
“Going forward, I know I may face some double or triple teams, probably in the weeks coming up,” Hilton said. “But I got a lot of faith and a lot of trust in those guys to make the plays. I feel like we’ll continue to step up and continue to play as a group and we should be good.”