T.Y. Hilton makes smooth transition to slot

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the questions heading into last week’s game against the Houston Texans -- outside of who would step up to be the team’s go-to receiver with Reggie Wayne out for the season -- was whether T.Y. Hilton would line up on the outside or in the slot.

The coaching staff said last week that the plan was to move Hilton around the field.

Well, the numbers are in on where Hilton lined up the majority of the time against the Texans.

Hilton was in the slot on 50 percent of the routes he ran. He was targeted 36 percent of the time there, and 43 percent of his seven catches came from the slot. Hilton was in the slot for two of his three touchdown catches.

Those numbers are a significant increase from where Hilton played the first seven games of the season.

He was in the slot on 26 percent of his routes, targeted 23 percent of the time, and produced 22 percent of his 27 receptions heading into Houston.

Hilton finished with seven catches for 121 yards and a career-high three touchdowns against Houston. Wayne has had three touchdowns in a game only once in his career (196 games) -- Week 8 against New England in 2006.

“It’s a God-given gift, but Andrew (Luck) did a great job getting me the ball,” Hilton said. “(Offensive coordinator) Pep (Hamilton) did a great job calling the plays. Once we get out there, we kind of just have fun, settle into the game and just do what we do.”