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Colts Wideout T.Y. Hilton Was One of the NFL’s Most Targeted Wide Receivers Percentage-Wise in 2019

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NFL: OCT 20 Texans at Colts Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to Pro Football Focus, Indianapolis Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton was one of the NFL’s most targeted wide receivers overall last season by percentage—coming in at the 9th spot (24.3% target rate) on all of his routes run during the 2019 campaign:

That means that Hilton was targeted on nearly a quarter of all of his routes run this past season.

Now, given that Hilton is a 4x Pro Bowler and has had uncertain wide receiver help surrounding him—since really late career Reggie Wayne retired with the Colts, last year’s results aren’t very surprising.

(It’s also worth noting that Hilton missed 6 games in 2019 because of injuries—including to a calf tear, which is why he had less run routes than usual).

It does demonstrate that it doesn’t matter whether it’s Andrew Luck or Jacoby Brissett behind center for the Colts, but that Hilton is still going to be targeted early and often—and that’ll probably hold true with veteran quarterback Philip Rivers again in 2020 as well.

It also speaks to Hilton’s effectiveness in consistently getting open and that trust/reliance by his starting quarterback—no matter who that actually is for the Colts.

Drilling down even further, Pro Football Focus notes that Hilton was the NFL’s 6th most targeted wideout (25.4%) when lined up outside in 2019—and given some of the big names here, it’s also an impressive list of company:

Hilton is expected to have a bounceback year following a 2019 season where he was limited by the aforementioned injuries and his starting quarterback play as a whole.

The Colts’ 30 year old wideout caught just 45 receptions for 501 receiving yards (11.1 ypr. avg.) and 5 touchdown receptions in 10 starts—including no receptions for over 40+ yards for the first time in his 9-year career.

Entering a contract year with the Colts, if Hilton can avoid lingering injuries, he could be poised for a rebound 2020 season—with the addition of veteran gunslinger Philip Rivers (who’s not afraid to air it out all over the field and features improved accuracy over his predecessor) and new rookie wideout Michael Pittman Jr. to potentially free up some of the additional coverage that opposing secondaries routinely roll his way.

The Colts’ dangerous deep threat could very well have a big 2020 season, and if nothing else, should be targeted quite regularly again for Indianapolis’ receiving corps—as one of the offense’s top overall playmakers.