The 2019 season was a disappointment in every sense of the word for the Indianapolis Colts. After going 10-6 the previous year and making the postseason for the first time since 2014, Colts franchise quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the NFL world by retiring, Jacoby Brissett was thrown into the spotlight and the team suffered an almost unfair amount of injuries during their 7-9 campaign. One of Indy's best players was bitten by the injury bug as well last year, but there are reasons you should count on T.Y. Hilton to have a big season in 2020.
Hilton dealt with injuries for the majority of the 2019 season and caught a career-low 45 passes for 501 yards and five touchdowns. It was disheartening for Colts fans, as he had recorded five 1,000-yard seasons over the last six years. During a Monday conference call with reporters, Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni called Hilton one of the best big-play wideouts in the NFL and said he is primed to have a huge season.
"I expect a great bounce back from a year he had a lot of injuries," Sirianni said, via Pro Football Talk. "I expect the 2018 version of him. If T.Y. stays healthy, there's no doubt that's what we'll see. . . . He's still the main piece of this offense. T.Y. Hilton is who this pass offense runs through."
The four-time Pro Bowler has caught 552 passes for a total of 8,598 yards and 45 touchdowns since being taken by the Colts in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, the Colts are 2-10 when Hilton doesn't play and had never won a game that he sat out until 2019. With his speed and versatility, Hilton truly is one of the biggest home-run hitters in the NFL, but his disappointing 2019 season has many wondering if the 30-year-old wideout has passed his prime.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Colts have a new quarterback in Philip Rivers. The former Los Angeles Chargers signal-caller reunites with his former quarterback coach in Frank Reich -- who helped him put together a Pro Bowl season in 2013. Rivers threw for just 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions last season, but the Colts believe he is still one of the elite quarterbacks in the league and can help them in 2020. Rivers relied on players like Keenan Allen and Mike Evans in Los Angeles when it came to the deep ball -- which is one of Hilton's biggest strengths. Rivers and Hilton have the potential to make quite a pair in Indy, which is why both Sirianni and I in 2020.