INDIANAPOLIS – After having a club rookie record five 100-yard receiving games in 2012,
Two of those came in games immediately after
Following consecutive seven-reception games against Houston and St. Louis that generated 121- and 130-yard totals, the bolts for Hilton have tightened dramatically by opposing secondaries.
Entering Sunday’s game at Cincinnati, Hilton had been targeted 25 times in the most three recent games, and he had 15 receptions for 128 yards.
Sunday, he was targeted three times without success in the first half, then caught his lone two passes on consecutive plays early in the fourth quarter. They accounted for seven yards, his second-lowest career yardage total and tying his fewest receptions in a game this season.
Frustration? Not for a team player.
“I’m seeing double teams. Sometimes they roll the coverage my way. It just means guys got to step up, which they did, so we’re moving in the right direction. (LaVon) Brazill, DHB (
With four wide receivers on the roster, Indianapolis will attack with what it has. Sunday, Hilton was in on 75 percent of the offensive snaps, while Rogers (six receptions, 107 yards) and Brazill (three receptions, 53 yards) each scored twice.
Heyward-Bey had two receptions, both of which produced first downs. The second was a third-down-converting reception two plays before Brazill’s second touchdown.
“You can’t let it get to you because when it comes to you, you’ll be mad and probably drop a ball,” said Hilton. “I just continue to go out there and play my role and do what I do best.”
“No. I’m sure he’s frustrated by not being able to produce like he wants to because he’s a proud player,” said Luck. “I think we’re all proud players. You want to go out there and feel like you’re helping the team win.
“We know he’s helping the team win, even when he’s not catching the balls. He’s demanding attention from a defense.”
Hilton created the attention with 12 touchdown receptions in his first two seasons, the third-highest total achieved in such a span in franchise history. His 37.6-yard average per scoring snare adds to the attention he receives.
With others making a push, it could help him or the offense.
“It should ease things up for me, but if they continue to double me, that means it’s more opportunities for (others) to make plays, which they’ve been doing,” said Hilton. “If they want to continue taking me out of the game, that’s fine as long as we continue making plays and do what’s best for the team.”