Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton Leading Colts Offense In 2016

Intro: In their fifth NFL season, Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton deserve mention with the likes of Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning/Reggie Wayne among the great quarterback/receiver duos in league history.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Their artistry is put on display every Sunday.

But before the NFL world could witness that, the next elite quarterback/receiver duo to carve up AFC defenses was first put together in the spring of 2012.

Taking Andrew Luck first overall was a no-brainer for the Colts.

But the Colts also had an objective that draft in finding a young receiver to groom with the rookie gunslinger.

So with Day Two of the 2012 NFL Draft coming to a close, the Colts couldn't afford to wait until Round Four to add one more skill player for Luck.

The Colts traded into the back end of the third round, selecting T.Y. Hilton with the No. 92 overall pick.

Dreaming, the Colts hoped they had just found the next duo to rival Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison or Peyton Manning/Reggie Wayne.

Such a thought was hyperbole back in 2012. Now, five yeas later, it isn't so crazy.

"That is what you work for," Luck said of reaching that level with Hilton. "That and winning championships.

"Those are pretty prolific combinations right there and they are great ones to shoot for. That being said, we are not trying to replicate anything that those guys did. We both like to think that we are our own people in a sense. Playing with Reggie and hearing stories about Marv and also Peyton in this building, how much respect both of us and everybody on the offensive side of the ball has for what has happened here in this building is immense. Hopefully we can also forge our own path."

The Colts have leaned heavily on Luck and Hilton early in 2016.

With Donte Moncrief sidelined for more than 75 percent of the season, getting even more out of Hilton has been a must.

In 2016, Hilton ranks third in the NFL in catches (35) and fifth in yards (507).

Twice this season Hilton has gone over 170 yards in a game. Both times the Colts won.

After missing more than half of last season, Luck has hardly missed a beat in targeting his favorite receiver.

"T.Y. is a heck of a guy, a great teammate," Luck says. "He is a joy for football and life is infectious when you are around him. Professionally, on the field it is just reps and being around each other, practice and throwing sessions and little things like that that do pay off. Game experience with a person is hard to replicate but when you have it with multiple years with a guy, it makes it that much easier to play with him and read body language, how he comes out of breaks and communication. I think we both have definitely put the work in to make it work."

The early numbers back up Luck and Hilton's mention among duos like Manning/Harrison, Manning/Wayne.

With a 100-yard game on Sunday, Hilton would tie Marvin Harrison for the franchise's most 100-yard games in the first five years of a career. Of course, Hilton has 11 more games this season to tie and pass Harrison.

It's a combination that will be playing in Indianapolis for a long, long time and one that strikes fear into the opponent.

"They're playing at a very high level," Texans head coach Bill O'Brien says.

"They've played at a high level in the past but they're playing great right now."

A creative look at some select photos from the Bears game.

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