The Indianapolis Colts struggled on offense last season, but are hopeful that they’ve revamped it enough this offseason.
There is a new quarterback in town in the form a 16-year veteran Philip Rivers.
Star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is looking for a bounce-back season after injuries knocked him out for six games in 2019.
The two veterans have not played with each other during their careers, but Gil Brandt of NFL.com listed Rivers and Hilton as the 10th-best quarterback and wide receiver combo in the league entering 2020.
“Rivers and Hilton are both coming off a down 2019. Hampered by injury and inconsistent quarterback play, Hilton barely topped 500 receiving yards, while Rivers got as close as he ever has to a 1:1 TD-to-INT ratio (23:20). But from 2012 to ’18, Hilton was the NFL’s most productive receiver on a per-catch basis (15.97 yards per reception). Rivers, meanwhile, ranked third in yards per attempt (8.5) just one season ago. With the Colts’ stout offensive line in front of Rivers, it’s not unrealistic for this pair to rediscover their mojo together in Indy.”
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) April 30, 2020
The 2019 Season
Both Rivers and Hilton are looking to bounce back after below average campaigns in 2019.
Rivers threw for 4,615 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions through 16 games last season.
Those 20 interceptions ties for the second-most Rivers has thrown in a single season throughout his 16 year career.
However, Rivers ranked third in yards per attempt (8.5) during the 2018 season.
The interceptions were an issue last season, but Rivers should bounce back especially with a better offensive line in Indy.
Hilton finished with 45 receptions, 501 receiving yards, and five touchdowns through 10 games in 2019.
He battled injuries each of the last two seasons, so he should bounce back if he can stay healthy.
It didn’t help that Brissett would often times take shorter safer passing option and not target Hilton down the field.
Hilton saw a career-low 68 targets in 2019, so it’s not shocking to see his yards and receptions taking a hit.
Are They A Top 10 Combo?
Hilton was the league’s most productive receiver on a per-catch basis from 2012 to 2018.
Injuries and little help from his quarterback slowed his play last season.
Rivers did have a down year last season, but has thrown for more than 4,000 yards every season since 2013.
The Colts have one of the best offensive lines in the league right now.
Both Hilton and Rivers are top tier players at their positions most seasons, so realistically they should be a top combo in 2020.
The Colts have put together an incredible offense, so hopefully, both players can stay healthy and have bounce-back years.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 24, 2020
What Should Fans Expect?
The Colts had a strong offseason and drafting young stud receiver Michael Pittman was huge.
Hilton has seen over 100 targets per season almost every year he’s been in the league.
However, the Colts have failed to bring in reliable options around him.
Now with Pittman is in the picture, Hilton could see less targets than he usually gets.
The Colts could also run the ball more often with a fantastic o-line and a two running back set of Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor.
Hilton has been injured each of the last two seasons and is heading into his age 31 season in 2020.
However, Rivers prefers to target downfield, so there will be plenty of chances for Hilton all season long.
He might not hit over 100 targets, but that depends on his healthy and the Colts offense.
Regardless, fans should expect both Rivers and Hilton to bounce back in 2020.