Fresh off of his best game of the season so far, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz heads into their home matchup today with the Houston Texans not only with momentum on his side but an extra weapon to work with.
Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has been a thorn in Houston's side ever since he entered the league back in 2012.
In 19 games against the Texans, Hilton has amassed 1,803 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, including seven games with over 100 receiving yards and one over 200. And so of course, it is only appropriate that this is the week he's been activated off of IR.
While there's no official word on whether or not he will start, he has trained this week and his return is reportedly "expected."
Described as a "playmaker" by Colts head coach Frank Reich, and a "great leader" who "always plays great against Houston" by teammate Darius Leonard, the veteran's presence could prove pivotal come Sunday.
Houston's defense has been inconsistent on the whole. While there have been standout players such as Justin Reid, Jonathan Greenard, and Roy Lopez to name a few, as a unit they're eighth in the league in points allowed, seventh in rushing yards allowed, first in missed tackles, and 31st in both sacks and QB pressures.
However, they're perfectly mediocre in passing yards allowed at 15th, positively above average in passing touchdowns allowed at 21st, and ranking fifth in interceptions is genuinely impressive - especially compared to last year.
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Therefore, while the Colts may have regained arguably their best receiver, Houston's pass defense should, in theory, stand a good chance at making things tough for Wentz and Co, something Reich pointed out this week.
"Going up against a defense like this, a Lovie Smith defense, they're very disciplined," Reich said. "They play good zone coverage, they're very disciplined in their zone coverage, and when they play man they play aggressive. So, we're gonna really have to be at our best in the pass game and utilize all the weapons that we have."
Among those weapons is second-year receiver Michael Pittman who has been consistently productive all season, leading the team in receiving yards with 368.
Elsewhere, the running back duo of Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines are productive both on the ground and through the air with a combined 321 receiving yards.
Another they'll be looking to get the most out of is tight end Mo Allie-Cox who has 92 receiving yards and two touchdowns through his last two games.
Add Hilton into this mix, and Houston's secondary will have their hands full containing this Colts pass game.