Nov 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) celebrates scoring a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the second half at Reliant Stadium. The Colts won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Even with Reggie Wayne, the Bengals had a huge advantage here. Without Wayne, it isn’t even close. T.Y. Hilton is the Colts top WR with 56 receptions 791 yards and 5 TDs, but at 5’9” and 178 lbs, he is hardly built like a #1. And, while Hilton has 5 TDs, he has been held out of the endzone in 10 of the Colts 12 games. The Colts #2 WR, Darrius Heyward-Bey, was not resigned by a WR depleted Raiders team and has just 27 receptions 286 yards and 1 TD.
Heyward-Bey has just 9 catches and 4 drops since Wayne went down and would rank 7th on the Bengals teams in receiving yards and TDs. The lack of another WR has allowed defenses to focus solely on Hilton, and in the last 3 games, Hilton has just 15 receptions, 128 yards and 0 TDs. Indy’s top 3 WRs (Hilton, Heyward-Bey, Brazill) have combined for 91 receptions, 1,174 yards and 6 TDs.
AJ Green has 72 receptions, 1,103 yards and 7 TDs by himself. Add in Jones and Sanu, and the Bengals top 3 WRs have accounted for 141 receptions, 1,923 yards and 15 TDs…and now they have Hawkins back. The weather on Sunday may be the Colts best chance to cover the Bengals WRs on Sunday.
I liked Coby Fleener coming out of Stanford and the second year TE is clearly Andrew Luck’s 2nd best receiving option. With 44 receptions, 544 yards and 4 TDs, Fleener is having a quality year. Unfortunately for the Colts, Fleener is their ONLY TE. The other two healthy TEs on the Colt’s roster have accounted for 2 receptions, 18 yards and 0 TDs.
The Bengals on the other hand have 69 receptions, 739 yards and 4 TDs from their TEs. Lead by Eifert (32-386 1 TD) and Gresham (35-348 2 TD), the Bengals often go with a 2 TE set that causes matchup problems for defenses. Expect to see a lot of 2 TE sets on Sunday, if for no other reason than to try and nullify Mathis and his 15.5 sacks.