Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been some memorable quarterback and wide receiver combinations to grace the game with their presence. There was Joe Montana to Jerry Rice, Steve Young to Jerry Rice and Troy Aikman to Michael Irvin just to name a few. More recently we have witnessed Kurt Warner to Isaac Bruce, Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison, then Peyton Manning to Reggie Wayne. The Colts have had two of the more prolific QB/WR combinations of the past decade.
Could it be they are on the verge of another one with Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton?
Before the season started, Hilton found himself buried on the receiver depth chart. He was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft and his role this year was going to be on special teams and to provide depth at the receiver position.
Hilton and Luck seem to have a different idea on what Hilton's role is going to be going forward.
It seems like Luck and Hilton are primed to pick up right where Wayne and Manning left off. They look determined to be the next great QB/WR combination. Luck and Hilton are building a very good rapport, which after a dismal 2011 season should be music to Colts' fans ears.
Aside from last week's game where Hilton had no receptions, he has hauled in over five passes in every game since October 28. Over that time span, he also has three receiving touchdowns and now leads the team with four on the year. Today's game against the Patriots was a bit of a coming out party for Hilton, as he scored two touchdowns and broke the 100 yard barrier in a dominating performance.
Colts fans may be upset with the outcome of the game against the Patriots, but they can't be upset with what the future may hold for Luck and Hilton. Peyton Manning threw a total of 112 touchdowns to Marvin Harrison, which is currently the NFL record. That means Luck and Hilton need another 109 touchdown hookups if they want their names in the record books.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
They're both rookies, so time is on their side. But who knows if they will ever be mentioned in the same breath of some of the great combinations we have seen through the years. They have gotten off to a great start, but the question is can their relationship keep progressing? Can they continue to build on what they have accomplished so far this year, and maybe one day be mentioned in the same breath of some of the great combinations in history?
Luck seems like a lock to be one of the greats already, but the wildcard in this scenario is Hilton, and how he develops going forward will ultimately determine if they become the next dynamic duo in Indianapolis.
It sure seems like Luck has found a new favorite target. Maybe Wayne will eventually hand the torch off to Hilton the way Harrison handed it to him. But for now, Hilton has to focus on getting better every week.
We already are starting to see a new young crop of QB/WR combos in the NFL with the emergence of Andy Dalton and AJ Green, and Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson (CJ). Before long, Luck and Hilton will be on that list. With names like that, the NFL fans should be entertained for years to come.
Luck and Hilton aren't there just yet, but the future sure is bright in Indianapolis again.