T.Y. Hilton After Colts' Loss: 'It Is the Offensive Line. They Need to Block'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

Members of the Indianapolis Colts offensive line, left to right, Le'Raven Clark, Mike Personand Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Jeremy Vujnovich (67) come to the line of scrimmage against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton didn't mince words about whom to blame for his team's 27-0 defeat by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"It is the offensive line. They need to block," Hilton said after the game, per Charlie Clifford of WISH-TV in Indianapolis.

Hilton eventually apologized for his comments on Monday, telling reporters he "stabbed [the offensive line] in the back, and I was wrong."

The Jaguars sacked Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett 10 times, which was a franchise record for Indianapolis, according to the Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer.

Pass protection isn't an issue limited to just Sunday for the Colts. They entered Week 7 having allowed 19 sacks, tied for sixth-most in the NFL. The Indianapolis offensive line also ranked 30th in adjusted sack rate as well, per Football Outsiders.

After the Colts finished 28th in adjusted sack rate in 2016, team owner Jim Irsay attempted to allay any fears about the offensive line.

"Let me say this: The offensive line is fixed," Irsay said in June, per ESPN.com's Mike Wells. "I'm telling you guys, the offensive line is fixed. The reason I'll tell you it's fixed is because [former Colts offensive line coach] Howard Mudd told me it's fixed. If Howard Mudd tells you it's fixed, trust me, it's fixed."

Of course, the Colts didn't actually do anything to improve the line beyond selecting Zach Banner in the fourth round of the NFL draft. Indianapolis subsequently waived Banner in September.

Given that, it's little surprise the Colts have one of the NFL's worst offensive lines for a second straight season.


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