In the last five seasons, Indianapolis has just one double-digit win season.
The 10-win year in 2018 is something that the 2020 Colts will try to emulate.
In 2018, Andrew Luck was still a Colt, and Indianapolis won its first playoff game since 2014.
In Luck’s career, the Colts won the division twice and won four playoff games.
Unfortunately, Jacoby Brissett’s first and possibly only season as the team’s starting quarterback was not as successful.
He and the Colts had many ups and downs, but finished in third place in a competitive AFC South.
There were two players, who played well with Luck, that will need rebound years from 2019 for the Colts to reach the playoffs in 2020.
1. T.Y. Hilton
In 2018, T.Y. Hilton played 14 games and had arguably the best season of his career.
Although he had a career-high 1,448 receiving yards in 2016, he had higher receiving yards per game in 2018:
Since T.Y. Hilton was considered a starting WR for the Colts (2013-present), here’s how his seasons rank in terms of receiving yards per game:
2018 – 90.7
2016 – 90.5
2014 – 89.7
2015 – 70.3
2013 – 67.7
2017 – 60.4
2019 – 50.1
Those last two have something in common…
— Josh Wilson (@JoshWilsonSB) December 30, 2019
2019 was a frustrating year for Hilton.
He had his lowest career receiving yard and yard per reception totals that year.
In addition, Hilton had his lowest number of first downs as a Colt in 2019.
Part of the reason for his down year in 2019 was the calf injury that led to his low number of games played.
Hilton played just 10 contests last season, but there are bright signs heading into 2020.
The four-time Pro Bowler had a career-best 66.2 percent catch rate.
Hilton also has not fumbled since 2017.
As one of the best 16 NFL receivers all-time in terms of receiving yards per game, Hilton looks to bounce back and provide the Colts a boost into the 2020 postseason.
2. Nyheim Hines
Nyheim Hines enters his third season in the NFL after he took a step back in 2019.
A “sophomore slump” may be too harsh for the 23-year-old fourth-round pick out of North Carolina State, but many statistics did drop from 2018 to 2019 for Hines.
Nyheim Hines in 2018:
499 snaps (44% of snaps) 148 touches for 739 yards and 4 TDs
Hines in 2019:
298 snaps (31% of snaps) 84 touches for 457 yards and 2 TDs
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) December 21, 2019
A large reason for his yards decreasing in 2019 was having Brissett instead of Luck as his quarterback.
A glaring statistic for Hines was his touches and receiving yards before catching the ball.
His touches fell from 148 in 2018 to 96 in 2019.
The quarterback and the offensive gameplan were problematic for Hines’ 2019 production.
He had 33 fewer rushes and 23 fewer targets in 2019.
He had a total of just five receiving yards before catching the football in all of 2019 after having 76 yards before catching the ball in 2018.
On the bright side, Hines increased his yards after catch per reception in 2019.
After running for 5.5 yards after catch in 2018, he improved his yards after catch to 7.2 last season.
Hines’ drop rate also improved last season: he dropped just two balls in all of 2019.
The best part of last season for Hines was his breakout as a returner.
He had a total of nine punt returns for 31.2 yards per punt return and six kickoff returns for 20.5 yards per kick return.
Hines was the only player in 2019 with two punt return touchdowns.
In fact, no player other than Hines had two punt return touchdowns in a single season in either 2018 or 2019.
If Hines can get more offensive touches to go along with his newfound return potential, he and Hilton can both give the Colts a great chance at the 2020 postseason