Johnathan Joseph called T.Y. Hilton a clown in the lead-up to Colts-Texans, because Hilton called Houston’s NRG Stadium his “second home.”
Hilton responded by clowning the entire Texans defense, starting with his own clown mask.
Hilton caught five passes for 85 yards, including three catches on Indianapolis’ emphatic opening drive, helping the Colts storm out of the gate and into a lead that proved to be insurmountable. This was a road game, though, meaning he didn’t have a possible stash of Halloween costumes from which to source his headgear.
“I sent my trainers to go get it this morning and they went and got it for me at Party City,” Hilton said. “Can’t go wrong with Party City. I love Party City. … It was the last one.”
Potential for future endorsement deal aside, this is potentially flammable material. Wear a clown mask and perform as well as a whoopee cushion, and this mask becomes a dunce hat. That didn’t enter the mind of Hilton, though.
“I got a lot of messages last night with what (Joseph) said,” Hilton said after the Colts beat the Texans 21-7. “I said, you know what, let’s have fun with it. So it was something I did, I wanted to have fun with it, but now it’s over.
“I wanted to have fun. My teammates, they look for me for a lot of stuff. I wanted to go out here and set the tone. I didn’t want to be a distraction. Once I got here, I wanted to let them know I’m totally focused. Even though I did that and said what is aid, my focus is I’m here for y’all.”
His charade ended as soon as he hit the locker room door, but his motivation and focus lasted throughout the victory. He drew 10 targets from Andrew Luck, caught two more passes after the first drive and attacted plenty of attention, opening opportunities for Chester Rogers, Dontrelle Inman and Eric Ebron, among others. The result was a big win for a surprising Colts team that seems to be peaking at the right time.
“I was just doing my job,” Hilton said. “They gave me the lanes. Coach put me in great position to make plays and I was able to make the plays. But I wanted to go out there and let them know it’s going to be a long day for them.”
Last season’s head-worn novelty was a dog mask, worn by multiple Philadelphia Eagles to signify their underdog status on their run to Super Bowl LII. This year’s mask is one-off, according to Hilton.
“It might be the lucky charm, but nah, it’s done,” Hilton said. “It’s retired after today. … The mask is done after today. It might stay in Houston, or it might go back. I don’t know yet.”
As for the Colts? They might just be getting started.
T.Y. Hilton owns the Houston Texans — proverbially, of course.
The Indianapolis Colts’ receiver has averaged 103.2 receiving yards per game in 14 career tilts versus Houston. Hilton has earned 1,445 career receiving yards against Houston on 76 catches (needs 192 receiving yards to pass Reggie Wayne for most by a single player versus the Texans all-time, including playoffs).
Following a nine-catch, 199-yard performance against the Texans on Dec. 9, Hilton called NRG Stadium in Houston his “second home.”
Texans corner Johnathan Joseph didn’t appreciate the jab.
“Nah, man, that’s for clowns,” Joseph said, via the Houston Chronicle. “That’s for TV. That’s what they do. You put something in their face, anybody can say it.”
In two games against the Texans this season, Hilton has totaled 314 yards on 13 receptions, 24 yards per catch.
“Sounds good, it’s easily said,” Joseph said of Hilton’s comment. “I could easily say that, too. We could call the division our division since I’ve been here, last five out of eight years. It’s not our first rodeo, so we’ll be ready.”
Hilton has battled through an ankle injury but is expected to play in Saturday’s playoff rematch. The speedy receiver has been a catalyst for the Colts’ playoff run, and should again be the focal point in Houston.
If Hilton torches the Texans in the postseason, the receiver could once again claim lordship over NRG Stadium.