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Patriots shut T.Y. Hilton down this season

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Just like with their running game, the New England Patriots stuck with what worked before when defending Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton.

The Patriots used cornerback Kyle Arrington on Hilton and gave him safety help over top in case the Colts' receiver got behind him.

That defensive approach worked even better Sunday than it did in the Week 11 matchup. Arrington limited Hilton to one catch for 36 yards.

"Coach (Bill) Belichick, he did the same thing, had the same game plan -- Arrington on me, (safety Devin McCourty) over the top," Hilton said. "They took away everything. When I tried to go across the middle, they had the linebackers drop. The linebackers hit me to try to disrupt me. It pretty much was the same game plan as last time. They did a pretty good job of taking me away."

Hilton finished the season with 82 catches for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns, and he was selected for the Pro Bowl. One thing Hilton can't say, though, is that he got the best of the Patriots this season. He had four catches for 60 yards in two games against New England.

"You know Kyle really stepped up; played T.Y. good," Belichick said. "T.Y. is a great receiver. He’s got outstanding speed and quickness, and he’s a tough guy to cover on all routes: short, intermediate, deep. He had a great catch on the sideline dragging his feet. It was a perfect throw and a great catch. But that’s what it’s like playing against them. But Kyle competed really well. He jammed, and he and Devin did a real good job on T.Y."