INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton goes by the nickname "The Ghost" because of his ability to leave defenses wondering where he's at on the field.
That nickname definitely holds true when it comes to the New England Patriots. But it's not in a positive way for Hilton.
The Patriots made Hilton disappear in their two meetings last season. New England held the Pro Bowl receiver to only four catches for 60 yards in two games, including the AFC Championship game.
"They do a really good job of disguising their scheme and knowing where I'm at on the field at all times," Hilton said. "They kept one over top all the time. Sometimes when I was expecting to get two defenders, I get three. When I expected three, I'd get two defenders. They mix it up and they're aggressive."
The Patriots didn't even use their first or second cornerbacks to shut Hilton down last season. They put their third cornerback, Kyle Arrington, on Hilton and had help over top with safety Devin McCourty.
Hilton has watched the games against the Patriots last season, and he can't help to get frustrated because of how they made him a nonfactor in those games.
Arrington, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are all gone, but that doesn't mean New England's defensive scheme will be any different. The goal will be to make sure Hilton doesn't beat them with big plays.
"The Patriots try to beat you left handed," Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "They take what they think you're best at and try to take it away. They've done it in the past and that's been their way of making sure T.Y. hasn't been on the stat sheet."
The difference between previous seasons and this season for the Colts is that they have more players to turn to on offense, meaning Hilton doesn't have to carry as much of the load. Veteran Andre Johnson (5 receptions, 88 yards) is coming off his best game with the Colts. Then there's also Donte Moncrief and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. And the Colts finally have a ground game that should force the Patriots to be honest with running back Frank Gore.
"Absolutely it was frustrating and tough [before]," Hilton said. "I'm older now, so I know what to expect. I'm going to get my plays come Sunday because [the Colts are] not the same team that they're going to face. I'm going to get my chances, so when I do I have to make a play."