Instead, Hilton said the Colts' 20-17 loss was "100%" on him after he dropped two key passes in his return following a three-game absence because of a calf injury.
"I let the team down," said Hilton, who finished with three catches, none in the second half, for 18 yards in arguably his worst performance in eight career games in Houston. "Totally on me."
Hilton spent most of the game being a decoy then failed to come through when the Colts needed him. He dropped a pass along Houston's sideline on third-and-4 late in the third quarter, when the Colts were trying to hold on to a 17-13 lead. On the Colts' next possession, Hilton dropped another third-down pass deep along the sideline in the fourth quarter after the Texans had gone up 20-17.
"I have to make that," Hilton said. "That's what I get paid for. I have to make them. One hundred percent on me."
Hilton went into Thursday's game averaging 133.3 receiving yards against the Texans in Houston. He joked in the past that NRG Stadium was a second home for him.
"When someone says this is their home, they're insulting me," said Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who had six catches for 94 yards and two scores. "T.Y. is a great player. That's my boy. But I take things like that personally. I didn't know that until you just said that, because I'm not really in the media. But he's played some amazing games here. [Thursday] wasn't their day."
That Hilton even played Thursday could be considered surprising. Since injuring his calf in practice on Oct. 30, he practiced just once, on Wednesday. Even then, the Colts just held a walk-through, which they routinely do the day before games.
Colts coach Frank Reich said the plan was to play Hilton no more than 30 snaps because it was his first game since Oct. 27 against the Denver Broncos. Hilton, who admitted he was sore, ended up playing 25 snaps.
"I give him credit for wanting to be on the field," Reich said. "We knew even if we could get him on the field for 20, 30 plays, some of it was just as a decoy so hopefully [the Texans] would roll the coverage to him or do something like that and give us a chance to run it a little bit better. So that was part of the plan."