Indy's other emerging rookie star returned a punt 75 yards for one touchdown, caught an 8-yard TD pass in the third quarter, became the first player in franchise history to do both in the same game and led the Colts to a critical 20-13 victory over Buffalo.
He came into Sunday's game with three 100-yard days, and showed he's got more than just flash to his game. He's tough, too.
After returning the first punt for a score, the 5-foot-9, 183-pound receiver took a vicious high-low combination hit on his second punt -- a hit that left Hilton holding his head with both hands and fans breathless as he lay motionless on the ground for several minutes. A few minutes later, Hilton was cheered as he walked off gingerly under his own power. Team officials announced he was being evaluated for a head injury.
But he returned later in the first half and helped Indy's suddenly sluggish offense wake up in the second half.
While he caught only three passes for 33 yards, Hilton stole the show from his more high-profile teammates on their own milestone days.
Wayne broke Cris Carter's NFL record for most consecutive games with multiple catches. Carter had done it 58 times in a row. Wayne's streak is now at 59. He also passed Art Monk and Derrick Mason on the NFL's career receptions chart and with 946 is now within five of moving into the top 10.
And Pagano was there to see -- and savor -- every precious moment of it again.
Two weeks ago, Pagano returned to Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since being diagnosed with leukemia Sept. 26, and just having him around on game day is certainly making an impact.
"I talked to Coach Pagano before the game and he just told me to 'stretch and cut, stretch and cut,'" Hilton said, describing the advice Pagano gave him about returning kicks. "So I was able to stretch and my blockers did a good job of getting in front of their dudes, made two guys miss me and I went to the house."
This time, it wasn't just the players who got to see Pagano.
During a fourth-quarter break, team owner Jim Irsay and Pagano walked out of the owner's box together and waved to crowd, which gave them a standing ovation. Two Colts cheerleaders also shaved their heads in support of Pagano, who has lost his hair as he continues to undergo chemotherapy treatments, between the third and fourth quarters as part of a promise for a fundraising effort for leukemia research.
Losing Sunday was a major setback for a team hoping to end a 12-year absence from the playoffs.
"This one was obviously really needed," Fitzpatrick said. "I don't really want to project or talk about the next however many games we have left. It's all about 'Go get back to work and try to win next week.' It's all we can worry about."
Hilton got things started by fielding Shawn Powell's 48-yard punt at his own 25, faking out Smith, breaking another tackle in the middle of the field and sprinting to the end zone for Indy's first punt return for a score in five years.
After the teams traded four field goals, Hilton emerged again, pulling down Luck's third-down pass in the back of the end zone.
"I couldn't be prouder of the football team, because Chuck was here and the goal was to make him smile when he left," Arians said. "I'm sure he's up there smiling."
NOTES: Spiller's six-game streak is the longest by a Bills player since Thurman Thomas in 1992-93. ... Wayne also moved into the NFL's top 15 for yards receiving, passing Monk and Irving Fryar. ... Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay left in the first half with a neck injury and fullback Corey McIntyre left in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury. Neither returned. ... Buffalo hasn't won in Indy since 1998 and has lost seven of the last eight in this series. ... The father of one of the cheerleaders who shaved her head held up a sign "Megan, Bald is Beautiful You Are Chuckstrong Love, Dad."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press