INDIANAPOLIS – Talk about quite the game for Jonathan Taylor to be mic’d up and for Hard Knocks to be featuring him on their second episode this Wednesday night.
Remember that gold jacket chatter Jim Irsay tossed Taylor’s way back during training camp?
Performances like Sunday are why Irsay’s eye-raising comments aren’t just hyperbole.
Taylor set a Colts franchise record with 5 total touchdowns (4 rushing, 1 receiving) in Sunday’s biggest win of the season. He did it while rushing for 185 yards on 32 carries and catching 3 passes for 19 yards.
Given the opponent—the Bills entered Sunday with the league’s top ranked defense and 3rd ranked run defense—maybe the national chatter will start to grow around Taylor.
It needs to.
Taylor now has 1,122 rushing yards on 193 carries (5.8 yards per carry) in 11 games this season. His 15 total touchdowns lead the NFL.
In a season in which no quarterback has truly separated himself from the others, Taylor deserves a spot in any sort of MVP chatter, especially as long as the Colts continue to string wins together.
“(Taylor) sent a message to the league today,” fellow running back Nyheim Hines said after Taylor’s historic performance.
“It’s been amazing to watching him play. For me, I had a day off today. I was a fan today watching him go out there and be…remarkable. It was great to watch him finish runs, make people miss in space, picking up blitzes. He’s the complete package.”
That has only blossomed into unquestioned stardom this year, at a position that is so difficult to obtain such week-in-and-week-out work.
“A game like (Taylor) had today doesn’t surprise me anymore because every single week he shows up and shows out,” Carson Wentz said afterwards.
The humbleness is something the Colts love about Taylor.
Whenever asked about a lack of touches this season, Taylor has immediately preached the team and deferring any of those debates to the coaching staff.
“You get a sense of his confidence, but you would never know he’s a superstar if you walked right by him in the locker room or in the grocery store,” Wentz says of Taylor. “He’s just a low-key guy.
“He’s the same, low-key, humble dude. He’s all about team. He’ll take 2 carries. He’ll take 40 carries. He just wants to win. You hear him say that a lot. You can tell. It’s who he is. And we appreciate that.”
Unfortunately, it’s probably something that holds him back from receiving more and more national attention.
But if voters do their homework, they will see that No. 28 for the Colts needs to be on the short list of any MVP ball with Thanksgiving here.
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