Colts running back Jonathan Taylor on Thursday, during the annual “NFL Honors” show, added another award to his impressive collection of accolades.
Taylor was named the 2021 FedEx Ground Player of the Year, an award given annually to the NFL’s top running back. And there was no debate who the league’s best running back was last season.
Taylor led the NFL in rushing with 1,811 yards – 522 more yards than the Browns’ Nick Chubb, who finished second in rushing, had. That yardage gap is the largest the NFL’s seen between its No. 1 and No. 2 rushers since 2009. His 1,811 yards set a new franchise record, breaking Hall of Famer Edgerrin James’ prior mark of 1,709 yards set in 2000.
In his second year with the Colts, Taylor also led the NFL in rushing attempts (32), rushing touchdowns (18), rushing yards per game (106.5), rushing first downs (107) and longest rush (83 yards).
Taylor led the NFL in every category of explosive running plays, too:
- Rushes of 10+ yards (50)
- Rushes of 20+ yards (14)
- Rushes of 30+ yards (8)
- Rushes of 40+ yards (5)
- Rushes of 50+ yards (3)
- Rushes of 60+ yards (3)
- Rushes of 70+ yards (2)
- Rushes of 80+ yards (1)
Taylor ripped off touchdown runs of 76 yards (against the Jets) and 67 yards (against the Patriots), with the latter sealing the Colts’ primetime Week 15 win over New England. His five-touchdown game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 11 – four of which were rushing scores – set a franchise record, and he became only the 13th player in NFL history to score at least five touchdowns in a single game.
At the age of 22, Taylor became the youngest player in NFL history to have 20+ total touchdowns and 2,000+ yards from scrimmage in a single season.
Taylor was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Week four times in 2021 (Weeks 6, 10, 13 and 15). He earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors for October and November, was the NFL’s leading fan vote-getter for the 2022 Pro Bowl and was a unanimous first-team AP All-Pro selection.