According to NFL.com’s Maurice Jones-Drew, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is ranked as the league’s best running back in his “RB Index, Week 15”:
Indianapolis Colts · Year 2
2021 stats: 13 games | 241 att | 1,348 rush yds | 5.6 ypc | 16 rush TD | 36 rec | 336 rec yds | 2 rec TD | 4 fumbles
Taylor could put a huge stamp on his MVP candidacy with a big outing vs. Bill Belichick’s Patriots. Belichick has an 18-2 record as Patriots HC against running backs with 1,000-plus rushing yards entering the game, per NFL Research. One thing going Taylor’s way is the fact that the Patriots’ defense ranks dead last in the league in Next Gen Stats’ rush yards over expected (+229), while Taylor leads all running backs in most rushing yards over expected with +360. This is must-see TV.
Taylor’s current numbers are unworldly, as he has rushed for 1,348 total rushing yards (1st) on 241 carries (2nd) for a 5.6 yards per carry average (5th) and 16 rushing touchdowns (1st) during all 13 starts.
He faces a tough challenge on Saturday night against New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his incredibly well-coached stout defense:
Most points scored per game since Week 7: Colts (32.1)— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 18, 2021
Fewest points allowed per game since Week 7: Patriots (10.4)
Strength on strength tonight in Indy.
On defense, Belichick will assuredly seek to ‘take away’ what the Colts do best offensively, and that’s running the ball with Taylor in what’s been an elite ground game as of late:
Carson Wentz on Belichick trying to take away what you do best (Jonathan Taylor)— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) December 14, 2021
'(JT) still as good as it gets at what he does and we trust our big boys up front.'
Colts will try to establish JT and run game. That is no secret.
As we prepare for #ForeverNE vs. #ForTheShoe, @GregCosell presumes that Bill Belichick will scheme to limit HB Jonathan Taylor’s impact in the ground game. To counter, @MattBowen41 says IND may use more man coverage and force QB Mac Jones to beat them through the air. #NFL pic.twitter.com/L5BQzgvW1D— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) December 18, 2021
However, at this point, the Colts need to let Jonathan Taylor dictate the offensive game plan, and not the opposing team’s defense—as he’s hands down their best offensive playmaker, and that great regardless. Give their elite workhorse touches.
It’s the classic question of who wins, the unstoppable force or the immovable object?
We’ll find out soon enough on Saturday night football in a critical matchup for the Colts against their longtime arch-nemesis of the Northeast.