It doesn't take long to see that speed is one of the biggest parts of Jonathan Taylor's game.
In 2021, the Indianapolis Colts' second-year running back took the NFL by storm, leading the league in rushing yards and touchdowns with 1,811 and 18, respectively. That was 552 yards and three touchdowns more than the next best players.
With so many big plays of Taylor's to choose from, NFL Next Gen Stats zeroed in on three of them, clocking Taylor with three of the five fastest carries in the league:
Week 15 vs. New England Patriots
22.13 MPH on 67-yard touchdown run
Taylor was already commanding the NFL's rushing lead, but this particular carry officially put him in the race for NFL MVP.
In a huge primetime matchup pitting two playoff contenders and former bitter rivals, the Colts were owning this showdown. However, Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones was doing his best to keep New England in the game, and he was doing it well.
The Colts were nursing a three-point lead (20-17) with just over two minutes remaining in the game before Taylor took the handoff, made a pair of defenders miss, and made it look effortless as he dashed 67 yards for the game-sealing score. Taylor finished the game with 29 carries for 170 yards (5.9 avg.) and 1 touchdown. The Colts won, 27-17.
Week 9 vs. New York Jets
22.05 MPH on 78-yard touchdown run
This was a chance for Taylor and the Colts to take advantage of a weak opponent at home in front of a nationally-televised Thursday Night Football audience, and they answered the call.
The Colts came out of halftime killing the Jets, adding a touchdown midway through the third quarter to make it 35-10. The defense then forced a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, giving the ball back to the Colts offense. Taylor took the handoff on the first play of the drive and exploded down the right side, outracing defenders 78 yards downfield for his second touchdown of the game. Taylor finished the night with 19 carries for 172 yards (9.1 avg.) and 2 touchdowns as well as 2 receptions for 28 yards (14.0 avg.). The Colts won, 45-30.
Week 8 vs. Tennessee Titans
21.83 MPH on 1-yard run (32-yard run slashed to one yard following offensive holding penalty)
The Colts' two matchups with Tennessee in 2021 were agonizing, and this one in particular. After taking a commanding 14-point lead in the first quarter, the Colts allowed the Titans to come back, trading shots back and forth throughout the game before the Colts gave it away in overtime.
Taylor was a bright spot in the game, though, but his best play of the day was bought back due to penalty. He found a hole along the right side and sprinted 32 yards to the sideline, but an offensive holding call on right guard Chris Reed cut the gain to just one yard.
At the time, the game was tied at 14-all with 3:37 remaining in the first half. The Colts still built a 13-play, 59-yard drive that ended in a 34-yard Michael Badgley field to put the Colts up 17-14 going into the locker room at halftime. Taylor finished the game with 16 carries for 70 yards (4.4 avg.) and 1 touchdown as well as 3 receptions for 52 yards. The Colts lost, 34-31.
What was your favorite big play from Taylor in 2021? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!