Colts: How Jonathan Taylor can take shine off Derrick Henry’s MVP season

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs for a touchdown. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs for a touchdown. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tennessee Titans are going to barrel into Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday for an AFC South clash against the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams are coming off of big victories, but one of the main stories on Halloween will be getting to see how Indianapolis’ running back Jonathan Taylor sizes up against Tennessee’s Derrick Henry. Taylor continues to build off of his wildly successful rookie season, while Henry has the highest non-quarterback odds to win MVP.

Through the first seven games of this season, Taylor has 105 carries for 579 yards and six touchdowns. He can find open running lanes and further makes defenses pay with his impeccable reads. He’s made extensive strides even after an impressive debut campaign.

What’s unexpected, though, is that this time around Taylor is being compared to the likes of Henry, who entered the league in 2016. Henry has 191 carries for 869 yards and 10 touchdowns thus far. It’s clear to see that the Titans have the best running back in the league.

In the Colts’ 30-18 win over the San Francisco 49ers last week, Taylor had 18 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. If the same momentum that he’s played with this season carries over to Week 8, all eyes won’t just be on Henry. Tennessee’s running back is known for separating his level of intensity from the rest of the backs in the NFL, but his closest competition is Taylor.

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor can out-shine Derrick Henry in Week 8.

If you would’ve told Indianapolis fans last year that Taylor’s name would be mentioned in the same sentence as Henry, they wouldn’t have said a single bad word about general manager Chris Ballard this offseason. Paired with veteran quarterback Carson Wentz, who’s been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, the Colts have a solid opportunity to take down one of the hottest teams in the AFC.

Indianapolis’ defense is going to have to find ways to stop Henry given the consistent struggles that have been evident since the start of the year. Then again, the unit’s found a way to neutralize the big man, who’s averaged 89 yards in 11 career games against the Colts.

As for Taylor, he’ll need to dig deep because he has just 17 rushes for 76 yards in two career games vs Tennessee.

If he performs like his usual self and the Colts’ defense keeps Henry in check, we could see Taylor steal headlines from the league’s undisputed top running back.