Do the Colts rely on Jonathan Taylor too much?
The Indianapolis Colts have a workhorse in running back Jonathan Taylor, but is it possible that they rely too much on the young running back?
Last season, Jonathan Taylor had a breakout year with the Indianapolis Colts and established himself as the best running back in the NFL. He claimed multiple franchise records, an All-Pro selection, and made his first Pro Bowl.
Something else Taylor did was routinely run the Colts to victory. All throughout last season, it was a closely followed stat that Indianapolis won whenever Taylor ran for more than 100 yards. Indy finished the season 9-1 when Taylor hit the century mark. The one loss was on a last-second field goal against the Las Vegas Raiders.
That made the formula for Indianapolis easy, run the ball and win games. If the Colts ever forgot that formula last season, the good fans of Indianapolis would affectionately remind the team to “Run The Damn Ball.”
However, it’s fair to ask, could Indy be running the damn ball too much? Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports thinks so. In a recent piece, Kerr looked at the most overvalued player on each AFC team. By overvalued, Kerr looked into the players that teams are too dependent on.
For the Colts, Kerr believes that player is Jonathan Taylor, saying “the Colts rely on Taylor to carry them while he’s on his rookie deal. Maybe they need to reduce his touches a bit in case they get in position to make a playoff run.”
Should the Colts give Jonathan Taylor fewer touches?
Last season, Taylor had 332 carries, the most in the NFL. He also had 40 receptions out of the backfield. However, Taylor was just in his second season. He’s a young running back and doesn’t have a concerning injury history.
Still, Kerr makes a fair assessment. The Colts may be too reliant on Taylor. There are a couple of reasons why it will benefit Indy and Taylor if he received fewer carries next season.
The first reason is team success. If Taylor’s legs are the only path to victory then obviously Indianapolis has to take it. However, it would benefit the team’s Super Bowl chances if they had a more balanced offense.
Fewer touches for Taylor could mean a more developed and balanced offense. Being able to run and pass when you need to is the sign of a great offense— the Colts are still working on getting there.
The other reason it will benefit Taylor and Indy to give Taylor fewer carries is longevity. Taylor is young and unfazed now but the carries can surely add up. In order to make sure Jonathan Taylor can remain a special running back in Indianapolis for many years to come, the Colts have to make sure they aren’t running him into the ground early.