INDIANAPOLIS – After one of the busiest afternoons of his brief NFL career, Jonathan Taylor is eager to head into the Indianapolis Colts’ bye week.
“Bye week’s gonna be love,’’ he said following Sunday’s 31-0 blowout of the Texans in Houston’s NRG Stadium. “How many games is this? Thirteen?
“That’s like a whole college season plus the bowl game. Bye week will be definitely, definitely love coming after this week.’’
Players will be at the team complex Monday morning before getting the rest of the week off. The Colts’ bye comes in week 14 and offers a much-needed break after 13 grueling games.
Like his teammates, Taylor has earned the time off.
Sunday, the 2020 second-round draft pick matched a career-high with 32 carries and piled up 143 yards and two touchdowns. He pushed his NFL-leading totals to 1,348 rushing yards and 1,684 yards from scrimmage.
- Tied Lenny Moore’s club record with 16 rushing TDs; Moore set the mark in 1964.
- Set a franchise record for the most rushing TDs in a player’s first two seasons (27), eclipsing Edgerrin James (26).
- Notched a rushing TD in a 10th straight game. That’s one shy of Moore’s team record, which spanned 1963-64. He became the youngest player in NFL history to post a 10-game streak before his 23rd birthday, surpassing Eric Dickerson, who did so at 23.
- Joined John Riggins (12 in 1983), LaDainian Tomlinson (12 in ’04), Priest Holmes (11 in ’02) and Emmitt Smith (11 in ’95) as the only players with a TD in 10 consecutive games within a season.
- Pushed his seasonal total to 108 points, joining Moore (120 in 1964) and James (110 in 2000, 102 in ’99) as the Colts’ only non-kickers to hit triple digits.
Typically, Taylor downplayed the possibility of becoming the first Colt since James in 2000 to lead the league in rushing. He’s rushed for at least 100 yards in seven of his last 10 games.
“It’s not in the back of my mind at all because you can get the rushing title and you can get blown out and not make the playoffs,’’ he said. “Or you can get the rushing title and you guys can make the playoffs and you guys can get on a run and be where you want to be at the end of the year.
“But No. 1 is winning games.’’
It’s helped that Taylor largely has maintained his health despite the long season and the late bye.
“I do feel surprisingly good,’’ he said, “but that’s just a testament to the training staff in there. I’m in there all the time and those guys are taking care of me whether it’s prehab or rehab, and then the coaches putting together great schemes.
“A lot of runs, they are opening up like the Red Sea so I’m able to not get touched for a few yards.’’
Badgley streak ends
Michael Badgley’s perfect start with the Colts ended in Houston.
Since replacing injured placekicker Rodrigo Blankenship in week 6 against Houston, he had converted all 10 field-goal attempts and was 28-for-28 on PATs.
Perfection ended when Badgley was wide left with a 37-yard attempt in the first quarter. He later converted a 23-yard field-goal attempt.
The Colts have stuck with Badgley because, according to coach Frank Reich, he earned it with his kicking.
It will be interesting to see whether the miss causes the team to re-think things. Blankenship apparently has been ready to return from the injured reserve list for a few weeks.
Takeaways piling up
The Colts entered the game with an NFL-best 27 takeaways, and immediately added to it.
Kenny Moore II intercepted Tyrod Taylor on the game’s first play, then added a forced fumble on Houston’s second series.
That pushed the Colts’ total to 29, their most since 37 in 2007.
They’ve had at least one takeaway in 14 consecutive games, the NFL’s longest active streak.
This and that
Wentz passed for 158 yards and one TD, and finished with a 107.8 rating. It marked his seventh game this season with a rating of at least 100, which is second-most in the league.
Michael Pittman Jr. led the Colts with 77 yards on six catches. T.Y. Hilton finished with two catches and 22 yards.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.