INDIANAPOLIS – Jonathan Taylor’s record-breaking season has resulted in yet another honor.
The latest: FedEx’s Ground Player of the Year.
The Indianapolis Colts’ prolific running back earned the recognition Thursday night at the NFL Honors show in Los Angeles.
And for good reason.
Taylor became the first Colt since Hall of Famer Edgerrin James in 2000 to lead the league in rushing with 1,811 yards, breaking James’ franchise record in the process. He also led the league with 2,171 yards from scrimmage and rushing touchdowns with a club record 18, and his 20 total TDs shared the league lead with the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekler.
The FedEx award is the latest for Taylor. He was selected first-team All-Pro and named to his first Pro Bowl.
Throughout his prolific season, Taylor remained understated. When it ended, he insisted he could have done more than rush for at least 100 yards 10 times, notch at least one rushing TD in 12 games and generate his first 100-yard receiving game (116 yards and one TD on three receptions at Baltimore in week 5).
Taylor was the withering catalyst in the Colts’ 41-15 blowout of the Bills in Buffalo in week 11 when he rushed for 185 yards and four touchdowns and added 19 yards and another TD on three receptions. The five TDs were a Colts’ record and one shy of tying the NFL mark.
He earned the FedEx weekly award four times.
“The guy’s special. Guy’s special,’’ general manager Chris Ballard said of Taylor last month. “The guy is tremendous and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him.”
“I think he’s going to continue to get better.’’
The Colts selected Taylor in the second round of the 2020 draft – 41st overall – and he provided immediate dividends. He led the team and finished 3rd in the NFL in rushing with 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Taylor took off in year 2.
“You know you’re having a great season, that you’re playing well because that’s what you want to do,’’ Taylor said last month. “That’s what everyone wants to do. You know you’re having a good season, but it’s just a matter of fact of, ‘What’s something I could have done a little more, a little different?’
“Little things to maybe make the o-line’s job a little bit easier or I could have gotten back to a protection to give Carson (Wentz) another second. You know you’re having a good season, but it’s we, not me. You’re thinking, ‘How could I help the team a little more?’’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.