Taylor carries Colts to upset over Bills with 5 TDs

  • Previously worked at Indianapolis Star, covering the Indiana Pacers for nine seasons
  • Also covered Vikings for St. Paul Pioneer Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Jonathan Taylor didn’t only carry the Indianapolis Colts back into the thick of the AFC playoff race, he likely also carried himself into the thick of the Most Valuable Player race.

Taylor had a career-high 32 carries for 185 yards and he became just the 18th player in NFL history to have five touchdowns in the Colts’ 41-15 convincing victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Colts started the season 1-4, but they’ve since won five of their last six games to move above .500 for the first time this season.

The 185 yards moved Taylor to the top of the NFL’s rushing lead (1,122 yards), ahead of Tennessee’s Derrick Henry. Taylor may stay at the top the rest of the season, especially with the possibility of Henry being out the rest of the year with a foot injury.

Taylor is the third-youngest player to have five touchdowns in a game and the third to get all five in just three quarters.

Colts coach Frank Reich said earlier this season that Taylor has reached the point where he deserves at least 20 carries a game. Taylor has topped 20 carries in a game just twice this season, with both coming in the past two games.

The lack of not being overworked is paying off because the Colts can lean on him even more down the stretch.

“I mean he certainly doesn’t feel battered and bruised,” Reich said last week. “Looks as strong, if not stronger. That’s a credit to him – his mindset, the way he works, the condition that he’s in and maintains. I’m sure he’s continuing even to get stronger…He’s a unique athlete.

“We are hoping that we can just continue to build that workload like in the track and field. Really have a second half of the year that’s stronger and faster than the first half of the year. That would be the goal.”

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