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Colts Daily Notebook: Inside Jonathan Taylor's Record-Setting Pace In 2021

Jonathan Taylor is on pace to become the Colts' first rushing champion since Edgerrin James, and is one touchdown away from setting a franchise record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season. 

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With the Colts on their bye week let's take a moment to step back and look at where running back Jonathan Taylor stands as he enters the fourth quarter of his historic 2021 season. Two big things he'll be chasing over the final four games of the season:

1. The NFL rushing crown

Taylor heads into his bye week leading the NFL in rushing by 370 yards over the Bengals' Joe Mixon, and his league-leading 16 touchdowns are four more than Mixon and the Cardinals' James Conner have in second place. Among running backs with 150 or more rushing attempts, Taylor's average yards per carry of 5.6 ranks behind only the Browns' Nick Chubb (5.8).

Mixon may pass Taylor in rushing attempts this weekend – Mixon has 227 and Taylor has 241 – but Mixon is averaging 4.3 yards per attempt, over a yard less than Taylor.

The last Colts player to lead the NFL in rushing yards was Edgerrin James (1,709 in 2000), while the last Colts player to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns was Lenny Moore (16 in 1964). Which brings us to...

2. A few franchise records.

Taylor is one rushing touchdown away from setting a Colts record for most rushing scores in a season – he'd break Moore's mark set 57 years ago.

And Taylor has a streak of 10 consecutive games with a rushing touchdown – he's just the fifth player in NFL history to have that long of a streak in a single season.

Moore is the franchise record holder for most total touchdowns in a season (20), which he also set in 1964. Taylor will enter Week 15 with 18 total touchdowns, leaving him three shy of setting a new franchise record, too.

If Taylor records a rushing touchdown in Weeks 15 and 16, he'll also break Moore's franchise record for most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown (11).

Taylor's 27 rushing touchdowns are a Colts record for the most over the first two years of a player's career, breaking James' record of 26 (1999-2000).

Taylor is also 620 yards from scrimmage shy of breaking Edgerrin James' franchise record of 2,303. And Taylor, who's averaging 5.6 yards per carry, is on pace to break his own franchise record for highest yards per carry average (min. 200 attempts), which he set last year with an average of 5.0.

3. Taylor may be chasing these records, but it's not his focus.

Maybe the most important thing to note here: Taylor will head into the final four games of the season worried not about his individual records, but his team's record as the 7-6 Colts make a push for the playoffs.

"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, or you can get the rushing title, and you guys can make the playoffs and go on a run and be where you want to be at the end of the year," Taylor said. "So, that is kind of at the back door, but number one is winning games."

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