One day after it was announced that the Indianapolis Colts had signed All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor to a 3-year deal worth $42 million, Taylor’s backup had the game of his life.
Zack Moss, who joined the Colts last year following a trade with the Buffalo Bills, exploded against the Tennessee Titans to the tune of 23 attempts for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also added 30 yards through the air. He provided the highlight of the day, when he broke a 56-yard touchdown run that evoked images of Taylor in 2021, when he was dominating the league.
Moss has been as solid and dependable as the Colts could ask for through the first month of the season. After not seeing action in the week 1 loss against the Jaguars, Moss has stepped up and provided consistent production for the Colts on the ground. He has rushed for at least 70 yards in every game, and has gone over 100 yards twice.
The play of Moss, including his breakout against the Titans on the heels of Taylor getting his extension, might make one wonder if the Colts really should have given in and paid Taylor. After all, why pay someone $14 million a year if you can get similar production for much cheaper?
Of course, Colts fans have seen something similar to this before.
While it is natural to wonder if the Colts have extended the wrong guy following a performance like the one Moss had, it is also foolish. Taylor, who only saw a handful of snaps against Tennessee, will gradually become more and more involved with the offense, especially with Anthony Richardson out for the foreseeable future. The dual threat of him and Moss could give the Colts offense a boost and help make up for the loss of the explosive plays that Richardson provides.
Moss is playing great; of that there is no debate. He very well may earn himself a nice new contract, either here or somewhere else, because of how well he is playing. His game against Tennessee certainly seemed to dispel the talk that Moss was steady, but not explosive. Taylor, however, is the Colts RB1. He has earned that status, and it’s probable that we will see more and more out of him as he reacclimates himself to taking hits and gets used to Shane Steichen’s offense.
With Taylor and Moss on the roster, the Colts find themselves with a luxury at running back. Both Moss and Taylor are clearly starting level players. But does the play of Moss mean the Colts will regret extending Taylor?
I think probably not.
During Monday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to Stephen Holder of ESPN. Stephen and John discussed the Colts win over the Titans, the Anthony Richardson injury, and of course, Jonathan Taylor’s extension. Listen to that conversation below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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