The Washington Commanders have faced their share of top running backs in the first half of the 2022 season. It includes a list of some of the best at the position like Derrick Henry, Miles Sanders and D'Andre Swift, A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones.
On Sunday, they will add to that list when they face Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. While the defense has never faced Taylor, the players are aware of how dangerous he can be, and they are ready to take on the challenge.
"He's a hard runner. He's got some shiftiness to him, too," Kamren Curl said in the locker room. "We've just got to tackle him, tackle him in space."
Taylor, a second-round pick by the Colts in 2020, led the league with 1,811 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns last season. Taylor has the size (226 pounds) to run effectively between the tackles, but he can just as potent in space and as a pass-catcher. He caught 78.4% of his targets in 2021 for 360 yards and two touchdowns.
The Commanders have faced running backs with similar styles this season, and they know that the best solution to stopping Taylor will be to work as one unit and limit his running lanes.
"Football isn't a game of perfect," said cornerback Kendall Fuller. "If a guy misses a tackle and we're all hunting, then we can make up for it quickly before the extra yards. That's the thing about the NFL: week in and week out, you're going up against the top guys."
The Commanders are coming off perhaps their best showing against the run, when they held Green Bay Packers running backs Jones and Dillon to just 38 yards. Granted, Taylor has proven to be a more productive back in recent seasons, despite the fact that he has not been as explosive during his 2022 campaign, but if the defense can carry that performance into Week 8, it would do a lot to cripple the Colts' offense that has second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger now under center.
"Defensive line-wise, just be sound in your technique and bring it every play, honestly," Daron Payne said. "That should stop him."
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- The Washington Times' Nicki Jhabvala writes about Tress Way's tricks he uses when punting the ball.
- The Washington Times' Sam Fortier writes about Taylor Heinicke's mobility keeps the Commanders moving forward.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes that Taylor Heinicke's trust in Terry McLaurin is paying off.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux looks at how the Commanders plan to stop Jonathan Taylor.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes that the Commanders' offense is starting to have energy again.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes that Terry McLaurin is excited for a homecoming in Indianapolis.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes about Chase Young's status, Montez Sweat and more.
- The Richmond-Times Dispatch's Michael Phillips reports on Terry McLaurin's return to his hometown of Indianapolis.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier looks at how Heinicke's mobility is helping the Commanders offense.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about McLaurin's excitement ahead of his Indy homecoming.
- ESPN's John Keim writes that Washington is following a similar formula for its win streak.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes that Washington's run game is starting to work as envisioned.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about the Commanders' run game.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about Washington's 'cleaned up' defense.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd reports on Chase Young's return from IR.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig also looks at Young's expected return to practice this week.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about Washington getting its second win over the Packers.
- The Washington Post's Scott Allen gives his four takeaways from the Commanders' win over the Packers.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier takes a look at the Commanders' offensive formula against the Packers.
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- Practice report | Ron Rivera provides positive update on Chase Young
- Gary Clark sees flashes of 'The Posse' in Commanders' WR trio
- Kam Curl receives highest PFF grade among defenders 25 and younger
- Practice report | Terry McLaurin reflects on emotions of returning to Indianapolis
- Commanders vs. Colts preview | Heading out to the Hoosier State
- From the booth | Terry McLaurin reminded everyone why he's so scary
- Heinicke's second half vs. Packers shows why Commanders have 'tremendous amount of faith in what he can do'
- Commanders sign DaMarcus Fields to practice squad
- Third down stops highlight progress made by defense
- Numbers to know from Washington's win over Green Bay
- Commanders-Packers Stats & Snaps
- Game balls | Gibson, McLaurin, defense shine in win over Packers
- Media roundup | Rivera calls victory over Packers 'a team effort'
- 5 takeaways from Washington's win over the Packers
- Instant Analysis | Commanders put together complete team effort in win over Packers
The Washington Commanders have wrapped up their second day of practice this week. Here are the best photos from Thursday afternoon. Photos by Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders