Fastest NFL Plays From 2021

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Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Aug 31, 2022, 11:52 AM
  • Jonathan Taylor had three of the five fastest plays in 2021.
  • The Colts running back has NFL odds to win MVP at +5000.

Breakaway speed can be the difference between a 5-yard run and a 70-yard touchdown. And explosive plays can be the difference for NFL betting odds in most rushing yards, receiving yards or even MVP.

Jonathan Taylor, for example, had three of the fastest five plays as a ball carrier in the NFL in 2021, per Next Gen Stats. The Colts running back led the league in rushing yards with 1,811, 552 more than anyone else, and has the best NFL betting odds to win MVP among non-quarterbacks at +5000 for 2022.

Here’s a look at the fastest plays for those with the ball in their hands in the NFL last season.

NFL Speed

PlayerSpeed (mph)
Jonathan Taylor22.13
Marquez Valdes-Scantling22.09
Patrick Surtain22.07
Jonathan Taylor22.05
Jonathan Taylor21.83
Derrick Henry21.8
Jaylen Waddle21.8
Henry Ruggs21.78
Devin Duvernay21.76
Ja'Marr Chase21.74
Jalen Reagor21.74
Trenton Cannon21.7
Tavierre Thomas21.68
Quez Watkins21.62
Jamal Agnew21.62
Melvin Gordon21.52
Anthony Brown21.52
Henry Ruggs21.42
Tyreek Hill21.42
D.J. Moore21.38

Fastest NFL Plays

Jonathan Taylor recorded the fastest play in the NFL for a ball carrier at 22.13 miles per hour with a 67-yard rushing touchdown in Week 15. The score helped cement a win over the Patriots.

The former Wisconsin running back, who is entering his third season, ended 2021 with three of the top five fastest runs in the NFL. He also had a 78-yard rushing touchdown where he reached 22.05 mph and a 32-yard rush that was called back due to a penalty at 21.83 mph.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, a Packers receiver in 2021 who’s now with the Chiefs, went 22.09 mph on a 75-yard touchdown catch. Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain clocked the third-fastest speed at 22.07 mph on a 70-yard interception returned for a touchdown.

For comparison, the New York Times reported in 2020 Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt had recorded the fastest known running speed at 27.5 miles per hour. But in the heat of an NFL game, these numbers are still impressive.

Among the players who logged the six fastest plays, four were from running backs. The average weight of those six is 222 pounds. Titans running back Derrick Henry, at 247 pounds, reached 21.8 mph on a 76-yard rushing touchdown.

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About the Author

Colton Pool

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Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.