The Philadelphia Eagles are halfway to winning the Super Bowl and Carson Wentz has been their main source of offense. However, this week he struggled against a tough New England Patriots defense that held him without a touchdown pass for the first time in more than two years. His performance was discouraging but his future performances shouldn’t be as surprising due to improved quarterback play from other teams around the league.
The Indianapolis Colts defeated the New England Patriots by a considerable margin on Saturday night. With doubts about the Colts’ ability to compete in the AFC, they demonstrated to everyone — on a national stage — that they are the genuine thing. The Colts won 27-17 thanks to a 170-yard effort by running back Jonathan Taylor and a strong showing by the Indianapolis defense.
The Colts, on the other hand, did not have a perfect night by any stretch of the imagination. Despite the 27 points, Indy’s passing game showed signs of weakness.
Last night, we rated a fourth of Carson Wentz’s pass attempts as turnover-worthy.
December 19, 2021 — Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF)
The idea heading into the huge AFC matchup was that the Colts would stick to their bread and butter. The Patriots boast one of the league’s best passing defenses (led by cornerback J.C. Jackson). The Colts’ route to win would almost certainly be on the ground.
Despite Bill Belichick’s best attempts to pack the line of scrimmage, the Colts kept to their game plan, running for 226 yards. The few occasions the Colts attempted to move the ball in the air, though, it was a disaster.
Carson Wentz, who the Colts acquired through trade this summer, threw for 57 yards on 12 tries to end the Saturday Night Football show. He threw a costly interception late in the game after getting away with a couple of dangerous throws early in the game. Wentz did manage to toss one touchdown pass. It was, however, more of a pitch play that was misclassified as a pass.
Aside from the run-first strategy, 57 passing yards doesn’t seem good on paper.
Why Carson Wentz’s bad day is really a good thing
The Colts upset the Patriots by 27 points, and Carson Wentz had FIVE COMPLETIONS.
December 19, 2021 — Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball)
Regardless of how you slice it, the Colts won a huge game. They defeated the AFC’s No. 1 seed at the time and moved up to the No. 5 seed. However, there was still a lot of critical talk about Wentz’s dismal passing day.
With such a weak passing offense, can the Colts win in the postseason?
Yes, Wentz had a bad game against the Patriots. It’s important to note that he’s been an above-average passer this season. He has the tenth-most overall touchdowns, the third-best interception rate, and the eighth-best quarterback rating in the league. His 57-yard effort against the Patriots was a notable aberration when compared to his regular-season averages.
What’s the good news? Despite one of Wentz’s worst outings in the NFL, the Colts still defeated the AFC’s top club. The Indianapolis Colts’ rushing game is so good right now that they annihilated Bill Belichick’s defensive plan while hardly inserting their quarterback into the attack. Consider how different the final score would have been if Wentz had a little better passing day.
The Indianapolis Colts are heating up at the ideal moment.
Getty Images/Justin Casterline/Carson Wentz)
Whether you place a high value on Wentz’s terrible passing performance against New England or not, the fact is that none of it matters all that much. The Colts are on fire, and they’re on fire at the right moment.
Jonathan Taylor is attempting to get himself into the MVP discussion. The offensive line is back to full strength. The defense is getting into its stride. The Colts’ special teams unit is perhaps the finest in the league.
The Colts will be in great shape come playoff time if Wentz returns to his old form (200-plus passing yards per game).
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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