According to NFL.com’s David Carr, recently relocated Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback Carson Wentz is expected to have ‘greater production’ with his new team:
Indianapolis Colts · Age 28
Old team: Philadelphia Eagles
We’ve all been waiting for Wentz to return to the MVP-caliber form we witnessed in 2017, and I think we’ll begin to see something closer to it now that he’s reunited with his old offensive coordinator in Frank Reich. After a tough, three-year decline in Philly, Wentz is set up to turn the corner in Indy behind a premier offensive line and with a dominant run game and more established weapons in the passing game. Reich has routinely put his quarterbacks in position to succeed by getting the ball out of the passer’s hands and leaning on young talent in the run game to open up the aerial attack. Wentz won’t be running for his life (sacked a league-high 50 times last season despite playing just 12 games), and having better protection alone should allow him stay on schedule with his throws and regain confidence in his skills as a passer.
2021 projection: 62 comp. percentage, 3,100 pass yards, 23 TDs, 14 INTs
The former Philadelphia Eagles franchise quarterback should benefit from a desperately needed change of scenery in Indianapolis and a much anticipated reunion with Colts head coach Frank Reich—as the two have shared prior success together.
Not only should Reich’s ‘quarterback friendly’ offense maximize Wentz’s strengths and mitigate his weaknesses—allowing for an uptick in potential production, but he’ll also benefit from a stronger Colts supporting cast—which features a stalwart offensive line and a power running game led by emerging superstar rusher Jonathan Taylor.
In the process, under Reich’s tutelage, Wentz will need to clean up some acquired bad habits with his passing mechanics and regain some of his lost confidence/swagger.
As a former NFL quarterback himself, Reich may know better than almost anyone in what makes the 2nd overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft truly tick and how he can recapture his tantalizing 2017 form when he was a bonafide NFL MVP Candidate.
That special season, Wentz was a stud, having thrown for 33 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions for the then 11-2 Eagles—before suffering a season-ending torn ACL. He hasn’t really been the same star quarterback since, as his shine has faded.
That being said, the support system is there for Wentz to thrive for the Colts—with the right adjustments and proper mindset.
He’s still only 28 years old and the dynamic talent is there to untap.
For what it’s worth, retired Colts starting quarterback Philip Rivers completed 369 of 543 throws (68.0%) for 4,169 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions during all 16 starts this past season.
While the anticipated drop in accuracy is understandable (as Rivers had an all-time great season regarding his completion percentage), the roughly 1,000 less total passing yards is interesting to say the least—and I just don’t see it if Wentz starts all 17 games for Indy.
If anything, even if there is a realistic drop in accuracy from his predecessor, as Wentz takes more shots downfield and riskier chances (rather than electing for the safer underneath/checkdown routes), it wouldn’t be surprising if Wentz also has 25-30 passing touchdowns—while still throwing for 4,000+ passing yards.
That is, if everything truly clicks for the new Colts quarterback.
In any case, Wentz should have much greater production than the struggling passer that was benched late season in Philadelphia last year (it would be hard not to), especially given the strong support system he’ll be inheriting in Indianapolis.
Simply put, Wentz is set up for success and a rebound season with the Colts—which means greater production in 2021.