The Indianapolis Colts have underachieved so far in 2021. With eight games left on their schedule, they have some time to turn things around. However, there’s little to no room for error. The Colts will only go as far as Carson Wentz takes them. He and the team have had a roller-coaster season up to this point, but they’re staying the course.
Wentz’s latest decision shows he’s fully committed to saving Indianapolis’ season before it’s too late.
Carson Wentz won’t miss next game even if his wife is in labor
The Indianapolis Colts are coming off of a win over the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Next up, they have a motivated Jacksonville Jaguars team that just stunned the Buffalo Bills in Week 9.
Carson Wentz revealed nothing would prevent him from suiting up against the Jaguars. No, he’s not injured. Instead, he and his wife are expecting the birth of their second child.
“I could get a call at any time,” Wentz told The Athletic’s Stephen Holder. Even if the call comes on game day, the Colts quarterback already has his mind up.
“I’m playing,” said Wentz. The sixth-year quarterback advised that he and his wife have discussed every possible scenario, and she’s OK with Wentz missing the birth of their daughter.
The birth of a child is a life-changing moment, regardless if it’s the first or the fifth. Wentz’s willingness to suit up for the Colts proves his commitment to his teammates, coaches, and the mission.
The Jags just showed that on any given Sunday, any team could lose. Carson Wentz understands that and knows his team can ill afford to lose to an inferior team in a critical part of the season.
Every game is must-win for the Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are currently sitting at 4-5. Frank Reich’s team is in second place in the AFC South but three games behind the Tennessee Titans.
If the Titans continue to play as they did against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football, they will lock up the division title. This would leave the Colts to fight for one of three wild-card spots.
Before Indianapolis’ Week 8 matchup against Tennessee, All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard issued a message to his teammates that it was a must-win game.
The Colts fought tooth and nail but ultimately lost a 34-31 nail-biter in overtime. Tennessee has now swept the season series between the division rivals, giving them the head-to-head advantage if there’s a tie later down the road.
Losing such a close game was a crushing blow for Carson Wentz and company, but they’re still in the hunt. Still, the margin error is zero, so the team will need all hands on deck.
The AFC is tight, so if the Colts lose a couple more games, they’ll be watching the post season from their couches.
Wentz must play like an MVP to get Indianapolis in the playoffs
The Colts acquired Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason to replace Philip Rivers, who retired after the 2020 season.
Wentz fell out of favor in Philadelphia as the organization turned the reins over to second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts. The oft-injured Wentz set out to revive his career with a fresh start in Indianapolis.
For all the criticism, Wentz hasn’t played horribly in 2021. The North Dakota State product has passed for 2,198 yards, 17 touchdowns, and three interceptions while completing 63.3% of his passes.
The AFC features some high-powered offenses, so to keep up, the Colts’ offense needs to turn it up a notch against elite competition. Currently, the Colts are ranked fifth in team offense behind a dominant rushing attack.
Jonathan Taylor is No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yards (821) and third in rushing touchdowns (8). While he’s pacing the offense, Carson Wentz will need to be consistent down the stretch and avoid unforced errors.
The Colts have stiff tests against the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, and Arizona Cardinals in the second half of the season.
The road to the playoffs won’t be easy, so the Colts will need Carson Wentz to step up and take them there.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference