The Indianapolis Colts are the only team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl and then return to the postseason with a losing record. That could change this year as their defense is one of the best units in football.
The Indianapolis Colts and Carson Wentz have had a rocky start to the 2021 season. Despite having high hopes and expecting to make the playoffs for the third time in four years, Indianapolis has lost all three games and has looked nothing like the club that reached the playoffs in 2020.
The Colts will try to get back on track in Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins, but they may also be reminded of their greatest offseason mistake: failing to locate a backup quarterback for Wentz.
Carson Wentz’s backup should have been discovered by the Colts.
The Indianapolis Colts’ Carson Wentz (left) and Jonathan Taylor face the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 26, 2021. | Getty Images/Andy Lyons
Carson Wentz, a brilliant but injury-prone quarterback, was acquired by the Colts this past summer.
Before sustaining a season-ending injury in 2017, the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback enjoyed a promising start to his career. After missing the playoffs that year and seeing Nick Foles lead his Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory, Wentz missed the playoffs again in 2018 due to injury. During the 2019 season, he also missed the lone playoff game he has ever participated in due to a concussion.
Indy purchased Wentz from the Eagles earlier in 2021, despite his poor track record, and the club didn’t even have a backup plan. Jacoby Brissett, a former starter and 2020 backup, has signed with the Miami Dolphins. The Colts’ QB2 for the year was second-year quarterback Jacob Eason.
Those choices have come back to harm them in the last several years.
Wentz injured both ankles in the team’s Week 2 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams, so Eason took his place against the Rams in his debut NFL game. However, the rookie quarterback completed just 2-of-5 passes for 25 yards and threw a costly interception, prompting the club to promote Brett Hundley from the practice squad, and he has since won the backup position.
Hundley hasn’t seen much action since filling up for an ailing Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers in 2017. In nine starts and 11 games, he passed for 1,836 yards, nine touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
Wentz ended up playing for the Colts in Week 3, but he didn’t seem 100 percent, which contributed to Indy’s 0-3 start. However, if he had a capable backup behind him, he could have slept and the game would have ended differently.
Indy will play former quarterback Jacoby Brissett in Week 4 of the season.
With Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa out for Week 4, former Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett will start against his former club.
During his four years in Indianapolis, Brissett demonstrated that he wasn’t a starter-caliber quarterback, but he was a more-than-serviceable backup. Brissett passed for 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 16 games and 15 starts in 2017 while filling quarterback for an ailing Andrew Luck. The squad ended with a 4-12 record that season.
Brissett led the Colts to a 5-2 start after Luck’s stunning retirement in 2019, throwing for 1,590 yards, 14 touchdowns, and three interceptions in his first seven games. However, after suffering a knee injury in Week 9, he only passed for 1,293 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions in the remaining seven games, and the Colts ended 7-9.
Brissett’s inability to throw downfield hampered the Colts at times, but he shown that he could win games for Indy when called upon. He has already proven himself in that role after completing over 65 percent of his throws and piling up 215 yards in place of Tagovailoa against the Dolphins in Week 3.
Jacoby Brissett has the ability to remind the Indianapolis Colts of their major blunder.
During the Dolphins’ most recent game against the Raiders, Brissett did enough to keep the team in the game (they lost 31-28 in overtime). He could have easily helped the Colts defeat the Titans in Week 3 if he had remained with them. Indy’s dismal start to the season continued when an injured Wentz played against Tennessee.
Brissett will start in Week 4 in lieu of Tagovailoa, giving him an opportunity to demonstrate why his previous club should have made acquiring a capable backup quarterback for Wentz a priority. With Indy failing in many areas so far this season, he may be able to pull off a win as well.
Overall, the NC State product offers whatever club he’s on a shot to win, something the Colts don’t have (apart from Wentz).
Wentz has often shown that, despite his tenacity, he struggles to remain on the field. When his season came to an end early in 2017, the Eagles had a solid backup plan in place, which culminated in Nick Foles winning the Super Bowl for them. Indianapolis, on the other hand, decided to take a chance this year by putting several untested players in front of him.
That’s a recipe for disaster.
Allowing Brissett to go was arguably Indy’s greatest offseason blunder, and with Wentz still recovering from his latest injury, it may potentially lead to an 0-4 start with the team’s season already sinking.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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