After starting 0-3, the Colts have won three out of their last four games to head into an important Week Eight rematch with the Titans at 3-4.
Carson Wentz’s play at quarterback is a significant reason why the team’s offense has been effective.
After leading the league in interceptions last year, Wentz has the lowest interception rate in the league at 0.5 percent. He’s completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,695 yards with 11 touchdowns and just one interception. His passer rating of 102.8 is 30 points higher than it was in 2020 at 72.8. And his sack rate has fallen from 10.3 percent to 6.4 percent.
During his Wednesday press conference, Colts head coach Frank Reich was asked if he feels like he’s seeing the Wentz of 2017 and 2018 — who was playing solid football for the Eagles before going down with season-ending injuries.
“I think that’s fair to say it that way,” Reich said in his press conference. “I probably — and this is my fault — want to start talking in terms of that was a great year when I was with him, but I probably need to do a better job of focusing on he’s here now. I’m really looking for the Colts version of him where he just keeps getting better and better. But what we are seeing is he’s playing good football. But what we talk about is every week is a new week and we can always get better, and we have to get better and he has to get better — we all do.
“I really like the way he’s pushing the ball down the field, how aggressively he’s thinking but still making good decisions, checking it down when he needs to. He’s doing a great job in the run game when we need to get to the right checks in the run game — managing the game the right way and making plays and being good situationally. Last week, we saw him make a couple plays with his feet, but without going crazy doing that. So, we’re trying to find that right balance.”
Reich added that he’s seen Wentz get more comfortable in the scheme since the start of the season as the quarterback gets more reps within it. And it also helps Reich as a play-caller to gain a better feel for him as the year continues.
That it took a few weeks into the season is likely in some ways a product of the training camp time Wentz missed with a foot injury that required surgery. And now that Wentz’s ankles are in better shape after the sprains he sustained in the Week Two loss to the Rams, he’s able to run more — like his 1-yard touchdown run in Sunday’s victory over the 49ers.
If Wentz can continue to play well, he’ll give the Colts a chance to compete with the Titans not just on Sunday, but also for the AFC South title through the rest of the year.