As a Colts fan this season, there has been plenty of things that cause people to feel a certain way about this season up until this point. Fans all around Colts nation have been debating about what is holding them back this season. Is it Matt Eberflus and the defense, is it Frank Reich and the play calling, or, as the national media puts it, Carson Wentz?
While everyone and their mom can debate all night about what is hindering the Colts this season, Carson Wentz deserves the most blame. Of course, Reich, Eberflus, and Ballard are all under fire by social media fans, and they should be. Each one of them is at fault for how this season has played out thus far, but what everyone will remember is the Colts taking a risk on Wentz. No one will remember the 51 passes called vs. the Titans, no one will remember Blankenship playing injured vs. the Ravens, and that is because this season will go down as “The Carson Wentz Experience.”
Everyone in the Colts building had thought this season’s team was a super bowl contending team without a quarterback. This was the exact reason Ballard and Co went out of their way to trade for Wentz. Wentz was never the first option until Stafford was traded to the Rams, and even then, Colt’s front office had to be sold on Wentz playing quarterback for them. Frank Reich’s job was to convince everyone in the front office that Wentz was the man for the job. Eventually, Reich’s persistence paid off, and the Colts ultimately traded for Wentz. The Colts traded a third-round draft pick and a conditional second-round draft pick for Wentz. The conditional draft pick means that if Wentz plays 75 percent of the games this season, the Eagle’s conditional 2nd round draft pick turns into a 1st round draft pick.
Through 8 games, “The Carson Wentz Experience” has been nothing short of interesting and heart-wrenching. There have been a couple of moments of pure excitement that Wentz is the Colts quarterback, but there have also been moments that make you scratch your head in disgust at Wentz. Wentz is the poster child for being known as a “hero ball” QB. “Hero ball” is the simplest term; it is trying to do too much with the ball in your hands. It is the thought process of thinking that you as a QB have to do everything on your own to win games. Wentz is not the only QB who struggles with being a hero; It is a widespread occurrence in the NFL and other professional sports. Quarterbacks like Wentz, Trevor Lawerence, Zach Wilson, and even a young Andrew Luck have struggled with “hero ball” syndrome. It is something that plagues a quarterbacks’ decision-making throughout the game. It leads quarterbacks to make risky/bonehead choices during the game, and at the time, the quarterback believes it’s the right move.
Wentz has played better this season than in 2020, but his hero ball decision-making is still very much alive. While he shrunk his turnover amount compared to this time last season, the magnitude of his turnovers this season is what is important here. Wentz has a total of three interceptions and five fumbles lost through 8 games this season. Wentz threw two interceptions last week versus the Titans, despite not throwing an interception since week two versus the Rams.
Those lowly three interceptions have cost the Colts two wins this season; as in week two and week 8, three points decided the game. Carson trying to be a hero when he should not be is “The Carson Wentz Experience” in a nutshell. For the Colts to be successful in the rest of the season, Carson Wentz has to change his mind as a quarterback. The Colts have so much talent that it will be disheartening to know it was all wasted in the end.