Just when you think everything is going well, Carson Wentz appears.
On Sunday afternoon, there was a skewed statistic circulating. It stated that Carson Wentz, the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, was one game away from going an entire season without throwing an interception on the road. It's a fascinating statistic. And it would be significant if Carson Wentz wasn't there... Carson Wentz is a quarterback.
Carson Wentz, on the other hand, is Carson Wentz. The 28-11 loss in Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon was a perfect ten on the Wentz-ing Scale. On two consecutive plays, the quarterback threw two interceptions. He fumbled once more. One ludicrous sack after the next. Misreads. Feet that are happy. Poor choices. The whole shebang.
Indianapolis had a straightforward playoff scenario ahead of them on Sunday: win and they're in. Last week was the same. They were defeated at the time. On Sunday, they were defeated.
It doesn't get much simpler than a Week 18 visit to the dismal Jaguars, who have two victories on the season, are 31st in defensive efficiency, and have only seven turnovers on the season — half as many as the league's second-lowest total. This was a Jacksonville team that didn't care about anything other than their future contracts. It's a club led by a rookie quarterback who is still learning the ropes in a simple offence. It was a game played in front of a large audience of locals who came dressed in clown wigs to mock their owner rather than watch the game.
The Colts were completely deflated. They weren't just defeated; they were humiliated. For the second week in a row, they were thrashed in the trenches on both sides of the ball. The team's head coach and play-caller, Frank Reich, moved to a pass-first approach, abandoning the run game that had carried the team to a 6-1 midseason surge. Wentz was entrusted with the ball. Please transport us to the promised land.
The show on Sunday has been in the works for a while. Turnovers are a part of the Wentz Experience; nevertheless, he has had an unusually high number of turnovers for extended periods of time this season. ProFootballFocus, the NFL's best charting site, had Wentz's 16 "turnover worthy" throws charted as of Sunday, with more than half of those occurring on the road - and that total could be conservative. He had his eighth fumble of the season against the Jaguars, which was a career-low by his standards, but it still brought his overall amount of turnovers for the season to 14 – and his turnover-worthy plays closer to the mid-20s.