October 2, 2023

Wentz, Colts come up small in shocking loss to miss playoffs


AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

Carson Wentz’s sixth NFL season has concluded the same way as his first five, without a win in the postseason.

When Chris Boswell kicked an overtime field goal to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a 16-13 win over the Ravens Sunday in Baltimore, it officially eliminated the Indianapolis Colts from playoff contention and meant Wentz will go into his seventh NFL season without playing a postseason game from beginning to end.

Earlier Sunday, the Colts — 14 ½-point favorites — lost unthinkably to the worst team in football, the 2-14 Jaguars in Jacksonville. A win would have clinched a playoff berth for the Colts, and even with a loss they could have locked up a postseason berth if the Ravens beat the Steelers, the Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots and the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Los Angeles Chargers.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

With so much at stake, Wentz came up incredibly small, turning in the kind of performance that’s become all too common for him in recent years. His fumble early in the third quarter led to a Jaguars field goal and his interception later in the quarter set up a Jacksonville touchdown.

According to Stathead, this was the first time the Colts lost as a favorite of 14 ½ or more points since 1968, when they were 18-point favorites over Joe Namath and the New York Jets in Super Bowl III at the Orange Bowl but lost 16-7.

Although Wentz boosted his stats with a meaningless touchdown drive in the final minutes, through 52 minutes against the NFL’s worst-ranked defense he was 9-for-20 for 100 yards with no TDs, an INT, and a lost fumble and was sacked six times.

So the Eagles with 23-year-old Jalen Hurts and his $1.5 million average annual salary are in the playoffs, and the Colts, with 29-year-old Wentz and his $32 million average annual salary, are not.

Say what you will about general manager Howie Roseman, the Eagles robbed the Colts in this deal, ridding themselves of Wentz and gaining a 1st-round pick that at worst will be No. 18 in the 2022 draft this spring as well as a 3rd-round pick in this past draft that indirectly became Milton Williams.

The Colts have now lost seven straight games in Jacksonville. Since 2015, the Jaguars are 7-0 at home vs. the Colts and 26-80 in all other games.

Wentz is the first quarterback in NFL history drafted with a top-10 pick to start at least 80 games in his first six seasons but not start and finish a playoff game during that span.

Good for the Birds!

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