Colts: Jacob Eason seems doomed unless offensive line wakes up
By Jerry Trotta
For any Indianapolis Colts fans who think Carson Wentz has been the problem over the first two games, you have simply lost the plot.
That isn’t to say Wentz has been perfect. His shovel pass interception in the red zone against the Rams was one of the lowlights of the Week 2 slate, though there was a clear miscommunication between him and intended target Jack Doyle.
The bottom line is that Wentz has shown flashes of the superstar he was for the Eagles as recently as the 2019 season.
The only problem? The 28-year-old’s being protected at a worse rate than he was last year in Philadelphia, when he was sacked more than any other quarterback (50 times) despite playing in just 12 games.
The Colts’ inability to protect Wentz thus far saw him suffer two ankle sprains in Sunday’s loss to the Rams. His status for Week 3 against the Titans is very much up in the air and he could potentially miss multiple games.
If Wentz misses real time, Jacob Eason will be handed the keys to the offense. While Eason impressed in camp and the preseason, he’s unfortunately doomed if Indy’s offense line doesn’t get things figured out.
Colts QB Jacob Eason stands no chance if the OL doesn’t wake up.
Let’s frame it like this, Colts fans. Wentz is one of the most athletically-gifted quarterbacks in the NFL as far as his ability to elude pass rushers and throw on the run, and he’s had to pull off miracles just to complete a pass.
That bodes terribly for Eason, who has next to zero mobility and can seemingly only flourish in a clean pocket. It was his greatest knock coming out of college two years ago and he hasn’t made any strides in that department. Hard to fault him for that, though. Some QBs just aren’t blessed with elite mobility.
Of course, that normally wouldn’t be an issue for Eason. The Colts offensive line has been as dominant as they come over the last three years. However, they’ve been performing like one of the worst in the league thus far through two games, allowing the sixth-highest pressure rate, six sacks and 21 QB hits.
“Garbage” hits the nail right on the head, folks.
Per Zak Keefer of The Athletic, Indy allowed three sacks in a game just twice over 16 games last campaign. It was part of the reason Philip Rivers was so successful. This year, though, they’ve already done it twice in as many weeks.
While some of their struggles can be attributed to injuries and a lack of continuity, Quenton Nelson is the only OL that’s met the mark thus far. Braden Smith, Ryan Kelly and Mark Glowinski, who are on the books for a combined $21.6 million this year, have been major disappointments in the first two games (and Smith was out for Week 2).
The schedule is tough, but we believe Eason has the arm talent to lead the Colts to wins in if Wentz misses a chunk of games. However, he’s in for a rude awakening if the offensive line doesn’t get it together.