Colts: 2 Carson Wentz throws and botched pick ruined Indy’s momentum
By Adam Weinrib
Throughout most of the first quarter of Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts–Tennessee Titans showdown, Carson Wentz had the defense on the ropes and a hobbled Jeffery Simmons to attack with his run game.
After two fourth-down conversions led to a Michael Pittman Jr. touchdown catch, a Kenny Moore pick and sprint back towards the red zone swiftly resulted in a second MPJ TD.
The offense was coming up big when needed. Jonathan Taylor was running hard from the opening snap, thanks to an excellent scheme that got him open for a big, rumbling swing pass on the game’s first play. The defense was swarming, handing Ryan Tannehill’s ball right back to Wentz with a chance to go up 21-0 early on.
Unfortunately, things went awry twice on the crucial drive that followed, working to undo everything Wentz had built while making the second half of this contest more nerve-wracking than it needed to be.
Sadly, ESPN’s Tedy Bruschi predicted the exact way the first half unfolded on the pregame show.
These 2 Carson Wentz throws threw off the Indianapolis Colts’ first half vs the Titans.
As we prepare for a strenuous second half of the most important game of the season (that already feels like it’s slipping away), we have to make note that, with 3:54 left in the first quarter, the Colts were up 14-0 and driving, starting a new set of downs at the Tennessee 47-yard line. After several key conversions, we were already thinking about what down and distance Frank Reich would have to encounter to actually get him to kick without Rodrigo Blankenship.
And then … well … on 3rd & 3, Wentz had TY Hilton deep in the end zone with a step on the defense, but he floated it too far and the ball came to a rest on the turf. On 4th & 3? Wentz seemed to have Michael Pittman Jr. yet again in a seam, but the ball wound up sailing well beyond the area where he was situated.
Not only did he miss Pittman Jr., but he didn’t even target the correct zip code.
And so, just about a minute after we’d been considering various ways to wrap this one up in the first half, the momentum had flipped entirely. Shocking no one, the Titans went on to punch the ball into the end zone via a backup tight end snag on the very next drive, tipping the scales in their direction.
Then, while attempting to do so again, we got the coup de grace on the tale of two quarters we’d just witnessed. Given one more miraculous chance to change everything, Tyquan Lewis intercepted Tannehill … but tripped up on the return, suffered a knee injury, and lost the ball to Titans tight end Anthony Firkser.
The very next play, Tannehill hit AJ Brown for a Xavier Rhodes tackle-breaking touchdown. Sadly, Lewis seems to be in danger of missing significant time, too.
If you’ve been left with a positive feeling from this horrific sequence, we hate to break it to you. You’re wrong.