Stop us if you heard this before in 2021, but the Indianapolis Colts blew another double-digit lead en route to a heartbreaking loss.
The Colts were a last-second touchdown away from tying the game, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and the Horseshoe faithful was left devastated after Sunday’s defeat to the Buccaneers.
Unfortunately, fans were dealt an untimely reminder of what is most likely to happen when Carson Wentz is asked to carry the load on offense.
When the dust settled, Wentz finished 27-of-44 (61.3%) for 306 yards and three touchdowns to two interceptions, the second of which came on a failed Hail Mary on the final play of regulation.
We hate to come down on Wentz, who was largely excellent for most of the game, but the loss unveiled the fan base’s biggest fears when Indianapolis’ traded for him in the offseason.
Carson Wentz’s turnovers doomed the Colts in Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers.
It started falling apart for the former Pro Bowler with five minutes left in the third quarter. He spotted Michael Pittman in single coverage against Antoine Winfield Jr., who gives up SIX inches on the second-year receiver.
Instead of letting Pittman do what he does best (go up and bring down a jump ball), Wentz gave him no chance. Not only was the ball behind Pittman, but it was thrown to his back shoulder, allowing Winfield, albeit after a little bit of contact, to go up and do his best Ed Reed impression.
A few minutes later, Ronald Jones found the end zone from one yard out to give the Buccaneers a 28-24 lead.
We don’t hate the decision from Wentz, but if you throw a deep ball on 2nd and 3 in your opponent’s territory while you have a three-point lead, you better make sure only your receiver gets his hands on it.
Alas, the Colts squandered an opportunity to go up by two scores.
It’s unfair that it takes just one play for a quarterback’s performance to turn on its head, but such is the case in today’s NFL.
Even still, Wentz was far from perfect on the day. He lost a fumble in the second quarter that resulted in another Bucs touchdown. Yes, Eric Fisher blew his blocking assignment, but Wentz had Pittman open on a slant route before Shaq Barrett got home. Your franchise QB has to be more mindful in that situation.
Again, Wentz did more good things than bad on Sunday and he was far from the only player at fault for the loss.
However, the defeat was just the latest piece of evidence that the Colts are more likely to lose when Jonathan Taylor is either not made a focal point or struggles to make his imprint on a game.
If that’s not a cause for concern, then what is?