3 Colts takeaways from Carson Wentz’s debut vs. Seahawks
The Indianapolis Colts got their first look at new starting quarterback Carson Wentz on Sunday in their 28-16 loss at home against the Seattle Seahawks. While it was disappointing to end the game in a loss, there were plenty of positives to take away from the game. There were also quite a few things that obviously need to be improved upon moving forward.
Wentz put together a solid all-around performance in his first start as the Colts’ quarterback. He completed 25 of his 38 pass attempts for 251 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. In addition to his passing numbers, he also picked up 23 yards on the ground.
Those numbers show why the Colts should be encouraged by what they saw from Wentz. After struggling with some injury issues this offseason, Wentz was unable to get much practice time in with his new teammates. Being able to play so well with very little practice time is a major positive.
Unfortunately for the Colts, their defense was unable to slow down Seahawks’ superstar quarterback Russell Wilson. He shredded the Indianapolis defense to the tune of 254 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Matt Eberflus and company need to right the ship defensively if this team wants to end up being a championship contender at the end of the season.
Despite the loss, Carson Wentz showed the Colts exactly what they were hoping to see. He is already looking like a huge upgrade over Philip Rivers from last season. Let’s take a look at three major takeaways from Wentz’s debut for the Colts against Seattle.
Carson Wentz Debut Takeaways
3. The Colts’ Offensive Line Needs To Improve
Quite possibly the biggest takeaway on the offensive side of the football was the fact that the Colts’ offensive line needs a lot of work. Over the past few years, Indianapolis has had one of the top offensive line units in the entire NFL. That was not the case in Week 1 against the Seahawks.
Wentz was consistently getting hit and was sacked three times. The running game could not get going either. If the Colts want to play to their full potential and be a contender in the AFC, the line must get better.
Led by superstar tackle Quenton Nelson, this team has the potential to be an elite offensive line. That didn’t show in Week 1, but hopefully things will improve by Week 2 when the Colts take on the Los Angeles Rams.
2. Indianapolis Needs T.Y. Hilton To Get Healthy
Next up, the Colts were badly missing veteran star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. After they were able to retain him in free agency, Hilton ended up getting injured. He is expected to miss some time, but will not miss the entire season.
On Sunday, the offense sputtered a bit at times. That was due in large part to Wentz not having any major playmaking weapons at the wide receiver position. They were led by two running backs in receiving, with Jonathan Taylor catching six passes for 60 yards and Nyheim Hines racking up six catches for 48 yards.
Zach Pascal was the only truly productive wide receiver with four receptions for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Pittman Jr. has received a ton of hype this year, but only caught three passes for 29 yards and rookie wideout Michael Strachan caught two passes for 26 yards. Needless to say, the Colts need Hilton to get healthy and back on the field.
1. Carson Wentz Is Exactly What The Colts Needed
Finally, we have to talk more about Wentz and the performance he was able to give the Colts. Even though the team dropped to 0-1 with the loss, they should be very optimistic. They finally have a quarterback who can power the offense.
Last season, fans got very frustrated throughout the season with Philip Rivers. The veteran quarterback couldn’t get the ball down the field, made too many key mistakes, and never seemed to have control of the offense. In his debut with Indianapolis, Wentz checked all of those boxes.
Even with the enormous amount of pressure he was facing, Wentz made quick decisions, showed off a cannon of an arm, and truly had control of the offense. If his protection improves, his numbers should rise even more. Wentz is exactly the kind of quarterback the Colts need to take the next step and become a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Only time will tell whether or not those goals can become a reality, but Chris Ballard and company got the trade for Wentz right. Assuming he stays healthy, Wentz is in line for a big-time year and will make the Colts a dangerous team in the AFC.