In 2017, Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz had an MVP caliber season. Before tearing his ACL late in that season, Wentz had the Eagles in a position to be the top seed in the NFC. Ultimately, the Eagles would make and win Super Bowl 52.
Wentz threw for 3296 yards with 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2017. Colts head coach Frank Reich was Wentz’s offensive coordinator from 2016-2017 and would take the Colts head coaching job in 2018. The sixth-year quarterback had solid seasons in Philadelphia after Reich left before it all fell apart for him in 2020, where he threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Wentz would get benched and lose his starting job to Jalen Hurts.
In the offseason, Wentz and Reich were reunited when Philadelphia traded him to the Colts, and after 11 games, Wentz is having a solid season with 18 touchdowns and only three interceptions. After starting the season 1-4, the 6-5 Colts have won three straight and five of their last six and are 1/2 game behind the Chargers for the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC.
On Friday, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, whose team will travel to Indy to battle the Colts, sees a bond between Wentz and Reich.
“It’s huge. Trust is the whole thing,” Arians said about Wentz and Reich’s relationship. “Obviously, Frank trusts Carson. He went out and got him and got [him] the contract. There is a ton of trust, and you see Carson – you can see the way he is playing that he knows somebody that trusts him is calling the plays.”
For Tampa Bay to get the win on Sunday, they must contain the NFL’s leader in rushing yards and touchdowns in Jonathan Taylor(1122 yards and 13 touchdowns). The second-year running back had 185 yards and four touchdowns in Indy’s rout of the Bills last week, but Taylor also does damage outside of the backfield as he has 32 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns, which concerns Arians.
“Big, big – he is great in the screen game, but he can go out and run routes,” Arians said about Taylor. “He had a lot of David Johnson in him when we worked him out. He could be a wide receiver if he wanted to be – he’s got the size and speed. [He is a] tremendous athlete. He is dangerous anywhere in space.”
Tampa will have to limit both Wentz and Taylor if they hope to defeat the red-hot Colts on Sunday.