According to NFL.com’s Adam Schein, new Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz is considered a ‘dark horse’ 2021 NFL MVP Candidate—coming in at the 4th spot overall among potential offseason sleepers:
4. Carson Wentz
Indianapolis Colts · QB
You don’t have to guess how Wentz will perform under Frank Reich. We saw it when the pair worked together in Philadelphia. Before ripping up his knee in 2017 — the quarterback’s last season with Reich as his offensive coordinator — Wentz was well on his way to receiving my AP vote for MVP. And people seem to forget the yeoman’s work Wentz did on his own in 2019, when he carried an injury-depleted roster to the playoffs, going 4-0 down the stretch against division rivals.
Now, Wentz was arguably the worst quarterback in the NFL last season, bottoming out with the rest of the Eagles during a disastrous 4-11-1 campaign in the dismal NFC East. But the new year brought a new home for the 28-year-old quarterback. Welcome to Indy, where you get Reich on the headset, Jonathan Taylor in the backfield and a top-10 unit on defense. Oh, and T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman out wide, a duo that has to look pretty enticing to Wentz, given some of the receivers he played with during his final years in Philly.
Get ready for a Wentz renaissance, with the Colts taking the AFC South for the first time since 2014.
Now before I get wrongfully accused of wearing ‘Horseshoe Blue’ tinted colored glasses, just remember that this is a national journalist, Schein, writing this—not me.
Don’t shoot the messenger.
This has already been analyzed ad nauseam, but Wentz was brutal last season—throwing 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions during 12 starts before being benched late down the stretch in favor of rookie backup quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The hope is that by being reunited with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was Wentz’ former offensive coordinator in Philadelphia during 2017 that he can regain his prior MVP caliber form that special season.
During that breakout All-Pro campaign, under Reich’s offensive mentorship, Wentz threw for 33 touchdowns to 7 interceptions for the then 11-2 Philadelphia Eagles—before suffering a season-ending torn ACL (and things then went awry).
Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to fully recover that same shine from his once incredibly bright star in his three NFL seasons since.
That being said, as Schein notes, by being re-connected with Reich—who as a former NFL quarterback himself may truly know what makes Wentz tick better than almost anyone, leaning on a powerful running game featuring Jonathan Taylor, throwing to some solid receivers, and playing under center behind one of the league’s best offensive lines (while being backed by a strong defense), Wentz should be set up relatively well for revitalized success.
If it doesn’t happen in Indianapolis during 2021, it simply not happen again for the former 2016 2nd overall pick and 2017 NFL Second-Team All-Pro—who still only 28 years old, was once considered one of the league’s top young quarterbacks.
Because that’s about as good as it’s going to get for a quarterback to thrive, aside from throwing to the likes of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark of course.
However, there’s definite reason for real optimism in Indy regarding Wentz because by being surrounded by a solid all-around supporting act (something that in Philly was recently lacking), he could re-cast his MVP self again.