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Reich best/worst decisions: Week 18 @Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Here we are going to judge Reich based on the worst decision he could ever make, and one that could potentially end his tenure with the Colts (probably not this season, but perhaps the very next): Pushing for the Colts to trade for Carson Wentz. Wentz started off the season playing really well, and while he did make his mistakes, he looked like a more than decent quarterback and a guy that you most definitely are comfortable paying a first-round pick for. The cracks in the Wentz foundation started to show in the latter half of the season, where his play dropped off tremendously, just when the Colts needed him the most. I will be judging Reich based on how well Wentz played because Frank actually convinced Chris Ballard to pull the trigger for him. Reich knew the risks associated with Wentz, as he knew the quarterback better than anyone, having previously coached him in Philly. It is safe to say the move clearly has not panned out.

After the first 9 games of the season, I really thought that the Colts had managed to completely fleece the Eagles. Paying just a 3rd and a future 1st round pick for a starting quarterback with the numbers Wentz was putting up is unheard of. At that point, Carson had 18 touchdowns to only 6 turnovers, while posting a healthy 8.01 AY/A at a 63.3% completion rate. Since that time, it all went downhill. Over the next 8 games, Carson had 10 touchdowns and 6 turnovers, averaging a mediocre 6.41 AY/A, while completing only 61.1% of his passes. One would have expected Carson to get better with practice and as he got more accustomed to his new teammates, but that just did not happen.

Not only did his numbers drop off, but he just did not pass the eye test. Take for example the long touchdown pass he got credit for against the Raiders, that should have been an interception, and keep in mind it also happened on first down. I can live with an interception on 3rd down, or even 2nd down, but 1st down interceptions are my biggest indicator that a quarterback is just not good. An interception on 1st down is clearly not the same as an interception facing 3rd and long.

As the Colts prepare to watch the playoffs from the couch, two weeks after having a 98% chance of getting in, Reich has to be asking himself all kinds of questions. There were certainly other flaws with this team, lack of a true pass rusher, lack of weapons at receiver and tight end, one of the worst left tackles in the NFL (and the absolute worst left tackle starting for him when he was injured), but all those could have been overcome if the Colts had even an average quarterback. I still have some hope that Carson can turn things around with a proper training camp and pre-season, but after seeing him the last couple of months, I am not that sure anymore.