By Dylan MacKinnon
All that matters anymore in these games is that Carson Wentz stays healthy. The way the Colts handled things last week makes it much less likely the Colts would ever bench Wentz to limit his snaps under 75%. They were playing him in a game that was already over, just to have him hand it off and burn the clock. They did the same thing this week. If this was a team worried about losing their first, they would have pulled him and had the backup out there taking those garbage time snaps. My only concern now is him getting hurt, and missing enough games to cause him to fall below 75%.
And thankfully, he once again stayed healthy and played every snap. The Colts beat the 49ers, and improve to 3-4. Bad enough to be a decent pick, good enough to keep them close enough to be considered competitive. Here is the week 7 snap breakdown, and how it impacts the total snap count.
Week 7 Snap Count
Total Snap Count
Wentz could miss the next 149 snaps before he falls below 75% of the team’s snaps. 2+ games worth of snaps. If the Colts make the Playoffs, the number he needs to reach is 70%. Right now it seems unlikely they do that, but in the case that they do, Wentz can miss the next 192 snaps before he falls below that mark.
The Colts are averaging 64.6 snaps per game. At that rate, they will end up with 1,099 total snaps by season end. This means Wentz will need to play 825 snaps to reach 75%. He needs 378 more snaps. At the rate of snaps per game, he needs to play in 5.9 more games to get there.
If the Colts do make the playoffs, Wentz would need to play 770 total snaps. Meaning he needs 323 more snaps, which will take exactly 5 more games.
As for the Colts’ actual chances of making the playoffs, they are slim, but they exist. They have played a bit better lately, but their competition in the AFC South, the Titans, has played really well lately. The Titans beat the Bills last week and then crushed the Chiefs this week. They are 5-2, and their schedule is mostly easy the rest of the way. Granted this is the team that lost to the Jets earlier, but they seem to have figured things out. The Titans are multiple games up and have a win over the Colts. If the Colts can beat the Titans this week, that would change things.
As for the Wildcard, that is a very tight race that the Colts are on the outside of. I am not saying it’s impossible, but the Colts at 3-4 are longshots to be playing into January as a wildcard team. They are competing with whoever among the Ravens and Bengals doesn’t win the North, whomever among Raiders and Chargers doesn’t win the West, the Browns, the Steelers, and even though they struggled you cant count the Chiefs out.
I know some of you are concerned about Wentz being benched, but as I already said, that feels unlikely. One it will go over poorly with Wentz. Two it would be a slap in the face to his teammates because it is essentially throwing in the towel giving the state of Indy’s backups. Three, it will make the Colts look bad in the face of other team front office with them seemingly finding a way to weasel out of a deal.
And as I said up top, they seem fully committed to Wentz even when it makes no sense. So you should not have to worry about the Colts staying competitive. The Colts are decent enough to do that on their own, and even if they fall behind, they do not seem interested in messing with Wentz’s snaps.
It is fair game to root for the Colts to keep losing and to make that potential first more and more valuable. They still get to play the Jaguars twice, Texans once, and the Jets, those games alone will keep them in it enough that openly tanking with 5+ weeks left would be something they could never consider.
As for them racking up losses. Games vs the Bills, Buccaneers, Titans, Cardinals, and Raiders, will keep that loss column stacked up. It feels like the Eagles will be looking at a pick in the low to mid-teens, and maybe high single digits if lucky. It won’t be as good as the Dolphins pick (Thank you again Miami), but it may still be very good.