By Dylan MacKinnon
With every week, the concerns that Carson Wentz would ever be benched to keep him under 75% of the snaps get sillier and sillier. For the third time now, the Colts have left Wentz in the game with a big lead to hand the ball off. The Colts built up a massive lead. And while the Jets scored a few late TDs, the Colts always had the game in hand. But Wentz continued to get the snaps. He even took one snap where he just kneeled the ball.
As I have said multiple times now, that’s not what a team desperate to keep the pick does. Colts were and still are willing to give up a first-round pick for Carson Wentz. They are fully committed to him. Unless he gets hurt, he will continue to be the Colts’ QB. Especially now that the Colts are 4-5, and very much in the wild card race during a down year for the AFC. And especially because Wentz has for the most part played well.
Here are the latest numbers for Carson Wentz’s snap count.
Week 9 Snaps
Wentz Snaps- 62
Team Snaps- 62
Wentz Snaps- 597
Team Snaps- 602
Wentz would have to miss the next 199 snaps to fall below the 75% mark. That is a more than 3 game cushion. He would have to miss 256 snaps to fall below 70%. Which is a 4 game cushion.
The Colts now average 66.9 snaps a game. That puts them on track to play a total of 1,137.3 snaps. Wentz needs to reach about 853 snaps to have played 75% of the Colts’ total snaps. This means he is 256 snaps away from a theoretical point of no return. He is on track to reach that amount after 3.8 more games.
An interesting wrinkle is that the 70% mark might be relevant now. Colts are 4-5, and still on the outside of the playoffs. But they have played much better lately, granted not vs the best competition. After starting 0-3, they are 4-2 in the last 6 weeks. The wins came over the lowly Dolphins, lowly Texans, lowly Jets, and the mediocre 49ers. But they have more bad teams on the horizon. The losses came against the Ravens and Titans.
They are 2.5 games behind the Titans, with two losses to them as well. But with Derrick Henry likely out for the year, it’s not impossible to close that gap. It would depend on what the Titans look like without their star RB. I doubt they pull that off though. The Wildcard is where they can be competitive though. It’s possible they could be 1 game out of a Wildcard spot after week 9.
A playoff run still fails unlikely, but in the event, they do make it, Wentz would need 200 more snaps to reach 70%. He is on track to reach that in around 3 games.
But as it stands, that would not be the ideal situation for the Eagles. Wentz is very likely to reach 75% of the snaps. So while a playoff run would certainly seal that deal, it would also mean a much worse pick. It is far more preferable if the Colts start losing more games, making that pick as good as possible.
With Colt’s improved play and easy schedule, it feels unlikely to be a top 10 pick. They have two games vs the Jaguars and another game vs the Texans. But they also have games vs the Bills, Bucs, Raiders, and Cardinals. The win, for now, puts them at pick 14, though that will likely change after the rest of the 3-5, and 4-4 teams play their game this week. But it seems like 15 is a reasonable expectation for where the pick will end up.
The good news is you should no longer have to root for them to win to keep themselves in contention. Wentz is not going to be benched. The only thing standing between the Eagles and the Colts first-round pick, is an injury. Even a Covid Case likely would not ruin their chances. Covid would make him miss one, maybe two games, and he has more than a two-game cushion.