Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich reportedly cringes when he hears quarterback Carson Wentz being described as “broken,” but as the man tasked with piecing Humpty Dumpty back together again, Reich needs to be acutely aware of what has happened to his once-MVP caliber quarterback since he left town.
Obviously, Wentz completely imploded in 2020. His overall PFF grade plummeted to 65.0, and he earned a 60.0 passing grade in a season where offenses thrived through the air. That passing grade ranked 35th out of 42 passers. The then-rookie provided a flash of life to the Eagles' offense last season simply by not being Wentz.
I think it’s entirely fair to say that 2020 does not represent what Wentz is and can be at the NFL level, and Reich should know better than most what that level is. It’s also extremely encouraging that it was a look through Wentz’s tape from 2019 — not 2017 — that convinced Reich he can still be a high-level starter.
Though Wentz's 2017 season was the year that had people putting him in the MVP conversation, and therefore theoretically represents his NFL ceiling, it was a year built on statistically volatile areas of play and likely exists as a false benchmark of how good he can realistically be. The North Dakota State product's 2018 and 2019 campaigns are a much more realistic representation of what he really is as a starting quarterback, which is the key to the team-building strategy in Indianapolis from the moment they committed to Wentz through trading for him.