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Carson Wentz Will Have to Continue Recent Strong Play Against the Patriots

Carson Wentz has done some good things of late for the Colts. In a huge match-up with the Patriots, he will have to bring his A+ game.
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The Indianapolis Colts have a playoff match-up this weekend, as the number one seed New England Patriots come into town. This is as close to a must-win game as it gets, as the Colts' playoff odds can drastically swing after this week.

According to, the Colts currently have a 66% chance to make the playoffs. If they win this upcoming game, those odds jump all the way up to 86%. A loss, however, drops them to just a 47% chance.

So that, plus the fact that the Colts haven't beaten their once-rivals since 2009, makes this a huge game for the team. This won't be an easy task, though. The Patriots are playing some great football of late, and seem to be the favorites to be the top seed in the AFC.

So, as usual, this game is going to come down to how Carson Wentz can perform against a stout Patriots' defense. 

The Patriots are currently ranked as the number two pass defense in the NFL, according to DVOA. Opposing quarterbacks this season have completed just 252 passes on 430 attempts (58% completion percentage) for 2,764 yards (6.4 yards per attempt) and 15 touchdowns with 19 interceptions against the Patriots' defense this year.

Those number are simply staggering, and they truly show how dominant this Patriots' defense has been on the season. Luckily, Wentz has performed well against top pass defenses in 2021. In four games against top ten pass defenses, Wentz has completed 65 passes on 106 attempts (61% completion percentage) for 793 yards (7.4 yards per attempt) and 7 touchdowns with 2 interceptions.

So, while Wentz hasn't been elite by any means against these teams, he has a healthy yards per attempt, while keeping those interceptions to a minimum (one of those two being a hail mary late against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

The numbers looking good are one thing, but Wentz's actual play against these defenses (especially of late) has been very inspiring.

Last week against the Houston Texans (DVOA's sixth ranked pass defense) Wentz attacked the outside hashes with lethal accuracy and timing.

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He did this against the Buccaneers in the week prior as well, as he consistently converted third down passes outside the hashes.

When it came time to uncork a deep pass down the field, he hit Ashton Dulin with a dart for a long touchdown against the Bucs.

Overall, the Patriots have a stout pass defense, but Carson Wentz has played well in these match-ups thus far. I won't go as far to say that the Colts will have a ton of success throwing the ball in this game, but I do think this passing attack can find some success.

It all comes down to how Frank Reich schemes his guys open and if Carson Wentz can continue his strong play of late. If the Colts can hit on those two things, then have a real chance at knocking off the AFC number one seed this Saturday.

Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.

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