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The Mechanics of Carson Wentz: Week 13 vs Houston Texans

The Mechanics of Carson Wentz series is back for the regular season, as I am going to dive into every game one by one to break down how Wentz looked mechanically. How did he perform against the Texans? (Video via Indianapolis Colts YouTube)

The Indianapolis Colts were able to cruise to an easy victory this past Sunday, beating the Houston Texans 31-0 on the road. This was an weak match-up for the team, as the Texans are simply spiraling at the moment.

Quarterback Carson Wentz had a strong game in limited action. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown in the win.

With Wentz having another solid game, I dove back into the film to see how his mechanics held up in the against the Texans.

If you are interested in reading back on the offseason series, click this link here.

Throw of the Day (Featuring a Familiar Face)

If you remember last week's throw of the game, I highlighted the 62-yard touchdown pass to Ashton Dulin against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, Dulin returns on another gorgeous Wentz throw.

This throw is completely different from last week's, as it is a short redzone touchdown pass. The other aspect of this throw is that Wentz isn't making this play with sound mechanics. He is throwing off of his backfoot, and he is not aligned to his target at all.

However, mechanics are only important if the pass loses accuracy and velocity as a result. If the throw is on time and in the right spot, who cares about mechanics on the play? This is a perfectly placed ball in the back of the endzone and an outstanding catch by Dulin to get his feet down for the score.

Playing Smart + Good Footwork

This next throw was one that the announcers highlighted during the game as being a situation where Wentz could have taken the more aggressive shot down the field. After studying it on film, I somewhat disagree with that assessment.

Does Wentz have a window to hit the crosser to Zach Pascal? Yes, but it would either have had to be a quick, back-shoulder fastball or one lobbed over the top of the corner getting depth on the outside. Either way, I don't like the chances of that ball getting completed.

Instead, Wentz comes off his first read when he sees the outside corner gaining depth, and adjusts his feet to Michael Pittman Jr on the underneath route. The result is a good gain on the correct decision by Wentz.

Attacking Inside Leverage

I highlighted a few throws that Wentz made last week where he attacked the leverage of defenders when they were covering tight end Jack Doyle. Wentz excelled in that area a week ago, and the Colts were able to sustain drives off of third down conversions.

He continued this high level of play in this game, although he didn't get the conversion on this clip below. The Colts are facing a third and intermediate here, and the Texans are lined up in man across the board. Wentz sees that he has a good opportunity to attack the linebacker over the middle on the play.

He throws the ball with the linebacker's back turned to him, and he puts the pass in place where only Kylen Granson can get. Unfortunately, the rookie tight end is unable to bring the pass down in traffic. Great throw that is a conversion nine times out of ten.

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Attacking Outside Leverage

This is where Wentz was truly lethal in this game. The Colts attack the hashes more than any other team in the league, and a big reason for this is the arm of Carson Wentz.

He did a phenomenal job with his timing, accuracy, and velocity on these throws. This first throw to T.Y Hilton is a thing of beauty. He begins to throw the ball before Hilton is out of his break, because he can see that the defender is being out-leveraged on the route.

As soon as Hilton comes out of his break, the ball is on the money for the first down.

Similar play in this clip as well. Wentz sees Pittman Jr winning on his route and throws a great pass, with anticipation, to the sideline for a good gain. When Wentz is right with his timing, these routes are too easy for him to hit. This ability adds so much stress to a defensive scheme.

RPO Mechanics

I talked about it a lot last week so I won't harp on it too much here, but I've been very impressed with Wentz's mechanics off of RPO passes of late. He was a bit lazy with his footwork earlier in the season, but he seems to be in a perfect groove at the moment.

This is a good, quick set out of the RPO to hit Pittman Jr over the middle for a decent gain.

Final Thoughts

While this outing didn't require him to do as much, I believe Carson Wentz carried over his strong play from last week into this one. He was on time and in rhythm with most of his throws, and made some things happen when the play broke down in front of him.

Next up is his toughest match-up of the year against a tough New England defense. That secondary is going to be tough to beat, but with the way Wentz is playing of late, I have confidence that he can be effective in this upcoming game.


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