Needing a fast start coming out of the half after disastrous first half on the road in Jacksonville, Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Carson Wentz did what he couldn't do in a big spot: make a boneheaded play resulting in a crucial turnover.
Facing a 1st and 10 from the Colts' 38 yard line just three plays into the second half, Wentz quickly found himself under pressure from Jaguars' linebacker Damien Wilson. Instead of just taking the sack and trying to live to fight another down, Wentz tried to make a play to get rid of the football and avoid the sack.
Instead, Wilson punched the football out, allowing Jaguars' defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton to recover the fumble, leading to a Jacksonville field goal and a 16-3 lead, all but sealing the loss for the Colts and ending their season in Duval.
Later in the second half Wentz threw an interception to Wilson on a deep shot intended for tight end Mo Alie-Cox sealing the Colts' fate in arguably the worst loss in franchise history. For good measure, Wentz recorded a 4.4 QBR, which is one of the lowest ever in franchise history and one of the worst in the NFL in the last decade.
Following the loss, Wentz struggled to find the words and struggled to pinpoint where it all went wrong for him and the Colts on the day.
"It's hard to put your finger on it right now. You know, I think, like I said, the next couple of days we'll be able to a little bit more," Wentz said to reporters Sunday, according to video via Colts.com. "But, yeah, sluggish. You know, not — not the dynamic, explosive offense that we always thought we were. You know, got to give our hats off to the opposing defenses every time. I've got to protect the ball. I've got to do a better job. So there's a lot that could be said and a lot of things to kind of digest right now. But, yeah, it's a frustrating kind of crappy feeling right now."
Wentz was noticeably shook following the loss and really looked like all the wind had been taken out of his sails. As the press conference dragged on, it appeared to hit Wentz just how poor his performance was and what it cost his new team, which was looking like a Super Bowl contender until awful losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and the Jaguars to end the 2021 season.
"It's a bad feeling, completely bad feeling knowing that, you know, we were in control, being in control of our destiny last two weeks and, I mean, we just couldn't get it done," Wentz said. "It's definitely left a bad taste in my mouth and a lot of guys' mouth. [It is] not where we want to be and not what we expected either. You know, we expected to finish stronger than we did. And we didn't get it done. It's a bad, bad, bad feeling.
"It sucks, honestly, you know, walking off kind of in disbelief," Wentz added. "It's hard to fully reflect on everything right now. It all happened so fast. But just even thinking back just to where we came from, [we] dug ourselves out of a hole. You know, we were in control of our destiny. And then the last two weeks just didn't get it done. It hurts right now. A lot of reflection to come over the next handful of days, unfortunately. But, yeah, it's not a good feeling right now."
That bad feeling should last all offseason and should motivate the veteran quarterback, assuming he remains in Indianapolis moving forward. While the entire team wasn't up for the moment on Sunday in Jacksonville, it was frustrating to see Wentz revert to his old ways with some boneheaded plays and crucial turnovers.
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