Carson Wentz is the Indianapolis Colts’ new quarterback, but the move can’t become official until March 17. In the meantime, CNHI Sports Indiana thought it might be beneficial to take a look back at Wentz’s recent past to see if there are any clues for his future. The fifth season of Amazon Prime’s “All or Nothing” series chronicled the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles. This eight-part series will recap those eight episodes with an eye on nuggets of interest to Indy.
EPISODE IV: BEAT DALLAS
Head coach Doug Pederson is unhappy after the Philadelphia Eagles fail to live up to the directive that serves as this episode’s title. The NFC East lead is on the line when the Birds arrive in Texas, and the rabid fan base back home is expecting Philly’s championship pedigree to rise to the surface.
Instead, the Eagles fumble on their first two possessions and fall behind 14-0 just over six minutes into the first quarter. Every phase of the game shares blame in the 37-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and Pederson wants to ensure his guys aren’t running from the consequences.
He doesn’t raise his voice, but the anger is palpable. Or maybe, more so, the disappointment. Addressing the team in the postgame locker room, he tells them to look in the mirror and own the performance they just put on the field.
Carson Wentz is as much at fault as anyone after going 16-of-26 for 191 yards with one touchdown and one interception while losing a pair of fumbles. There’s been a lot made in recent weeks about the quarterback’s willingness to be held accountable for his mistakes.
This series obviously can’t speak to the disastrous 2020 season, but it’s clear Wentz understands his role as a locker-room leader in the wake of the blowout in Dallas a year earlier.
“We didn’t show up,” Wentz tells the media from the postgame podium. “They beat the crap out of us, and we’ve gotta be better. We’ve gotta stop digging ourselves these holes, and obviously when you lose the way we did tonight – the turnovers – that can’t happen. I’ve gotta do better than that. I’ve got to protect the ball, and I’ve gotta be better at leading this team for sure.”
Accountability is a major theme of this episode.
The media and the fan base are in a frenzy when the Eagles return home. A team with Super Bowl aspirations is 3-4, and it’s no longer enough to blame injuries and early season rust.
Veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick is a surprise cut following the loss to the Cowboys, and he starts a bonfire during a television interview. He says the locker room as a whole is resting too much on its Super Bowl glory from two years prior and leaders need to step up and change the situation.
After initially declining to name names, he agrees with the hosts that safety Malcolm Jenkins is part of the problem. The defensive captain fires back during an impassioned response with media the next day in the locker room, and the whole incident appears to light a fire under the team.
The Eagles head to Buffalo to complete a grueling three-game road trip with a purpose, and the resulting performance is ripped straight from a Frank Reich fever dream.
Philadelphia rushes for 218 yards and three touchdowns, including a 13-yard scramble by Wentz that ends with a head-first dive and keeps one second-half drive alive. The quarterback is 17-of-24 for 172 yards and one touchdown through the air as the Eagles’ roll to a 31-13 victory.
It’s a similar showing to Indianapolis’ first road victory under Reich in 2018, when Andrew Luck was 21-of-31 for 179 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 21-9 win against Washington. Linebacker Darius Leonard opened a lot of eyes with 19 tackles that day, and a young defense began to hint at its potential.
These kind of complementary outings by Wentz would be welcome in Indy this fall. The Colts pride themselves on winning in various ways and not relying on any one player – or unit – to carry the load each week.
But the quarterback’s postgame comments to his teammates are just as important. It was a rough week in Philadelphia, with the team being assaulted from several outside sources, and he wants to make sure the Eagles appreciate the moment.
“That’s the way to go to work, disregard everything everyone wants to say,” Wentz says in a locker-room huddle. “All the negativity – everyone on the field, we put that behind us. And now we’re just rolling. Remember how this feels, and let’s go back to work and go do it again next week.”