In 2021, Carson Wentz led the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-8 record, going 6-3 in the team’s last nine regular-season games. He threw for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
On paper, it was a great season for Wentz. But one performance still follows him and the organization: a Week 18 collapse in Jacksonville to a Jaguars team that had won just two games on the season to that point.
The loss prompted Colts owner Jim Irsay to later state that the team’s trade for Wentz was a ‘mistake’ and that it became ‘very obvious’ the team needed to move on from the QB after missing the postseason.
Now, Washington’s quarterback has had a chance to respond to the comments made by Irsay.
“I mean, it is what it is, you know. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” Wentz said on the Colin Cowherd Podcast. “I thought last year was a really fun year. I thought we did some incredible things, came up short at the end. Obviously I struggled down the stretch there and timing was poor. But yeah, I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect things to unfold the way they did and I thought things were in a pretty good place there.”
Week 18 was not Wentz’s brightest moment. It wasn’t a statistically horrible stat line—17-of-29 for 185 yards, one touchdown and one interception—but his Colts’ offense was only able to muster 11 points on the league’s worst team. He was sacked six times on the day, double the previous high on the season.
Two months later, Wentz was shipped to the nation’s capital where he’ll be QB1 for the Commanders come Week 1, and has repeatedly shared his excitement to get started in Burgundy & Gold.
While it may stink hearing those comments from your former owner, Wentz previously took responsibility for his part in the Colts' late-season collapse, and when asked by Cowherd about Irsay’s remarks, he chuckled and responded lightheartedly.
“I had awesome relationships with every single person in that building. Can’t say enough good things about the people over there,” Wentz said. “Yeah, it kinda came out of left field, you know? He’s entitled to his own opinion and he’s entitled to do what he wants with his football team.”
Wentz will now try to put his Colts days—and specifically the one game that got away—behind him as he begins a new chapter in Washington.
“Yeah, I mean, honestly it was just a real tough ending,” Wentz said. “It kinda came out of left field. You kinda just try not to think too much of it. Rumors and reports are a big part of this business, so you never know what’s true and what’s not. You try to not stress about it too much, but yeah, it was a very unfortunate ending to the season.”
Many pundits, including Troy Aikman, have predicted that 2022 will be Wentz’s last opportunity to prove he’s worthy of a starting job in the NFL. In Washington Wentz will arguably have the best supporting cast of his career. What he does with those tools, we’ll just have to wait and see.
“That’s what’s crazy about the league, as you just said: anybody can beat anybody any time you step out on that field.”