As the 2022 NFL season inches closer, NBC Sports Washington's Pete Hailey and Ethan Cadeaux take a look at a handful of betting props surrounding the Washington Commanders. Next up: will Carson Wentz go over/under his passing yards prop?
The Bet: Will Carson Wentz throw over/under 3,599.5 passing yards? (OVER 3,599.5 yards, -115 | UNDER 3,599.5 yards, -115, odds via PointsBet USA)
Right away, this number for the Commanders new quarterback feels quite low. Last year in Indianapolis, he finished with 3,563 yards (which is basically the total that's being set for him in 2022) while sharing a huddle with the NFL's leading rusher in Jonathan Taylor.
Taylor, just so you're aware, didn't come along with Wentz to Washington.
Aside from that, Wentz's supporting cast on the outside, in the slot and at tight end looks much more capable than what he worked with in Indy.
While Michael Pittman Jr. exceeded 1,000 yards, the next-leading receiver for the Colts was Zach Pascal at 384. Terry McLaurin is poised to outperform Pittman Jr., while guys like Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel (hopefully), Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic and Logan Thomas are all good bets to do far more than Pascal.
So, why is PointsBet tempting us with such a juicy prop? WHAT DO THEY KNOW THAT WE DON'T?
Of course, a significant injury would tank Wentz's chances of getting there. A long-term benching would, too. Injuries are impossible to predict, but in terms of him having to hold a clipboard, I just don't see it for a couple of reasons.
One, though I'm not very keen on Wentz's potential with the Commanders, I don't envision him playing so poorly for so long that Ron Rivera has to sideline him. Two, Wentz is backed up by Taylor Heinicke (whose ceiling is already known) and Sam Howell (who's a rookie but not a major investment that the staff will be dying to get on the field).
All of this is to say that I'm leaning pretty confidently to the over for Wentz's 2022 passing yards. I'm not going to use the term "hammer" or "pound" because I am a bit on edge about why it's so low, but as long as he doesn't get hurt, I believe he'll surpass it.
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I'm going to echo Pete here and agree that Carson Wentz's passing yards prop feels extremely low, especially when considering signal-callers like Tua Tagovailoa, Jameis Winston and Trevor Lawrence all have a higher over/under.
To me, it feels as if those who made Wentz's passing yards line are reading too much into what happened last season when the QB was in an entirely different situation with the Colts.
In 2021, Wentz averaged just 30.1 pass attempts per game, by far the lowest mark of his career. A large part of that can be attributed to having the NFL's rushing champion in the backfield. But, as Pete said, Jonathan Taylor didn't come to Washington, too.
Wentz was simply not asked to do a lot in Frank Reich's offense. And, towards the end of the season, it almost felt as if the Colts were trying to hide Wentz, even after he had turned in a more-than-solid season to date. Still, Wentz threw for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.
In Washington, there will be no hiding Wentz, as Scott Turner and Co. plan to give him the keys to the offense. Since acquiring Wentz, Washington extended Terry McLaurin and drafted Jahan Dotson in the first round. Those two, along with Curtis Samuel and a trio of talented running backs, should give Wentz arguably the most talented skill group he's had in his NFL career.
Barring a major injury, Wentz is expected to be Washington's starter throughout the season. He's a significant upgrade over 2021 starter Taylor Heinicke, while rookie Sam Howell has plenty of developing to do. It's Wentz's job to run with.
Washington has set up Wentz to succeed. Now, it's up to him to do so. Even if he doesn't 'wow' in his first year with the Commanders, he should be able to top the 3,599.5 yards mark rather easily, as long as he stays healthy.
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.