With Philip Rivers’ retirement, the Indianapolis Colts went from being one of the better teams in the league to merely average. But does the trade for Carson Wentz make them contenders?
A couple of weeks ago, some rumors had the Philadelphia Eagles trading their franchise quarterback to the Chicago Bears. But they ended up being nothing more than rumors.The desire to move on from Wentz was real, though.
It was just a matter of finding the right trade partner. Enter the Indianapolis Colts.
It did not take much for the Colts to pry away the former No. 2 draft pick (2016), just a third-round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional second-round one in 2022 (that could turn into a first-rounder).
The relatively low asking price goes to show how much Philadelphia wanted to move on from him.
With that in mind, it is not hard to wonder just how excited Colts fans should be. On the one hand, had Wentz not gone down with a knee injury late in the 2017 season, he would have been the MVP. But since returning from that injury, he has not looked good at all.
However, he did play his best football when Frank Reich was his offensive coordinator with the Eagles. Maybe getting reunited with his former OC is just what he needs to get his career back on track.
Reminder: Carson Wentz broke the Eagles single-season franchise record for TD passes on a torn ACL. pic.twitter.com/1jiXkojnur
— Brenden Deeg (@BrendenDeegNFP) February 19, 2021
Is the possibility enough to warrant looking at the Colts as contenders? Looking at the odds the Colts have to win their division, the AFC, or the Super Bowl, that is a hard question to answer.
Odds of the Indianapolis Colts Winning…
With the state that half of the division is in, the Colts’ opening odds to win the AFC South were good (+130). But the defending champs, the Tennessee Titans, opened as the clear favorite at -120. Jacksonville and Houston are barely even in the picture.
No matter who the Colts start at quarterback, the AFC South would come down to either them or the Titans. But with the question mark at quarterback, the Colts were just the second-best team in the division and not contenders. However, oddsmakers are singing a different tune now:
|AFC South Winner 2021-22 Odds||PointsBet||FanDuel||William Hill|
As for their Super Bowl odds, there was a little more movement there at some books. After opening at +2500, the Colts odds are now +2000 at BetMGM. But FanDuel has them at +2600, and PointsBet has them at +2500. But the odds did not really move much for the AFC title. BetMGM’s odds went from +1200 to +1000, but Pointsbet (+1300) and FanDuel (+1400) have remained the same. They were on the outskirts of the conversation before, and, for the moment, they still are.
So, much like the AFC title, they are in the conversation for Super Bowl LVI, but just on the outskirts.
The Carson Wentz Impact (Or Lack Thereof)
Currently, the Carson Wentz trade does not seem to have much of an impact on how the Colts are perceived. Yes, the Colts’ odds inside the division improved, and they now appear to be contenders. But they had the potential to win the division last year, too.
Does that mean nothing has changed then? It all depends on what Wentz ends up bringing to the table.
Philly ➡➡➡ Indy
Some of Carson Wentz’s best career plays… so far. pic.twitter.com/hzhyEz2KSS
— NFL (@NFL) February 18, 2021
Offensively, the Colts are the perfect team for Wentz. Personnel-wise, the tools are all there. His offensive line will be one of the better ones in football. The run game could be a lot better than the one he had in Philly. While the receivers lack star power, the same was true during his time with the Eagles.
The Colts defense is going to take a lot of the pressure off Wentz to perform. But therein lies the million-dollar question—how will he perform? He is going to be surrounded by a team a lot like the one he had around him with the Eagles in 2017. Will that help him return to MVP form?
We have seen guys emerge from the doghouse after switching teams (i.e., Ryan Tannehill). Will Wentz? Maybe, maybe not. The change of scenery may not be enough for Wentz to get out of his head and remember how to play good football– but it might be.
So–does Wentz make the Colts a contender?
The possibility is there, but for now, the answer is no. We don’t know what we are going to see from Wentz. But from a betting perspective, there is a lot of value in the Colts AFC and Super Bowl odds.
For now, a lack of faith in Wentz is keeping the odds from moving much. However, when there is reason to believe Frank Reich has resurrected the 2017 version of Wentz, those odds are going to plummet.
If you are going to take them to win the AFC or Super Bowl, do it now while their odds are still high.