The Indianapolis Colts now sit at 0-2 after a narrow loss to the Los Angeles Rams. While the Colts looked much better in week two than they did in week one, there are still plenty of issues with this team at the moment.
Quarterback Carson Wentz, at least, was not one of those issues. He finished the day completing 20 of 31 passes for 247 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also finished with three carries for 27 yards in the loss.
With Wentz continuing his steady play, I dove back into the film to see how his mechanics held up against the ferocious Rams' pass rush.
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Sequencing and Alignment Improving
The Colts' gameplan in the passing game was quite simple in this one; quick, underneath zone-beaters to spread out the Rams' defense. Wentz operated well in this system when he was actually given time to throw.
With the Colts using heavy one-read pass plays, Wentz was able to get into a rhythm with his sequencing and alignment. Most of his passes were to hitch routes in between zones, so his process was typically one-step, two-step, then throw.
This first clip shows what I'm talking about well. Wentz was mostly operating in two-step drops out of shotgun in this game. This allowed him to quickly read the defense, align to his first option, then fire. On this play, he gets to the top of his drop, aligns his body to tight end Jack Doyle, and throws a perfectly placed ball with good velocity.
Wentz was able to get into a good groove with these passes. Repetition often can lead to improvement, and the consistent drops and reads helped Wentz find a comfort zone early.
The constant drops (two-step, set, then throw) allowed him to make throws like this, where he had to drive it into a tight window, much easier. He has his feet set to his target and is able to drive forward to add the needed velocity to fit the pass in between two defenders for the first down.
On top of these positives, I have been happy with his overall sequencing on most throws this year. He had a tendency to swing his front foot wide in 2020, but that problem appears to be a thing of the past in 2021.
This downfield throw to Michael Pittman Jr is a great example of his improved sequencing. He is able to get comfortable in his set after the play-action up the middle. He quickly snaps his head to the outside, and his body follows to align the throw. I paused the video as he begins to release the pass, but it is easy to see the proper sequence of events in this pass.
He keeps his front-half closed (which is enhanced by his left hand being kept high and tight) and he rotates through his hips to complete the pass. My only issue would be that he steps with his front-foot before his hips pull through the pass. He didn't need the extra velocity on this throw, but that's a minor detail to clean up going forward.
Overall, huge steps forward considering where he was last year with these two areas.
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Improved Pocket Movement
Wentz was under duress for a majority of the afternoon on Sunday. The Colts' offensive line simply couldn't hold up against the pass rush of Aaron Donald and the Rams.