Will Carson Wentz magically transform into the 2017 version of himself now that he’s been reunited with his former Philly offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, in Indianapolis? Colts fans had better hope so if the team is to have any prayer of replicating last season’s 11-5 record.
PointsBet has the Colts as 2.5-point underdogs in Sunday’s opener against the Seattle Seahawks, who went 12-4 in 2020 before losing their first playoff game to a Rams team quarterbacked by Wentz’s fellow flagging 2016 draft mate, Jared Goff, who was shipped to Detroit this past offseason. Seattle responded by hiring the Rams’ passing game coordinator, Shane Waldron, to be its offensive coordinator — a move that should placate a recently pissy Russell Wilson, who made it clear in the offseason that he wants to “cook” more.
As long as the Seahawks are winning, longtime Seattle sports-media personality Jim Moore thinks coach Pete Carroll will let Waldron and Wilson take to the air. But will Carroll do like he did last season and revert to his favored ground-heavy attack should things go awry?
“I just wonder how it’s gonna be with Pete Carroll once push comes to shove,” said Moore. “He’s turning 70 this month and he’s not gonna change his ways. He wants to give it to [running back] Chris Carson and that’s always been his thing. I don’t know how that’s gonna go over with Wilson at this phase of his career.”
But with weapons like Wilson, Carson, and stud wideouts DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Moore added that “the offense could be gangbusters” and he likes the over on Wilson’s passing yardage versus the Colts (350-plus at +180), theorizing that Wilson is “really gonna like this new offense.”
It’s the Seahawks’ defense that worries Moore — and should give hope to Indiana sportsbook customers interested in backing the Colts.
Adams may be poor fit behind shaky cornerbacks
The Seahawks made Jamal Adams the NFL’s highest-paid safety in mid-August. But Adams missed four games to injury last season and is more adept at pass rushing than pass coverage. Sacks are great and all, but Moore wonders whether Adams’ linebacker-ish tendencies are a great fit on a team with such a shaky cornerback situation.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) August 17, 2021
“The thing I wonder about, with a couple new cornerbacks out there, is Jamal Adams,” said Moore. “He’s an unconventional player and he plays all over the place, but do you really want him getting 9.5 sacks this year? [Former Seahawks defensive lineman] Cliff Avril once told me that you never want a member of the secondary leading the team in sacks. If anyone charted how much he rushed the quarterback and didn’t get to the quarterback, what happened on those plays? Defensively, they look to be a little above average at best.”
Moore is equally bearish on the Colts’ quarterback situation. A ringer for Prince Harry, Wentz hasn’t been the same player since his 2017 campaign in Philadelphia was cruelly cut short before the team’s magical Super Bowl run with backup Nick Foles taking snaps.
“The games I’ve seen him play against the Seahawks, he looks like an average quarterback now, although he’s got Frank Reich back,” said Moore. “Maybe that will get the best out of him, but I think from what we’ve seen from Wentz, it looks like downhill from here. I think their best chance is to give the ball to [Jonathan] Taylor as much as they can and hopefully that will create some opportunities for Wentz downfield.
Furthermore, the defiantly unvaccinated Wentz landed himself on the Colts COVID list during the offseason. The stakes are higher now that the regular season is upon us, and should Wentz — returning from a preseason foot injury — wind up inactive again, the Colts will be forced to turn the keys to the offense over to the relatively untested Jacob Eason.
“I’ve had my doubts about Jacob Eason. I wasn’t impressed with him at Washington,” said Moore, an alum of the Huskies’ cross-state rival, Washington State University. “There was a lot of hype around him. I just don’t think he lived up to it. I can see why the Colts liked him — big arm, big size. But if I was a Seahawks fan, I’d be licking my chops thinking about getting a shot at Jacob Eason.”
‘Take the under all day long’
Assuming Wentz is good to go, Moore actually likes the Colts on the moneyline at +135, and would “take the under all day long.” (PointsBet had the o/u at 49.5 on Thursday afternoon.)
“A lot of national people are not that high on the Seahawks, and usually those people are more accurate than I am,” said Moore, engaging in a typical bout of self-deprecation before heading out for a round of golf — and maybe a subsequent trip to the newly opened Snoqualmie Sportsbook.
Photo: Robert Scheer/IndyStar