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Will Wentz Lead Eagles Back To Form Against Colts?

September 21, 2018

Carson Wentz will return to action for the first time for the Philadelphia Eagles since tearing his ACL last December in his team’s clash against the Indianapolis Colts on the road.

Wentz missed the Eagles’ run to the Super Bowl as Nick Foles took charge after his injury, leading the club to their first Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The 25-year-old has been in recovery over the off-season and was deemed not fit enough to start the campaign. Foles was underwhelming in the opener, failing to reproduce his form from the Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots. As a result, Wentz has been pressed back into action.

Although Philadelphia edged their way past the Atlanta Falcons, they were hammered on the road by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their defense was exposed by Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl has reared its head once again as Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown strikes to guide the Bucs to the victory.

The Colts are in position to make life difficult for the Eagles. Frank Reich served as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator in their run to the Super Bowl, and has already settled into a decent rhythm with Andrew Luck in Indianapolis.

They were able to pull off a strong performance on the road to defeat the Washington Redskins last time out after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals on the opening day. Reich and his team could make a statement by defeating the reigning champions on the road.

Wentz's return will boost the Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles were brought back down to earth following their opening-day win by the ferocity of the Buccaneers’ passing attack. Fitzpatrick was able to dissect their secondary with ease, while Foles was unable to keep pace, despite producing a 334-yard passing performance. Wentz should provide an immediate upgrade at quarterback, handing the Eagles one of the best players in the NFL at the position. The 25-year-old was well on his way to being considered MVP of the league in the 2017 season before his injury.

Wentz threw for 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions through 13 matches, breaking the club record for passing strikes in the regular season. He has the ability to transform the offense to get the Eagles firing once again. Wentz’s dual threat, throwing and running the ball, poses different problems for opposing defenses. His injury may limit the option of rushing out of the backfield, but he remains one of the best passers of the ball in the NFL. Wentz will be desperate to pick up from where he left off.

The unit has been struggling as Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement have had middling success in the running game, scoring touchdowns, although they’ve not been able to churn up yards on the ground. Philadelphia’s receiving corps has been solid, but has lacked an explosive element, which Wentz could bring out of his trusted targets.

The defense has no excuse for their performance against the Buccaneers. Jim Schwartz’s unit was exposed with ease by Fitzpatrick, who connected with his targets downfield with ease. The front four has to provide pressure to ease the burden on the secondary. Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham have to rise to the occasion to dominate the Colts’ offensive line otherwise Luck has the talent to cut open the secondary as Fitzpatrick did before him.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts produced a fine performance on the road last season to defeat the Redskins. Reich’s men produced complementary football to secure their first victory of the campaign. Luck’s return has been huge for the club, providing quality play from the quarterback position. He missed the entire 2017 season due to a shoulder injury. Fortunately for the Colts, Luck has suffered not lingering effects of the problem, completing a high percentage of his passes in the opening two weeks. The 28-year-old has been solid if not spectacular, throwing for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Redskins, although he also committed two interceptions.

Luck is still learning Reich’s system and feeling his way back into form after a year out of the game. He is not blessed with a great deal of weapons outside of TY Hilton so naturally he will have ups and downs. Protection will be the name of the game from the Colts. Their offensive line has to keep the pressure off their quarterback, allowing him time to find his targets downfield. If Indianapolis are allowed to remain in the contest, Luck can drive them to an unlikely victory on the road.

Darius Leonard enjoyed a breakout game in the linebacking corps against Washington. He notched 19 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. Leonard was selected in the second round of the 2018 Draft and has already highlighted his importance to the Colts’ defense. The 21-year-old could be the player that Indianapolis can build their defense around. Margus Hunt, Jabaal Sheard and Kenny Moore have had solid starts to the term, but must maintain their form as there is not a great deal of talent on the defense outside. Dan Eberflus has made a strong first impression as defensive coordinator, but the Eagles will test his unit.

Betting Options

The Eagles will be reinvigorated with the return of Wentz to their line-up. He has the superstar calibre to lead the club back towards the playoffs, helping their overcome their mediocre start to the campaign. Wentz can expose the Colts’ defense with his throws downfield, possessing a more accurate arm than Foles. He should be able to put enough points on the board to outduel Luck to secure Philadelphia’s second win of the campaign at odds of -275  with TopBet.

However, the Colts will keep it a close game so take them at +4.5 on the spread at odds of 6/5  with 888Sport. The over/under line has been set at 47 points for the contest. Given the quality of the quarterbacks take the over at -110  with BetOnline. Nelson Agholor found his form with Wentz last season and he has already enjoyed a strong start to the new term.

Back him to find the endzone anytime at odds of 27/20 . For the Colts take the Eric Ebron to notch a strike for the third game on the bounce at 2/1  with 888Sport. Luck will need to be at his best at Lincoln Financial Field, take him to throw over 1.5 touchdowns at 17/20  with 888Sport, although take Wentz to throw more strikes in the contest at 19/20 .

Tips Summary

Philadelphia Eagles To Beat Indianapolis Colts
Sunday 23rd September 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: -275

Take Indianapolis Colts +4.5 Spread
Sunday 23rd September 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: 6/5

Over 47 Total Points To Be Scored
Sunday 23rd September 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: -110

Nelson Agholor To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 23rd September 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: 27/20

Eric Ebron To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 23rd September 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: 2/1

Andrew Luck To Throw Over 1.5 Touchdowns
Sunday 23rd September 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: 17/20

Carson Wentz To Throw Most Touchdowns In Game
Sunday 23rd September 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: 19/20

  • Andrew Luck
  • Carson Wentz
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • NFL
  • Philadelphia Eagles

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.