Playing around with some short-yardage rushing data, I see another area where I think Carson Wentz will be successful in 2021. I think he’ll be a top-10 quarterback in terms of running for touchdowns.
That’s some wildly great running quarterbacks right now, most notably Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and Josh Allen. But Wentz is also a plus player in this regard. Not so much for yards (he’s not a speedy guy who’ll take off on 20- and 30-yard runs) but he’s very effective on quarterback sneaks at the goal line.
Wentz is listed at 6-foot-5 and 237 pounds. That’s exactly the same as Josh Allen. And our looking-to-rebound quarterback is similarly effective when looking to bull the ball into the end zone for 1- and 2-yard touchdowns. Wentz isn’t quite Cam Newton (who’s been the best on these kind of plays) but he’s up in that top tier.
Over the last four years, Wentz has been successful on 40 of 46 carries when the Eagles have been looking for a tough yard (third-and-one and fourth-and-one plays, and carries at the 1-yard line).
Since 2017, 35 players have handled the ball on at least 30 of these plays. Only one of those players has been more effective than Wentz – Allen. (Only three quarterbacks among these top 35, and they’re the top three on the list in terms of success rate – it’s an effective way to attack a defense.)
|"AND ONE" RUSHING (last 4 years)|
|QB Josh Allen||35||40||87.5%|
|QB Carson Wentz||40||46||87.0%|
|QB Cam Newton||35||42||83.3%|
I expect this quarterback sneaking skill will translate to Indianapolis. The Colts have good interior blockers, with Quenton Nelson arguably the best guard in the league. And Frank Reich is a fan of using the sneak. He had an immobile older quarterback last year (Philip Rivers) but he subbed in Jacoby Brissett and Trey Burton, and they each ran for multiple touchdowns. Combined, they ran the ball 5 times when the Colts were on the 1- or 2-yard line, and they scored touchdowns on all 5 of those plays.
Since Reich took over in Indianapolis, Brissett has carried the ball 20 times when they’ve been looking to pick up 1 yard, and he’s been successful on all 20 of those carries. (In the regular season, anyway – Brissett attempted a sneak at Buffalo’s 1-yard line in the playoffs and was stuffed for no gain.) But regardless, I think Wentz can be a success goal-line runner for them, making it easier for him to finish with viable overall numbers.