Chris Ballard: Watching Carson Wentz’s confidence grow has been good to see

While the Colts are currently 4-5, they’re still firmly in the mix for a playoff spot.

Quarterback Carson Wentz has made his share of baffling plays in his first season with the Colts. But he has rebounded from an ugly 2020 with the Eagles to complete 63 percent of his passes for 2,198 yards with 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Last year, Wentz finished tied for the league lead at 15 picks, despite playing only 12 games.

In an interview with the team website on Monday, General Manager Chris Ballard discussed what Indianapolis has seen from the quarterback through the first nine games.

“We’re encouraged,” Ballard said, via JJ Stankevitz of the Colts’ website. “Coming in to — no matter what, even with Carson and Frank [Reich’s] relationship and past history, we knew there was going to be an acclimation period where he needed to get comfortable with what we were doing offensively even though he had run a lot of it, there still were some new things that we do here that I know he didn’t do in Philadelphia. And also watching him each and every week, watching his confidence grow and watching the entire offense’s confidence grow has been good to see, especially starting to get some more continuity along the O-line, being able to protect him better, all those things have led to him being able to play good football.”

While the Colts are currently 12th in the AFC, that could easily change. Nine teams currently ahead of Indianapolis in the conference are 5-3 or 5-4.

“At 4-5 we’re not where we want to be but what I would tell you is we’re getting better,” Ballard said. “Unequivocally we’re getting better, and that’s been fun to watch. We didn’t play good football the first three weeks of the season for whatever reason. But since that point, starting with Miami, each and every week we’ve got better.

“We’ve still not put together what I would say all three phases clicking yet, so that’s good news, but we’re encouraged. I’m very encouraged by where we’re going, the improvement we’re making in every phase. We definitely got things we need to work on and get better at but we like the direction we’re heading.”

After their mini-bye following Thursday’s win over the Jets, the Colts will host the Jaguars on Sunday.