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How Scott Turner can help Wentz in crunch time.

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There's real optimism brewing in D.C. around the QB position for the first time in a long time. That doesn't mean that there aren't real concerns . The last image of Wentz in most people's mind is of him two-handedly throwing away the Colts playoff chances.


Per indystar.com, Carson Wentz is 17-25 in games decided by 8 or less points. Of true starters, only Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston have a worse record since 2016.


How can Scott Turner help this issue? To find the answer let's look at Scott Turner's history in these moments as he helped Taylor Heinicke, a turnover prone QB with limited arm talent, lead 4 Game winning drives/4Q comebacks last season.


Let's start with Week 2 vs NYG.


Scenario: Down 2 with 2:00 minutes left and 1 timeout from the 25 yard line.


Solution: Safe short passes in the middle of the field and let the playmakers extend the play.


Play sequence:

1st and 10 - from the 25 : 2 yard pass to mckissic


2nd and 8 from the 27: incomplete


3rd and 8 from the 27: 3yd throw turned into a 7yd gain by Mckissic



4th and 1 from the 34 yd line : Pistol hand off to Mckissic. 1st down


1st and 10 from the 38: 9 yd throw to Logan Thomas


1st and 10 : Mckissic Wheel route (throw 9 yards in air) incomplete


2nd and 10: 5 Yard slant to Dyami Brown



3rd and 5 : 4yd out to Humprhires turned into an 8yd gain


1st and 10: 5yd slant to McLaurin (into field goal range)


FIeld Goal: Win!


Outcome: In this game against NYG turner used a series of very safe throws to limit the QBs risk exposure while trusting his playmakers to advance the ball beyond the catch point. The Giants helped this greatly by not taking away any of the underneath throws. They evidently believed Washington would go for chunk plays but Scott Turner kept his wits about him and took what the defense gave him without introducing a great deal of risk. Henicke threw a pick on the prior drive so risk management was key.


Now let's look at Week 4 vs ATL


Scenario: Down 2 under 2:00 minutes left. Ball on the 24 yard line.


1st and 10 from the 24 yard line : Mclaurin 6yd in route (incomplete)


2 and 10 - 24 yds over the middle to carter


1st and 10: 12yd throw to McLaurin (dropped)


2nd and 10: 12 yards over the middle to Humphries



1st and 10 : WR screen to Mckissic 4 yards



2 and 6: Handoff to mckissic 1 yard loss


3rd and 7 : 0 yard throw turned into a 30 yd TD


Outcome: Scott Turner was much more aggressive in his late game play calling vs the Falcons, especially early in the final drive. He targeted chunk plays early gaining 36 yards on the first two completions. He got conservative with throws once they were in a respectable distance of field goal range.


The Falcon's secondary was not necessarily comprised of pro bowlers but they are NFL level talent even if Scott Turner made them look otherwise. Atlanta sat in a zone defense trying to keep the throws short and in front of them while forcing Washington to chew clock. However they left gaping holes in the defense at the second level.


The final play was a great play by our offense but highlighted how undisciplined Atlantas defense was.


Turner clearly saw something on film or realized during the game that being aggressive vs Atlanta was the way to beat them on the last drive.


For as much criticism as we level at Turner he has shown that he can game plan in the clutch to the specific abilities of his QB while still taking advantage of what the defense is doing.


Turner generally makes use of safe throws where the receiver is showing their numbers to the QB which reduces risk on the throws. If there are throws where the receiver is in motion for the reception the ball is frequently caught near the sideline away from defenders.


Truth be told, the best remedy for Carson's late game struggles is to keep the team out of situations that require a game winning drive but that's not always possible.


Bottom line, Turner has shown the chops to put Wentz in a position to succeed in scenarios where he has traditionally struggled. As we all know, past performance is not a guarantee of future success but it is evidence that success is possible.


Hail!

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