The Reich Moves Have Colts on Verge of Playoffs
By Julie Voigt and Russell S. Baxter (VIBE)
Special to Pro Football Guru
From playing college football at the University of Maryland. To becoming the backup quarterback for the Buffalo Bills and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. From playing 14 NFL seasons to entering the seminary and becoming a pastor and motivational speaker.
These days, current Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich is pushing all the right buttons for one of the hottest teams in the league. Slow to anger while being described as polite, mild mannered and patient, Reich seems to be making an impact on this team.
Working alongside Colts’ general manager Chris Ballard and with a Super Bowl ring via the current champion Philadelphia Eagles in his possession, he’s teamed with the organization and quarterback Andrew Luck and is looking to make this team into a contender for years to come.
But what about this season. Reich’s army and his NFL head coaching career began with a 1-5 record. There was speculation that Luck was not the same after season-ending shoulder surgery in 2017. But lo and behold, the Colts are 8-1 in their last nine games. A revamped offensive line began protecting its quarterback and the fortunes of this team began to change.
Which brings us to the final regular-season game for the 2018 NFL campaign. The Colts and Tennessee Titans clash at Nashville with a postseason spot on the line. Six weeks ago at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis rolled to a 38-10 win.
This is a team that is much improved on both sides of the football. That’s a tribute to Reich and underrated defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ new defense. A year after giving up the third-most total yards in the NFL, Indianapolis is ranked 11th in the league in total defense and only seven clubs have allowed fewer yards on the ground.
It’s not far-fetched to think that the Eagles are missing their former offensive coordinator. And while the Colts were shunned by Josh McDaniels before hiring their current head coach, it’s safe to say that Ballard and the organization got it “Reich.”
Of course, Reich made his name as a college and pro quarterback and is claim to fame in each instance you could call in a comeback. In 1984, the Maryland Terrapins trialed Miami, Fla, at halftime, 31-0. The resourceful signal-caller threw six touchdown passes after intermission and led his club to a 42-40 win.
Eight years later in the 1992 AFC Wild Card Playoffs, the Buffalo Bills trailed the then-Houston Oilers, 35-3, in the third quarter. Reich spearheaded the biggest comeback in NFL regular season or postseason history as Marv Levy’s club came all the way back for a 41-38 overtime win.
As has been mentioned, the Colts are trying to rebound from a 1-5 start to reach the playoffs. And Reich may be on verge of another comeback, this time against the Titans – the franchise formerly known as the Houston Oilers.
Julie Voigt (JulieNoted_PFG) and Russell S. Baxter (@BaxFootballGuru) are the co-founders of @pfgVIBE. Julie is also the Colts’ reporter for OurTurf Football while Russell writes for FanSided and NFL Spin Zone.