The Indianapolis Colts fired head coach Frank Reich after a disappointing and disastrous 3-5-1 start, and they named Jeff Saturday the interim head coach.
In five seasons with the Colts, Reich went 40-33-1, and 1-2 in the playoffs.
The Colts were 3-2-1 in mid-October after correcting the ship following a 1-2-1 start, but they followed up a two-game winning streak with three consecutive losses.
The Colts were not just bad on Sunday, they were bloody awful. The Colts entered their game against the New England Patriots as the lowest scoring team in the NFL, but they scored just three points. The Colts never converted a third down in 14 attempts, and they generated only 121 yards of total offense.
Reich knew his days with the Colts were numbered but hoped he could last the entire season before they severed their relations. The move comes at a surprise because team owner Jim Irsay said that Reich and his job were safe after the dismissal of offensive coordinator Marcus Brady last week, and demotion of starting quarterback Matt Ryan.
The Colts benched Ryan the rest of the season as a cost-saving measure. They promoted backup Sam Ehlinger, who went 0-2 in his first two NFL starts and passed for only 43 yards against the Patriots.
Reich Fired After 26-3 Loss to Patriots
The Colts averaged just 14.7 points per game under Reich this season. After the Colts fired their offensive coordinator last week, Reich took over play-calling duties. He could only get three points in a 23-point loss against the Patriots.
The Colts had high expectations this season, but crumbled. The offensive line was well compensated and among the highest-paid in the league, but could not block anyone. Running back Jonathan Taylor suffered an ankle injury in Week 4 and missed the last three games. Ryan had a slow time adjusting to his new team, but as soon as he found his groove, the Colts benched him.
We’ve got the players,” Reich said last week. “I have to do a better job. It starts with me on offense. I need to do a better job getting the guys ready to play, putting guys in a good position to win and having answers when we face problems.”
Reich had a history of slow starts and strong finishes. In 2018, The Colts started 1-5 but finished the season 9-1. In 2019, the Colts were 1-4 before Reich finished strong at 8-2.
Last season, the Colts needed just one victory in their final two games to lock up a postseason berth. The Colts were 9-6 but choked and bubbled the playoffs with a 9-8 record. The Colts had been in a tailspin since their embarrassing 26-11 loss against the last-place Jacksonville Jaguars in the final game of last season.
Reich became the second head coach fired this season. The Carolina Panthers axed Matt Rhule after they started 1-4 start.
Kliff Kingsbury from the Arizona Cardinals is the next coach that could lose their job before the end of the season after a 3-6 start.
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