Los Angeles Times
4-2 with a stretch of four very winnable games coming up: That’s where the Indianapolis Colts stand after picking up their 4th win of the season and moving into first place in the AFC South after a 30-23 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday. While it wasn’t an easy win by any means the Colts looked in control for all sixty minutes and made big plays when it mattered most. And with a stretch that could see the Colts entering a rematch in Houston with the Texans at a strong 8-2, things are firing on all cylinders in Indianapolis behind head coach Frank Reich and backup turned starter Jacoby Brissett.
Has anyone been dealt a worse hand in the NFL this year than Frank Reich? The second-year head coach was hearing every possible expectation from fans and media alike for this season from the moment the clock hit zero in the playoff loss to the Chiefs, only to have all those expectations flipped completely on their head with the sudden retirement of a franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck. Little did the fans and media know at the time, but Reich had been molding his team to be ready for this adversity. The same quarterback who led the biggest comeback in college football history at the time and the largest comeback NFL history has instilled the same “never quit” attitude into his roster. Reich has let nothing phase him or his team, rallying through Luck’s sudden retirement and a plethora of early-season injuries, most notably to star linebacker Darius Leonard, to lead the Colts to the top of the AFC South.
Perhaps no one has received and benefitted from his message and philosophy than quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Much like Brissett, Reich was tasked with replacing a generational talent in a season filled with high expectations when Jim Kelly was injured in the 1992 regular season finale. Reich lead the Bills to the largest comeback in NFL history, overcoming a 32 point deficit to the Houston Oilers on their way to their third straight Super Bowl appearance in a row. Jacoby Brissett has certainly benefitted from having a coach who understands the immense pressure he is under this season. Naturally, a level headed player, Reich’s repeated public statements about how much confidence and trust he has in the young quarterback have helped further calm Brissett’s nerves. Brissett’s confidence is evident in his play. He never looks panicked, even when the play breaks down and always seems to find a way to make the smart play.
Frank Reich is the perfect coach to lead this Indianapolis Colts roster and Jacoby Brissett is the perfect quarterback to succeed Andrew Luck. Reich’s experiences overcoming adversity and handling pressure allow him to relate to his players and help instill confidence in them each and every week. No one more so than Jacoby Brissett who has been outstanding. So long as Reich and Brissett continue to fire on all cylinders, the Colts should continue to surprise fans and the media and perhaps make a run deep into the playoffs.