Colts fire coach Frank Reich as offense continues to sputter

Frank Reich sits at a table while speaking into a microphone
Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich speaks to reporters after a loss to the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 23. The Colts fired Reich on Monday after another loss on Sunday, to New England.
(Mark Zaleski / Associated Press)

Frank Reich kept trying to fix the Indianapolis Colts’ sputtering offense.

When nothing worked, it cost him his job.

Less than one day after one of the worst offensive performances in franchise history, the Colts announced Monday they fired Reich after 4½ seasons. Team officials are expected to address the decision later Monday.

It’s the third consecutive week, Indy (3-5-1) has made a major move.

Two weeks ago, Reich benched longtime NFL veteran and 2016 league most valuable player Matt Ryan in favor of second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger.

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense struggled all game against the Rams, but when the outcome came down to the final drive, the quarterback came through as usual.

Nov. 6, 2022

Last week, Reich fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, and general manager Chris Ballard dealt running back Nyheim Hines to Buffalo.


Still, Reich continued calling the plays and team owner Jim Irsay decided to pull the plug following an ugly 26-3 loss at New England on Sunday. The Colts finished with 121 total yards and 43 net passing yards, the lowest totals by any Colts team since 1997.

They went zero for 14 on third down, just the second time on record that they failed to convert a single third down in a game. Meanwhile, they allowed nine sacks, the highest single-game total since October 2017 and only the second time they allowed that many since 1981.

But it wasn’t just one game that led to Reich’s downfall.

Cameron Dicker had been a member of the Chargers for about 96 hours before he kicked the deciding field goal in a 20-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Nov. 7, 2022

Indy has zero points on its opening possessions this season and is the league’s only team to enter the fourth quarter trailing in every game. The result is a league-low 14.1 points per game. And with three straight losses, the Colts’ playoff hopes are dwindling, too.

The growing pressure was evident on Reich’s face in recent weeks and in his shorter and quieter answers as the woes continued. Even in the locker room, where Reich was respected and well liked, players seemed uneasy with the rapid midseason changes.

Still, players continued to express trust in Reich and Ballard making the right calls.