In 2017, the Colts decided to move on from Chuck Pagano. They tried a one year honeymoon period with Pagano and new GM Chris Ballard, and it didn’t work. So they got rid of Pagano and let Ballard hire his own guy for the 2018 season and beyond.
Only that hire didn’t go as planned. Ballard selected offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to be the next head coach. But McDaniels decided at the 11th hour to back out, and left the Colts without a head coach late in the hiring cycle. It was a complete nightmare for the franchise.
Irsay was as staggered as Ballard was. But he gave Ballard a vote of confidence to go out and find a guy who did want to be in Indy for the long haul. Ballard did, and he eventually found Frank Reich. Reich looks like the right hire after having a stellar rookie season.
This moment led to Ballard telling everyone that “the rivalry is back on”. While the Colts weren’t able to beat the Patriots in 2018, the team has confidence that they can do so moving forward. It also helped juice up the Indy fanbase to renew that rivalry.
This wasn’t the finest moment in Colts history, but they were able to make the best of it. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make the best of this next moment.