With just five games left in the 2021 regular season, the Indianapolis Colts and head coach Frank Reich are searching for the one elusive aspect of football that seemingly all 31 other teams still are on the hunt for: consistency.
After dropping a tough 38-31 decision to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 12, the Colts find themselves at 6-6 on the season with key matchups against the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, and Las Vegas Raiders still on the docket.
Time is running short on the Colts to make their move into the AFC Wild Card playoff picture, but a chance still remains. Knowing that, the Colts and Reich are focusing on one day at a time, doing the ordinary things in an extraordinary way while searching for consistency.
That's the message Reich preached Wednesday during his media availability, according to video via Colts. com.
"Just continuing that trend that November, December, you play your best football. A little bit of what I just said. I talked to Coach (Tony) Dungy yesterday, just kind of a check in. I usually check in with him once or twice a year just to kind of hear some perspective. He just reminded me, ‘Do the ordinary things in an extraordinary way,’ that kind of talk," Reich said. "But just do it consistently – coaches, players, just keep doing it consistently, keep preparing. We know we’ve played really good football this year and have failed to close out three games that we should have. Our perspective is if we keep getting better – listen, we acknowledged it today, the margin of error in these last five games is slim. It’s a slim margin of error.
"What do you do about that? You prepare, you focus and you just keep getting better and build the momentum so that we’re playing our best football in December and going into January. Just do what it takes to get in and feel like we have the kind of team that can go somewhere.”
The good news for Reich and the Colts is that they're playing some of their best football of the season as star running back Jonathan Taylor is making a case for NFL MVP, Carson Wentz is coming off of his best game of the season, and the team is starting to at least get relatively healthy as just four players appear on the injury report this week.
Granted, Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson — both listed as questionable — are on the injury report, but overall this feels like the healthiest this team has been all season.
Indianapolis gets a crack at the woeful Houston Texans in Week 13 before a Week 14 bye week, and then get a chance to close the season in strong fashion making a push for the playoffs.
If the Colts can continue to play consistent football and do the little things in an extraordinary way, things should work out in their favor on the scoreboard and in the record column.
Have thoughts on Frank Reich's mindset for the Colts down the stretch? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel!