Interim Indianapolis Colts head coach Jeff Saturday declared he is gunning for the permanent role after getting a taste of coaching at the highest level.

Saturday made headlines when he was hired to take over following the firing of Frank Reich, having never been a head coach at any level previously.

After a stirring win during his first week in charge, the Colts went on to lose the next seven in a row to close the season, including a Week 18 failure against the Houston Texans, who came into the contest with the worst record in the league.

When speaking to reporters on Monday, he pushed back on the notion that the Colts' 1-7 record under his watch was an accurate representation of his ability to lead a successful team.

"When you say 'eight-game audition', it was an eight-game audition with half an offensive staff [and] boundaries," he said. 

"It's an eight-game audition with the hand you're dealt, right? How do you deal with that? Hopefully, I've shown my leadership.

"I wish we were better than 1-7. Everybody in that locker room and everybody here, it makes all our jobs a lot easier if you win, right? Unfortunately, that hasn't happened. I'm not dissuaded by that."

He said if he were to land the role for next season, he would take the franchise in "a different direction and a different vision that I'm carrying through – one that's my own that I can implement and move forward with".

When asked how far away he believes the Colts are from being a good football team, he said "Not nearly as far as y'all think".

"I've seen some articles here recently, so I can assure you [there have been] a lot of shots fired," he said. "I don't think we're nearly as far as you guys believe we are."

ESPN is reporting Colts owner Jim Irsay called Saturday "an outstanding candidate", while defensive leader Shaquille Leonard said he felt Saturday did "a phenomenal job" and earned the respect of the locker room.

The Colts have reportedly requested to interview Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn as well as their offensive coordinator Ben Johnson for the head coaching role, along with Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.

Nick Foles will start for the Indianapolis Colts against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday as Matt Ryan is benched for a second time this season.

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Ryan led the Colts through the first seven games, but was demoted after the 19-10 defeat to the Tennessee Titans in October with the team 3-3-1.

Sam Ehlinger started in his place but lost both games before Ryan was given the nod for the 25-20 road victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 10, the first game under new head coach Jeff Saturday after Frank Reich was fired.

Indianapolis have gone 0-4 since that win though, including a stunning 39-36 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday having led 33-0 at half-time.

The second-half collapse was the biggest in NFL history, with the Vikings scoring 29 unanswered points from 36-7 down to send the game to overtime, before Greg Joseph kicked a field goal to condemn the Colts to a dramatic loss.

That is likely to be Ryan's final game of the season and potentially his time in Indianapolis is over,

Foles won Super Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles, toppling Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl MVP-winning performance.

He has played for the Colts' AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars since then as well as the Chicago Bears, and gets another chance to start at the age of 33.

With Indianapolis 4-9-1 and likely to be officially ruled out of playoff contention this weekend, Saturday believes the change at quarterback is necessary.

"It's never an easy decision," Saturday told reporters. "[I] think the world of Matt, he’s a pro’s pro.

"It's not been the season he expected, nor the Colts as a whole.

"[I] just didn't feel we made enough plays offensively. This is not all on Matt.

"Ultimately I feel like Nick will give us a better chance to go win these last three games."

Amid all the furore around his appointment as interim head coach, Jeff Saturday may have been the coolest man in the building as he guided the Indianapolis Colts to a 25-20 road win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

In his first game as a head coach above the high school level, Saturday tasted a victory that will have gone some way to silencing his critics.

Saturday's lack of experience made the former Pro Bowl center unlikely candidate, with others among the Colts coaching staff seen as having more valid claims, but owner Jim Irsay had little hesitation in turning to the 47-year-old to replace the fired Frank Reich. 

Despite all the controversy surrounding him, Saturday remained cool, calm and collected.

"In all honesty and in all truth, I felt very at peace," he said, before diverting all the praise to his players.

"I told the guys just all three phases was an incredible team effort. These guys have been through it.

"I told the staff, the coaches, the players, [about] the fortitude that they presented and the way they played. They laid it all out there and I just could not be more appreciative of those guys and the way they played.

"Everybody from offense, defense and, obviously, on special teams, these guys, they rallied and it's a special moment for all of those guys and I tipped my hat to all of them. It's just an honour to be a part of it."

"I just kept telling them, man, just keep pushing through and I said it's going to come down to the last play. It always does in the NFL. And who goes hardest, the longest ultimately wins.

"We made a couple plays there at the end that were spectacular."

In a surprising move, Saturday opted to return the starting quarterback role to veteran Matt Ryan, pivoting away from second-year youngster Sam Ehlinger.

Ryan was serviceable, completing 21 of 28 passes for 222 yards and no turnovers, but they relied on their running game to get the job done.

"I wanted to talk to the staff on Friday afternoon, but I knew what I was going to do," Saturday said of his call to bring Ryan back in. 

"I knew everybody was with it and I felt like Matt gave us the best chance to win. I had the conversation with Sam, who was a true pro, and I have so much respect for that young man and the way that he's conducting himself and the type of team-mate he is."

Green Bay Packers rookie Christian Watson was the star of the show in his side's 31-28 comeback win in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

With no career receiving touchdowns coming into the contest, the second-round draft pick got one on the board in the first quarter, reeling in a deep ball for a 58-yard touchdown in response to CeeDee Lamb's opening score.

A 12-yard rush from Aaron Jones would give the Packers a lead, before Dalton Schultz tied things up with the fourth touchdown of the first frame.

Second-quarter scores to Cowboys running back Tony Pollard and a second for Lamb gave their side a 28-14 lead at halftime, but Dallas would not score the rest of the way.

Watson brought it back to a one-possession game with his second touchdown to begin the fourth quarter, and he struck again with 2:29 remaining in regulation to tie the game and force overtime.

After the Cowboys failed to convert a fourth down in the extra period, the Packers marched downfield and set-up a game-winning 28-yard field goal for Mason Crosby.

With Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers desperate for a new go-to option, Watson was targeting on eight of his 20 passes for a whopping 40 per cent target share. For reference, Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams leads the league with a 31.7 per cent target share entering Week 10.

Watson caught four of his eight targets for 107 yards and three touchdowns, while to all other receivers Rodgers completed 10 passes for 117 yards and no scores.

Saturday gets his first Sunday win

In his first game as a head coach above the high school level, Indianapolis Colts legend Jeff Saturday led his team to a 25-20 road win against the Las Vegas Raiders.

In a surprising move that was not announced pre-game, interim coach Saturday opted to return the starting quarterback role to veteran Matt Ryan, pivoting away from second-year youngster Sam Ehlinger.

Ryan was serviceable, completing 21 of 28 passes for 222 yards and no turnovers, but they relied on their running game to get the job done.

Star running back Jonathan Taylor was the Colts' workhorse, carrying 22 times for 147 yards and two scores, highlighted by a 66-yard touchdown run to take the lead in the third quarter.

Jeff Saturday has never coached above the high school level, and the new Indianapolis Colts head coach is trusting assistant quarterback coach Parks Frazier to be his offensive playcaller.

First reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Frazier, 30, has never performed the role of playcaller before at any level, rising through the ranks with the Colts after playing quarterback at Murray State University.

He graduated with a degree in computer science and is considered one of the leaders among the staff in the areas of technology in data.

It continues a meteoric rise for Frazier, who was former head coach Frank Reich's assistant in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, before being promoted to quality control coach in 2020, and promoted again to assistant quarterback coach in 2021. Reich was also the officiant at Frazier's wedding.

Head coach Saturday reportedly spent Monday interviewing members of the staff for the role of offensive playcaller, and after considering quarterback coach Scott Milanovich, opted to instead appoint Milanovich's assistant.

Another factor that was said to play into the decision was that Frazier has worked closely with young quarterback Sam Ehlinger since he was drafted last year, and with Ehlinger set to start the remainder of the season, their chemistry was viewed as a plus.

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