Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is heading back to the place where he led one of the most unlikely turnarounds in NFL history. Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 when head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. The Colts then called on Arians to lead the team while Pagano received treatment. He made the most of it.
Under his wing, the Colts won nine games and earned a playoff berth. The team finished 11-5 on the year and capped the biggest season-to-season turnaround the NFL has ever seen. The previous year the Colts were a dismal 2-14 following the injury to then-quarterback Peyton Manning.
Arians won a couple Coach of the Year awards following the 2012 season. That was also something the NFL had never seen; no interim head coach had ever taken Coach of the Year honors.
In the end, the success in Indianapolis snowballed into a full-time head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals. Currently in his fifth season as head coach, Arians has a record of 41-23 in Arizona and a 1-0 record against the Colts. The Cardinals beat Indianapolis at University of Phoenix Stadium during Arians' first year with the Cardinals. Sunday's game will be the first time Arians has coached at Lucas Oil Field since leaving Colts.
Kickoff Sunday is set for 10:00 am MT.