So they meet again, Andrew Luck and Tom Brady. It’s the same as last time, only different, without all the rookie-vs.-legend shadows.
That was November of 2012, this is January of 2014.
That was theater, this is survival.
Brady threw three touchdown passes and won that day. Luck threw three interceptions and lost. None of which matters now.
Brady was the icon with three rings. Luck was a remarkably accomplished young quarterback, but not yet with a centerpiece moment on the big playoff stage.
Now he has one. He seems older now, surer, on an even faster track to somewhere special.
It took Peyton Manning six years to win a playoff game for the Indianapolis Colts. It took Luck two. There are a good many famous quarterbacks who never, ever experienced a moment like Luck just did.
“One for the ages,” Chuck Pagano called it. He said that twice, and no wonder.
Andrew Luck’s team has become indefatigable, unrelenting, for the moment seemingly unkillable. You’d think the Colts were Auburn.
What’s next? There is no logical reason to believe Brady and his mates won’t protect their home turf this week.
But then again, we’re talking about the Colts.
Since when is logic on the table?
Miracle makers are an especially dangerous opponent. They are true believers, supremely confident that no hard truth or cold fact or long odd can stop them. Somebody Up There likes them, and they have the fairy tale to prove it.
A few presumptions in Roger Goodell’s kingdom:
The New Orleans Saints can’t beat good teams outdoors.
There’s never any problem selling Packers tickets in Green Bay.
Nobody gets away with four turnovers in a playoff game.
All disproven, especially the last one Saturday in Lucas Oil Stadium.