The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

January 7, 2014

Eye on the Opponent: Brady continues to beat back Father Time

ANDERSON — It likely comes as no surprise a young quarterback of Andrew Luck's caliber would take an interest in Tom Brady's Hall of Fame-bound career.

But it's a little more unexpected to learn the reverse is also true.

The three-time Super Bowl champion and California native began following Luck's career at Stanford and has continued to keep track of him in Indianapolis.

"So I've always been a fan of his," Brady said Tuesday during a media conference call at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. "He's really come into the NFL and done everything you could ask for out of a young quarterback."

The mutual admiration society will hold just its second meeting on the football field Saturday when Brady's New England Patriots (12-4) host the Colts (12-5) in an AFC divisional playoff game.

It'll be the fourth postseason meeting overall between the franchises, with Brady and the Patriots posting a 2-1 record in the previous three. Of course, each of those contests came with Peyton Manning under center for Indianapolis.

Brady and Manning etched their rivalry into the fabric of league history, and the New England star said he was fortunate to take part in it. But it's clear he also harbors a healthy respect for Manning's replacement.

"(Luck's) obviously off to a great start in his career," Brady said. "His team really thrives on his leadership. He's a great player and a great young quarterback. He obviously has all the ability. Our defense has got to be up for the challenge. There's no lead that's too safe against the Colts, as was evidenced last week against K.C."

Luck's star has been soaring in the wake of a 28-point comeback in the second half to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game last weekend. The precocious quarterback overcame three interceptions and threw for 443 yards — the second-highest playoff total in franchise history and fifth-highest postseason total overall — and four touchdowns to help record what has become a signature victory.

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