Sunday’s matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots was not expected to be as lopsided an affair as it was, but the Patriots came out on top by a score of 59-24. The most notable difference in the game was the performance of the two quarterbacks. New England’s 13-year veteran Tom Brady went 24-35 for 331 yards and 3 TDs, thoroughly outplaying the Colts’ sensational rookie Andrew Luck, who was 27-50 for 334 yards, with 2 TDs, 3 INTs, and a fumble lost.
Although New England’s secondary is hardly one of the best in the league, the Colts were encouraged by how Luck played in his first trip to Gillette Stadium. Interim coach Bruce Arians was encouraged by Luck’s performance in the game, and according to Mike Garofalo of USA Today, he also threw around a favorable comparison looking back on the rookie’s performance.
“It was a lot better than the first day Peyton Manning came up here,” interim head coach Bruce Arians said, referring to Manning’s three-interception performance in his first road game against the Patriots. “I was here that day.”
Arians was also integral in the development of Manning as the Colts’ previous franchise quarterback, coaching Manning in his first three years from 1998 to 2000.
As for the rookie Luck, it was without a doubt the worst game of his season to date. Two of his interceptions were returned for Patriots touchdowns, and his fumble resulted in a 24-yard drive for another touchdown. Luck would not let those decisions get the worst of him though, as he sounded confident that he would learn and move on from his mistakes soon after this game.
“I think they were the right reads. Just some high balls, a ball behind a guy,” Luck said, the last part of that statement a reference to his throw behind Reggie Wayne that Dennard picked off. “(The Patriots) are good enough. They don’t need those gifts, per se. But to their credit, they created those and we didn’t. Such is the game.”
It has been hard at times this year to remember that Luck is still just a rookie quarterback in the NFL. He has had some phenomenal performances, such as his comeback victory against Green Bay back in Week 5. Games like this will surely bring Luck back to earth and provide some valuable learning experiences. The future of the Colts-Patriots rivalry looks bright, as fans will see Luck’s NFL maturation coincide with Tom Brady’s final few years in the league. But as evidenced by the Patriots’ performance Sunday, don’t expect Brady to cede the rivalry just yet.