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Andrew Luck excited for opportunity to take part in Patriots-Colts rivalry

Andrew Luck [1] is excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Colts-Patriots rivalry. The rookie quarterback, who was the first overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Stanford, will get his first taste of New England and Gillette Stadium [2] Sunday when the Indy meets the Patriots.

‘€œHopefully it’€™s going to be a good game,’€ Luck said Monday. ‘€œObviously as a football fan, you know about the New England Patriots [3]. I’€™m very excited to have the opportunity to play against them. Hopefully we’€™ll give them our best shot. We know it’€™s going to take our best shot to have a chance to win.

‘€œI’€™m sort of being educated on the great rivalry of the past 10, 12 years or so between the two franchises. Hopefully, we can continue that.’€

As a young quarterback, Luck was able to enjoy the rivalry between Peyton Manning [4] and Tom Brady [5], a head-to-head matchup that dominated the league for a decade.

‘€œAbsolutely,’€ he said. ‘€œI think anybody who played quarterback had to sit down at least a couple times and try and learn something from when those two were going at it.’€

It sounds like Brady has a fan in Luck, who was 12 years old when Brady made his first start with the Patriots.

‘€œIt’€™s amazing — he consistently wins,’€™ Luck said when asked about Brady and his work. ‘€œHe consistently puts huge numbers up, and the Patriots are consistently perennial contenders for it all. He’€™s obviously an unbelievable quarterback and it’€™ll be a great challenge for us as a team to go up there.’€

Here are a few other highlight’€™s from Luck’€™s Q&A on Monday:

Knowing that New England has the ability to score a lot, do you feel more pressure to not have empty possessions?

‘€œWe realize that you can’€™t waste possessions against any good team and the Patriots are a good, if not, great team. We’€™re going to need to capitalize on everything just for a chance to win.’€

Where’€™s the focus this week?

‘€œI think offensively, we’€™ve got to improve on third down and red zone, areas where we didn’€™t do so well in the last game. Hopefully we can do better in those areas.’€

Do you have some confidence after two straight road wins heading into a tough environment?

‘€œOh yeah. We know it’€™s going to be loud and rocking, tough to play in. It’€™s nice to have a couple road wins under our belt. But we realize that it’€™ll be kicked up another level this weekend.’€

The team has won five of six since Pagano’€™s treatments. Is there some way to quantify how that has impacted this team?

‘€œI don’€™t know. That’€™s a great question. I think if anything, its reminded guys of a sense of purpose, a sense of being here and enjoying it, enjoying each other. Obviously, I wish it didn’€™t happen by any means but I guess maybe it’€™s a reminder to some guys.’€

How does the weather factor into your preparation given playing college in California?

‘€œIt’€™ll be interesting. Obviously, going to school in California, you don’€™t play in too many different weather systems. I don’€™t think it’€™ll be a problem. We’€™ll practice in it here and we’€™ll do it up there. Guys have played in cold, rain. Guys will be fine.’€

The fact that you guys have won four in a row, what does it say about this team?

‘€œI think it’€™s nice that we’€™ve won four in a row. We realize that at the end of the day it just means we are in a good position now to hopefully get some more wins. Hopefully we can keep stacking them together. We realize that four games in a row is not our end goal. It’€™s not what we shot for starting the season so hopefully we can get better.’€