By Edward McDonald
The road to Super Bowl XLIX in the AFC runs through Foxborough, Massachusetts where the Indianapolis Colts will travel to do battle with the New England Patriots. The marquee reads Andrew Luck versus Tom Brady. Which quarterback will be able to lead his team to the Super Bowl? But the question is much deeper than that. The real question is which defense will be able to stop the opposing quarterback the most.
The Patriots advanced with a 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in a game that saw a new trick from the Patriots’ sleeve; a substitution method that has six eligible receivers on the field with only five being eligible to catch a pass. The Colts advanced by defeating former franchise quarterback Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 24-13.
These two teams met in week 11 with the Patriots coming away with a dominating 42-20 victory. Jonas Gray (remember him?) led the way with a career-high 201 rushing yards. The Colts run defense has been a lot better since that week 11 encounter. The Colts on the other hand have virtually no running game, something the Patriots defense can use in its favor.
The Patriots are 3-0 against the Colts in the Andrew Luck era. Luck, who is in his third season, has continued to improve and advance further in the postseason each yeah he’s been in the league. This is Luck’s first crack at the chance to play for a Super Bowl. While the Luck-led Colts haven’t been this far in the playoffs, Brady and the Patriots have been in the AFC title game the past four season and nine times since 2001.
However, the Patriots have failed to win a Super Bowl since 2004, losing in two, both to the New York Giants. Brady and company are hungry to get back to the Super Bowl with hopes of winning it all.
If history is any indication, the Colts could be in trouble. Indianapolis is 0-3 in AFC title games on the road and playing at Foxborough is no easy task, playoffs or not. Will Luck be able to lead the Colts to a Super Bowl for the first time since 2010 or will the experience of Brady and the Patriots be too much?
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