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Andrew Luck Ready For Round Three Against Patriots

Intro: For the third time in his young career, Andrew Luck will take on a Patriots defense. What has Luck learned from the previous meetings against Bill Belichick?





INDIANAPOLIS – Like any natural competitor, the loss lingered.

The defeat marked the end to the Colts 2013 season and Andrew Luck hadn't played the way he had for much of his second NFL season.

The feeling still hung around when the Colts gathered in April for offseason activities.

"You think about it," Luck said of last year's playoff loss to the Patriots. "Especially when you come back from the offseason and you're watching cutups of games, what went wrong. You do see the cutups and think, 'Okay, what could we have done differently?'

Luck will get another crack at the mastermind that is Bill Belichick on Sunday night.

As preparations begin for another battle with Belichick, Luck sees similarities of past Patriot teams with some quality personnel additions.

"You've got to expect something unexpected," Luck says of Belichick's Patriots. "They do a great job with their scheme and they have great players. I think that's why they've been so successful for so long and consistently.

"They do a great job in contesting every yard. We don't get free yards versus the Patriots. Quick, little passes are not easy. They're not simple. Nothing is simple for them. They play physical. They do a great job in the back end of disguising their coverage. You think. 'Oh they're doubling T.Y. (Hilton) the whole game,' nope, something different comes up. They did a great job that game."

It's a game that Luck would like to forget. The young quarterback tossed four interceptions in the Colts 43-22 loss out in Foxboro last January.

He comes into Sunday night with arguably the most diverse skill group in the NFL.

Luck has utilized that group by connecting with eight receivers at least 15 times this year. The ninth leading receiver, Jack Doyle, is a perfect nine-of-nine in his targets this season.

Of the Colts eight leading receivers in 2014, only two of those players caught passes in last year's divisional loss to the Patriots.

Back in January, the major headline was how Bill Belichick would try and take away T.Y. Hilton.

This time around, the task doesn't stop with just Hilton.

"It'll help. It's got to help," Chuck Pagano says of the reinforcements.

"Obviously to have the weapons that we have doesn't guarantee anything, but it's sure nice to have."

As Luck game plans with those weapons this week, he does so with some understanding of what to expect from the Patriots.

This will be the third time Luck has faced a Belichick defense and he fully expects things to change as the game unfolds late into Sunday night.

"You have to be aware of what they're doing and be able to take what they give you in a sense. They do a good job of making you play left-handed or forcing you to be one-dimensional. You've got to stay balanced. You've got to be able to, I think, attack the whole field," Luck says.

"You know to anticipate some wrinkles, something new. When you have a chance to score points in the red zone, you better score touchdowns. Definitely took that away from the last two (Patriots) games."

In another edition of Colts/Patriots, its now Luck who will be the center of attention come Sunday night.

He admitted that there is a different buzz leading into this game before sticking to normal "Luck-speak" of saying it's the most important game because it's the next one.

While Luck was speaking on Monday, at the other end of the locker room his big-play receiver opened up a bit on what a win on Sunday could mean.

"We know how important it is. It's us going there or them coming here (in the playoffs)," Hilton said.

"We want to have that game here when it comes that time. Right now they are coming here so we've got to take advantage of it."

Highlights from the Colts Divisional Playoff game against the Patriots.

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