INDIANAPOLIS – Like many Colts fans, Andrew Luck found himself as a spectator over the years working his schedule around Indianapolis-New England battles.
"I think anybody who played quarterback had to sit down at least a couple times and try and learn something from when those two (Tom Brady and Peyton Manning) were going at it," Luck said.
Come Sunday at 4:25 p.m., Luck will get his first taste of the rivalry that pits two of the league's finest teams over the past decade.
"Obviously as a football fan, you know about the New England Patriots. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to play against them," Luck said. "We know it's going to take our best shot to have a chance to win.
"I'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 student of the quarterback position, Luck has studied the game of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
So many times this season Luck has talked about his need to become more "consistent." He used that word again on Monday in describing why Brady ranks among the top quarterbacks in NFL history.
"It's amazing. (Brady) consistently wins. He consistently puts huge numbers up, and the Patriots are consistently perennial contenders for it all," Luck said. "He's obviously an unbelievable quarterback, and it'll be a great challenge for us as a team to go up there."
With a weekend off, the Colts hit the practice field on Monday and Luck said the focus continues to be on improving third down and red zone efficiency.
The ability to convert red zone opportunities takes on an added emphasis this weekend as the Patriots lead the league in averaging 33.2 points per game.
"We 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," Luck said.
Luck has played in four different NFL road atmospheres and should expect another hostile environment on Sunday. The game has been moved to a 4:25 p.m. kickoff for a larger television audience.
"We know it's going to be loud and rocking, tough to play in," Luck said. "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 Colts are in the midst of a four-game winning streak and have positioned themselves in the top half of the AFC playoff picture.
As the pats on the back and accomplishments continue to roll in for Luck and the Colts, the rookie quarterback and his teammates remain set on playing into January.
"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," Luck said of the winning streak.
"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."