With Andrew Luck's Lead, Colts Head To Foxborough

Intro: With another sound performance from quarterback Andrew Luck, the Colts are heading back to a familiar place this weekend. How is Luck viewing the Colts trip to the AFC Championship?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Before the Colts began their playoff run two weeks ago, Chuck Pagano singled out in a team meeting the night before their Wild Card matchup.

Pagano knew that for the Colts to conjure up a ride that many outside of that room didn't expect, Luck's play had to be nearly flawless.

Jim Irsay knew this, too.

Irsay has seen how special quarterback performances this time of year can seemingly carry a team to the game's pinnacle.

It's why the Colts Owner interjected with an emphatic message for his quarterback in the victorious locker room on Sunday evening.

"What a job, man. What a job," Irsay said towards Luck.

"You can lead and take us anywhere, Andrew, and we will follow."

The path this weekend takes Luck, and the Colts, back to a place where the memories are not fond.

Last year's season ended in Foxborough where Luck was "disappointed" in himself for a four-interception night in the Colts 43-22 Divisional Round loss.

The turnover question Luck answered several times in his Wednesday press conference.

Luck feels as though the entire offense is better equipped to "handle the unexpected", something that is a staple of a Bill Belichick defense.

His words pale in comparison to the actions he's shown in the Colts two playoffs wins, clinching their return to Foxborough, this time with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Luck's 2015 playoff numbers might not quantify as "special" at first glance (58-of-87 for 641 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions) but they are quite impressive for what the Colts are asking from their third-year quarterback.

While Luck continues to pile up yards through the air (his 1,703 postseason passing yards are the most in a player's first five playoff games in NFL history), he's done so with plenty of patience in his third postseason try.

Check downs have been a welcomed resource for Luck.

The Colts are entering the red zone and, more importantly, leaving with seven points.

Even Luck's two interceptions in Denver came on a pair of third-and-longs, serving as glorified punts well down the field.

Just minutes after Luck led the Colts to their first road playoff victory since 2007, what lied ahead had most of his attention.

The satisfaction of knowing the Colts had just come into Mile High and was the first team to leave there with a win was fine and well with Luck.

What was on the horizon though is what brought some inflection out of Luck's voice as he stood at the podium following the Colts Divisional Round victory.

"We've got a great opportunity to go to a tough stadium against a great Patriots team and a great franchise and try to get a win," Luck said in Denver.

"That's almost as exciting, probably more exciting than winning (Sunday) is the opportunity to have another week of practice and try to earn another win."

A few of my favorite images from the last two meetings between the Colts and the Patriots.

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