"“It’s like a sixth receiver you have to cover,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on Tuesday, later acknowledging that he [Luck] poses a problem much like the Pittsburgh Steelers bulky, but quick footed Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. “I mean, he’s a lot faster than Roethlisberger, much more a threat to gain more yardage and gain it quicker,” Belichick said, then adding, “He can run, but if it extends the play, then he has the ability to create big plays, and we’ve seen him do that multiple times throughout his career already.”"
Nov 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) runs with the ball against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium. New England defeated Indianapolis 42-20. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
As part of “Belichick-ian code”, it’s part of the Patriots’ weekly gamesmanship to praise an opponent before a pending matchup. In a lot of ways, it’s almost like a feast for a pig, that they’re hoping to fatten up for a soon-to-be slaughter.
Facing the Patriots in this weekend’s AFC Championship game, the Colts have been down this road before when it comes to New England’s compliments. Luck doesn’t seem like the type to get a big head (just a big beard) and will likely take the comments in stride, much like always.
However, with Aaron Rodgers‘ calf injury, it does raise the question of whether Luck is the most dangerous quarterback left in this year’s postseason with his ability to both run and pass at a high level. He’s not quite as polished as the Green Bay Packers’ Rodgers or the Patriots’ very own Tom Brady in his playoff passing, yet he poses a unique running dynamic that neither one possesses at this juncture.
While it’s worth noting that Luck had just 3 carries for 15 rushing yards in the Colts’ Week 11 loss to the Patriots, he’ll still keep their defense on its toes. The secondary and linebackers won’t be able to fully commit in coverage and will have to keep their eyes on #12, as Luck poses the rare ability to simply take off with his legs for a big gain.
Much like a 6th wide receiver.
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) against the Denver Broncos in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports