Today’s matchup between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts is going to be one of those games people potentially will be talking about for years to come. In addition to the fact that both teams are 6-3 and very much contenders in the AFC, it features two of the most-discussed quarterbacks in the NFL; Tom Brady and Andrew Luck.
Both have taken slightly different paths to the NFL, but one is arguably the best at his craft and the other is on a fast-track to get there as well. To refresh your memories, Brady was taken in the sixth-round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of Michigan. Luck was the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Stanford. There was a rumor floating around the NFL last season that teams were trying to “Suck for Luck”, while anyone could have potentially drafted Brady. In other words, you’re dealing with a guy no one ever expected anything from and potentially the most-hypeed college player ever.
There’s another twist on the Luck story. The Colts had Peyton Manning last season. Assuming Manning didn’t injure his neck and miss 2011, the Colts would never have been in a position to draft Luck. As it turned out, without batting an eye, the Colts decided to part ways with Manning and name Luck the starter. Luck not only had to deal with being one of the most heralded rookies of all-time, but now replacing a living legend. As of nine games in the NFL, Luck has handled this pressure incredibly well.
There was no hype or parades for Brady when he showed up for Patriots training camp in 2000. In fact, he was fourth on depth chart when camp opened. He eventually earned his way to be the backup to starter Drew Bledsoe and saw his first action in 2001. After two unspectacular games, he finally started showing promise in his third game and Bledsoe had his Wally Pipp moment.
Today’s game initially appeared like a novelty with the Colts rebuilding around Luck and the Patriots being the Patriots. Something happened and the Colts find themselves at 6-3 and very much a factor in the AFC playoff race. Brady and Manning had some classic battles over the years as the signal callers for two of the AFC’s top squads, so Luck is the new face on an old rivalry. Don’t look for much defense today, as both teams will put points on the board. This will be a prize fight with both fighters taking and giving blows.
We at Rant Sports will be here talking with fans and providing post-game coverage of this incredible matchup. Hashtag #RML with your thoughts.