Once more, with feeling.
For the third time, it's
Last season, in Manning's first return to Indianapolis, his
Of course, it's really Indianapolis at Denver more than anything else.
"It's not the quarterback versus quarterback thing," said Luck, who directed the Colts to victory over Cincinnati in the first round to set up this divisional matchup. "We're not on the field at the same time. I have a lot of respect for [Manning], what he does, what he still does is amazing. He's a stud. I'll worry about the Denver defense, that's what I worry about."
Then again, a lot of people in Denver are quietly worried about Manning, 38, whose torrid early pace this season has slowed considerably. In his last four games, he posted a passer rating of 76.8 with three touchdowns and six interceptions.
Since the Broncos locked up the AFC's No. 2 seeding, they had an extra week of rest. Manning did not participate in team workouts the first week, and returned to practice this week.
"It [rest] was much needed," safety
On the run
The Colts gave up an average of 126.2 yards rushing in their last five games. They'll need to patch those holes against the Broncos, who have become increasingly reliant on running back C.J. Anderson. In the last six games, Anderson led the league with 648 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
"The biggest thing is stopping the run before you can get to [Manning]," defensive end
Luck threw for 376 yards in the Colts' 26-10 victory over the
Should Luck have another game of 300 yards or more, he would tie the record held by Dan Fouts.
By the numbers
IND | DEN
Points scored: 28.6 (6) | 30.1 (2)
Points given up: 23.1 (19) | 22.1 (16)
Pass offense: 305.9 (1) | 225.4 (24)
Rush offense: 100.8 (22) | 79.8 (31)
Pass defense: 229.3 (12) | 225.4 (9)
Rush defense: 113.4 (18) | 79.8 (2)
Sacks: 41 (9) | 41 (9)
Penalty yards: 54.1 (15) | 51 (9)
Turnovers: -5 (22) | +5 (11)
Luck continues to amaze, playing huge in the biggest games. Indianapolis is hot right now, and the Colts believe. Historically, that has taken teams a long way in the postseason. The week off could have done wonders for Manning, but he hasn't looked like the same player in recent weeks. The Broncos have been running well with Anderson, but the Colts did a good job of playing the run last week against the Bengals.