There’s just something about that Colts uniform that gets Bill Belichick’s blood flowing.
Belichick, who grew up in Annapolis, Maryland – just down the road from the then-Baltimore Colts, got his first NFL job with the Colts back in 1975 as a “special assistant.” As head coach of the Patriots in the 2000s, Belichick proved to be Indy enemy No. 1 as he was the main man in stopping Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis Colts from winning multiple titles during the decade. Belichick’s brilliance against Manning is well documented and is still going strong in 2014 – witness the 43-21 whooping Belichick’s Pats put on Manning’s Broncos just eight days ago. But just because Manning is no longer wearing the horseshoe, doesn’t mean Belichick has or is about to let up on the Colts organization.
Belichick and the Patriots are 2-0 against the “new Colts,” led by wunderkind Andrew Luck. While two games with success barely classifies as a trend, it is important to note that the Pats not only beat Luck and the Colts in their only two meetings – they demolished them.
In Luck’s rookie season of 2012, the Stanford product had ripped off four wins in a row heading into his first meeting with the Patriots. To say the Pats gave Luck his first NFL beat-down would be a massive understatement. Two of Luck’s three interceptions on that November afternoon in Foxboro were returned over 50 yards for touchdowns and Luck also fumbled the ball due to pressure from Rob Ninkovich. Luck completed just 27 of his 50 passes on the day as the Patriots won by the monumental score of 59-24.
In Luck’s second season of 2013, he again had led the Colts to four consecutive victories before a meeting with New England. The final Colts win in that string of “W’s” came in a memorable playoff game against the Chiefs in which Luck rallied Indy back from a 28-point deficit by throwing four touchdown passes and also scoring on a fumble recovery. In the days following that win over Kansas City, the national media put Luck on deck to join Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers in the NFL’s elite quarterbacking class. But Belichick and the Patriots put those plans on hold.
The Pats again pounded Luck and the Colts, this time in a divisional playoff game at a soaked Gillette Stadium, beating them by a score of 43-22. Luck easily had his worst performance of the 2013 season against the Pats, throwing a season-high four interceptions and finishing with a season-low 53.0 quarterback rating. Luck had no luck from the start of that game as he was picked off by Alfonzo Dennard on Indy’s third play from scrimmage.