Last year when the Patriots played the Colts, the only words that were affiliated with Indianapolis were “terrible” and “tanking.”



Whether or not they actually did tank is another story. The story this season, though, is the No. 1 overall pick the Colts used on quarterback Andrew Luck.



Luck is one of a handful of rookie quarterbacks bringing in a new era of football – but it’s clear that he’s more polished and developed for the traditional NFL quarterback position than the rest.



What’s even more surprising is that he’s led the Colts to a 6-3 record and given them a real shot at the postseason.



Peyton who?



While Colts fans will never forget Peyton Manning, Luck is doing a pretty good job in helping them move forward. He knows that he’ll forever be linked to the former Colts hero, but isn’t pressuring himself to be the next Manning.



“I didn’t view it like that,” Luck said. “Obviously as an athlete, I try and put a fair amount of pressure on myself to go out and succeed, but I realized if I got caught up in trying to fill Peyton’s shoes and compare myself to him every day, I’d probably go crazy. I feel it’s unattainable, so I try not to be like that.”



He’ll have to resemble some sort of Manning-like abilities on Sunday if he hopes to compete with Tom Brady and the Patriots – but a shaky Pats defense should help him out. Bill Belichick sees a lot of positives out of the rookie this season.



“Luck has done a good job for them,” Belichick said, “I think he’s gotten better each week. He does a real good job of avoiding the rush but also keeping his eyes downfield and not just pulling the ball down and trying to run or kind of panicking in the pocket, but he has a lot of poise.”



Luck isn’t buying into the hype that surrounds him though. He’s got plenty of work to do.



“If someday I can play at a level that Peyton and Tom play at, then that’d be a quarterback’s dream come true,” he said.