Colts quarterback Luck wary of Patriots front four

Colts quarterback Luck wary of Patriots front four
November 14, 2012, 6:10 pm
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FOXBORO -- As of Week 11, no team in the NFL has a better turnover ratio than the Patriots.

New England sits atop the heap with a plus-16 differential. That's a solid 13 spots higher than this Sunday's opponent, Indianapolis, who is at minus-9.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has noticed.

"I think they do a great job of creating turnovers at inopportune times for the offense, very opportunistic times for themselves . . . usually in the red zone, backed up, or when teams are on big drives," the rookie said Wednesday. "They do a great job of that and I think they're just a solid defense all the way around."

There's a tendency in analysis to separate the Patriots front seven from its secondary. How could there not be? The statistics sit almost a league apart.

Total defense: New England ranks 25th with 382.1 yards surrendered per game.

Passing defense: New England is 29th with 285.3 average yards given up.

Rushing defense: New England is No. 9 with 96.8 average yards.

Not like the secondary's struggles have been a secret.

But Luck was largely complimentary on his conference call. He pulled his punch only slightly by mentioning the unit's injury issues.

"I think they do a great job of mixing up coverages and disguising coverages," Luck said. "It's hard to get a beat on what they're doing. They're banged up here and there, but they do a great job of getting the job done, so it'll be a very tough test for us."

As for New England's defensive line, Luck sounded like he's in deep with doing homework.

"Their front four is incredibly stout," he said. "Vince Wilfork is one of the best nose tackles in the league. They have very good edge rushers on the sides. They do get to the quarterback, and even if it's not a sack, it's to harass or force an early throw, force a quarterback out of the pocket, so that'll be a focus all week. I'm sure our line will do a great job and it'll be a great test for them."