Patriots defense ready for Luck to run

Patriots defense ready for Luck to run
November 16, 2012, 12:07 am
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FOXBORO -- Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck's numbers aren't all that eye-popping.

This year's No. 1 overall draft pick completes 57.5 percent of his passes. His touchdown-to-interception ratio is 10-to-9. He's fumbled seven times. His quarterback rating is a ho-hum 79.1.

But the Patriots know he's better than the average rookie quarterback, and the tactics they may use to rattle other first-year signal-callers won't apply this week, according to linebacker Jerod Mayo.

"He's a good player," Mayo said of Luck. "He can run, do a lot of different things. He has a lot of different weapons, and he's a good player so it'll take 11 men to stop him."

Mayo said the Colts offense does some things similarly to the Steelers offenses of the past under interim head coach (former Pittsburgh offensive coordinator) Bruce Arians. But with Luck's ability to move around in the pocket and use his speed to pick up yardage when plays break down, it's a new look for New England.

Luck averages 4.7 yards every time he tucks it and runs, and he has rushed for five touchdowns this season. The only quarterback with more touchdown runs is this year's No. 2 overall pick, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (6).

"He's a great runner," Mayo said of Luck. "You look at his combine results and things like that, you can tell he can run the ball. At the same time, he can run and throw. So it'll be a difficult time to try to slow him down."

This will be the Patriots defense's second chance to stop a rookie quarterback this season. They lost to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Week 6, 24-23, when the Wisconsin product threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns, including a 46-yarder to receiver Sidney Rice with less than two minutes left in the fourth-quarter.

The Patriots will face a challenge to achieve a different result this time around. Luck's mostly mediocre numbers aside, the one that sticks out is the Colts record with him under center.

They're 6-3, just like the Patriots.