FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—Beginning in the early 2000s and lasting for more than a decade, the match-ups between Peyton Manning's Colts and Tom Brady's Patriots were must-watch ones.
From their three AFC championship games to the six regular-season MVP awards Brady and Manning captured during that span, quarterback play was the centerpiece of the rivalry.
Manning's departure from Colts and Andrew Luck's arrival in 2012 ushered in a new era in Indianapolis.
But so far, Luck hasn't been able to duplicate the success that his predecessor had against the Patriots.
In five starts against New England, Luck has yet to notch his first victory against Brady.
Luck is hoping to change his fortunes tonight when his comeback tour stops in New England.
“Certainly [in] my experience, we have come up on the short end and that's not fun,” he remarked.
“Obviously, we would like to turn that around," he stressed. ”We would like to flip the story in a sense.
“But growing up, I remember some of those great games, certainly that AFC championship game here,” Luck added.
“So yeah, I do think I have an appreciation for it.”
But on a team that has had a significant change in the roster over the past two seasons, the rivalry hasn't been exactly the hottest topic around the locker-room.
“A young roster, just not as much talk about it,” said Colts' coach Frank Reich, who saw some of those big games up close when he started his coaching career.
Perhaps that's because Indy has lost seven-straight games in the series.
But the Colts (1-3) have started slowly since Luck returned to action after more than a year away following shoulder surgery.
The Patriots (2-2) also had a modest start to the season, but may be turning a corner coming off a dominating 38-7 win over the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday.