Brady, Luck have knack for late comeback wins

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm •  Published: January 9, 2014
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady has been leading successful comebacks for more than a decade. Andrew Luck is just getting started.

One of them should have a chance to do that again Saturday night.

The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, who have overcome big deficits this season, will meet in the AFC divisional round.

The Colts are here with the second biggest comeback in NFL postseason history. They outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game 45-44 after trailing 38-10 early in the third quarter.

"It's pretty remarkable," Brady said. "Down 28 points there in the third quarter, they just made a bunch of good plays and it took them until the very end to win."

The Colts had other impressive comebacks in the regular season — beating Houston after trailing by 18 in the third quarter and overcoming fourth-quarter deficits to win three other games.

Easing up with a big lead on the Patriots also can be dangerous.

They erased a 24-point halftime deficit to beat Denver in overtime, topped New Orleans on a touchdown pass with 5 seconds left and scored two touchdowns in the last 61 seconds to come from 12 points back and beat Cleveland by one.

Brady "has definitely set the standard for success at the quarterback position," Luck said.

The Patriots quarterback has led them to 41 wins in games in which they trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter. Luck has 11 of those, the most by a quarterback in his first two seasons since 1970.

This season, the Patriots (12-4) are 8-4 in games decided by seven points or fewer, while the Colts (12-5) are 6-1 when the final margin is six or fewer.

"We've been in a lot of close games. They've been in a lot of close games," Brady said. "They find a way to win them. That's how they got to this point. Hopefully, we can go out and be the team that goes out on top."

Here are five things to watch for as the Patriots try to advance to their third straight AFC championship game:

INJURIES KEEP COMING: Each team had a starter added this week to a long list of injuries. Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes went on injured reserve with a knee injury and Colts cornerback Greg Toler went on his team's list with a groin injury. New England already had lost for the season linebacker Jerod Mayo, defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, tight end Rob Gronkowski and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer. Indianapolis has been without wide receiver Reggie Wayne, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, linebacker Pat Angerer and offensive guard Donald Thomas for much of the season.



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