The teams face each other for the 13th time since 2003 despite being in different divisions. The Patriots beat the Colts in the playoffs in the 2003 and 2004 seasons and went on to win the Super Bowl both times. The Colts beat the Patriots in the AFC title game in the 2006 season and captured the championship with Manning.
The rivalry is strong. But both teams’ desire to keep their winning streaks alive is stronger.
‘‘Every week is big,’’ Colts defensive end Cory Redding said, ‘‘but this one in particular because of what we’re doing and what we've done the last few weeks.’’
But Arians, filling in while Chuck Pagano battles leukemia, doesn’t want his team to get too excited.
What would a win mean for the Colts?
‘‘Well,’’ he said, ‘‘it would just make us 7-3.’’
It also would give Luck something Brady earned 12 years ago: a win in his first season as a starter over a great quarterback.
‘‘It doesn’t matter if it’s your first year or if it’s your 13th year,’’ Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington said. ‘‘If you’re a good player, you’re a good player.’’
And Luck is just starting out.
‘‘If some day I can play at a level that Peyton and Tom play at,’’ Luck said, ‘‘then that'd be a quarterback’s dream come true.’’
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL