Luck doesn't have the otherworldly numbers of the NFL's elite quarterbacks, but he is more than capable of putting the team on his back. He has matured a good deal in his second season and looks much more poised overall. His decision-making has improved and has led to his interceptions being cut in half from last year, down from 18 to nine.
The Colts have made a concerted effort to not put the entire burden of the offense on the shoulders of their quarterback, and that has especially been the case this year. Luck went deep on 16.1 percent of his throws in 2012, the third-most in the league, but that number is down to just 10.5 percent in 2013.
Beating Luck, though, isn't all about shutting down the pass. The Patriots front seven must also be cognizant of his ability to run and throw on the run.
"(Luck) is someone that can extend plays, not only to run, but also just in the passing game," New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said. "I think it's something that kind of has a dual-threat about him, where he has the ability to tuck the ball down, run and gain substantial yardage."
That means the Patriots will have to maintain gap integrity and not get out of their rush lanes, but Luck doesn't just use his legs to run, according to Nick Underhill of MassLive.com:
When on the run, the Colts quarterback has shown great ability going to his right, where he completed 20-of-28 attempts for 197 yards. He is 7-of-17 for 67 yards going to his left, and 4-of-5 for 57 yards stepping up through the middle of the pocket. The majority of these plays were designed bootlegs, though some, such as a 30-yard completion to LaVon Brazill, during which Luck scrambled to his right and danced around defensive end Allen Bailey before delivering the pass, have been created in the moment.
The Patriots corners must be mindful when in man coverage that Luck could be on the move and that they could be vulnerable with their backs turned to the mobile quarterback.
Also keep in mind the Patriots' health headed into this game. Aqib Talib (hip), Alfonzo Dennard (knee) and Kyle Arrington (groin) have been battling injuries of late, and although the bye week may have helped them recover, it remains to be seen whether they're at 100 percent.
Quite simply, Luck's versatility makes him one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and the Patriots secondary will have its hands full on Saturday night.