BOSTON (CBS) – There has been plenty of praise for Colts’ rookie quarterback Andrew Luck this season.

The Patriots defense on the other hand, not so much.

But on Wednesday, Luck had nothing but good things to say about the defense he’ll likely pick apart come Sunday afternoon in Gillette.

“I think they do a great job of mixing up coverages and disguising coverages,” Luck said on a conference call. “It’s hard to get a beat on what they’re doing.”

What sticks out most for Luck is 23 turnovers the New England D has forced so far this season – behind only the Bears’ 30 and Giants’ 27.

“They do a great job of creating turnovers at inopportune times for the offense and very opportunistic times for themselves,” said Luck, who has thrown 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions so far this season. “In the red zone, when they’re backed up or teams are on big drives; they do a great job of that. I think they’re just a solid defense all the way around.”

Hurley: Patriots Defense Following A Plan, Whether You Like It Or Not

He also had high praise for the New England defensive line, which is among the best in the NFL at stopping the run. But Luck also knows they will be harassing him all day as well.

“I think their front four is incredibly stout. (Vince) Wilfork is one of the best nose tackles in the league,” said Luck. “They do get to the quarterback, and even if it’s not a sack, they harass and force the quarterback to throw, force the quarterback out of the pocket. So, that’ll be a focus all week. I’m sure our line will do a great job and it will be a great test for them.”

The Patriots and Colts rivalry has been one of the best in the NFL for the last decade, but this will be Luck’s first taste. He remembers watching the famous Tom Brady and Peyton Manning clashes as a kid, and can’t wait to put his own hand print on the rivalry.

“As a young quarterback growing up, I took the opportunity to watch the sort of benchmarks of quarterback play. There were some great playoff games at both stadiums,” he said of the famous Patriots-Colts tilts. “I think Gillette had grass a while back so it got fairly muddy sometimes late in the year watching them play. Those are always fun for a lot of people, including me.”

Tale Of The Tape: Patriots-Colts

Given his strong play as a rookie, Luck has been mentioned among the likes of Brady and Manning (heck, sports talk radio was buzzing all week last week about a hypothetical Brady-for-Luck swap). But the 23-year-old is telling everyone to pump the breaks for now.

“I definitely don’t deserve to be in that sentence or breath,” he said. “If someday I can play at a level that Peyton and Tom play at, then that’d be a quarterback’s dream come true.”

Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Colts game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV at 4:25pm. Pregame coverage begins with WBZ-TV’s Patriots GameDay at 11:30am, with 98.5′s Patriots Preview beginning at 1pm. Following the game, stick around for three hours of postgame coverage on The Sports Hub, and Patriots 5th Quarter on MyTV38.


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