The narrative has been set, and another chapter of Andrew Luck’s legend was written last week as he led the Colts to a thrilling 45-44 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Trailing by 21 at the half, Luck led the Colts on five second half touchdown drives. For good measure, he provided a highlight reel offensive fumble recovery score that will be shown on NFL Films for years to come. This week, he stares across the field at a legend who needs no more chapters in his book but would like nothing more than to write another, Tom Brady.
Although the opposite sideline may be home to Brady and Bill Belichick, the Patriots and Colts are more evenly matched than many assume. Separated by just one game in the regular season, the Colts and Patriots posted nearly identical points allowed figures of 336 and 338, respectively. And although New England outscored Indianapolis by 53 points, the Colts are coming off the second largest comeback in postseason history– proving in the process that they can indeed score with the best of them.
However, despite a solid matchup on paper between two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, this week’s game at Gillette Stadium actually have the cheapest NFL playoff tickets this week. At an average price of just $214 dollars on the secondary market, Patriots playoff tickets this week are significantly cheaper than those of any New England divisional playoff game over the past three years ($291 vs. Ravens in 2013, $392 vs. Broncos in 2012, and $363 vs. Jets in 2011). They are also well below the Patriots regular season average of $276 for this year. One might think that the relatively low price could be due to fear of a cold outdoor game up north in Massachusetts, but the forecast actually calls for a temperature in the high 40’s on Saturday, with a moderate chance of light rain. It’s entirely more possible that the Patriots are looking ahead to the AFC Championship Game, because those tickets are currently selling at an average price of $449 dollars.
While Andrew Luck should be an exciting draw whenever he hits the road, the Colts 2013 road average ticket price for the year is just $120 dollars. This is due partially to their weak division, but Saturday’s playoff matchup against the Patriots still commands a hefty 75% premium over the Colts road average. Interestingly enough, New England Patriots tickets have been priced much higher for recent regular season matchups against the Colts. When these two teams met in November of 2012, tickets rang in at an average of $386 dollars– an 84% premium over this week’s playoff game. When Manning was at the helm for the Colts in November of 2010, tickets for that game priced at $460 dollars, reflecting a 119% premium over this week. Out of all of the matchups between these two teams for which TiqIQ has data, only the December 2011 contest priced below this week’s game. That meeting carried an average ticket price of $196 (7% discount). Of course, the quarterback for the Colts in that game was none other than Dan Orlovsky, a player most famous for taking an unintentional, unforced safety.
In all likelihood, the winner of this game will move on to a potentially epic showdown against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The Broncos would have to get there first of course, but both Brady and Luck will bring their own level of intrigue should they meet Manning in the next round of the playoffs. Coincidentally, the three quarterbacks remaining in the AFC Playoffs are the only quarterbacks to beat Manning this season, the third being Philip Rivers who Manning faces this week. They say you have to beat the best to be the best, and in all likelihood there will be seven MVP’s and four rings standing in Andrew Luck’s path to the Super Bowl. The first premier test takes place this Saturday in primetime.
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