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Tom Brady has nothing but praise for young whippersnapper Andrew Luck

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Tom Brady and his New England Patriots (7-2) have a huge showdown with the Indianapolis Colts (6-3) at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday night. At stake is a share of supremacy in the AFC, as the Colts and Patriots, along with the Denver Broncos (7-2) and Cleveland Browns (6-3), all division leaders, are battling it out to be considered the top dog in the loaded conference.

While Brady is primarily focusing upon the Colts defense heading into Sunday, he nevertheless has taken notice that the guy running the team’s offense, Andrew Luck, isn’t a half-bad quarterback, especially given that when compared to Brady, he’s a relative young pup when it comes to his inclusion as one of the top NFL signal-callers.

And yet, in Brady’s eyes, Luck’s play at the quarterback position belies the notion that it takes years for a QB to acquire the experience necessary to be considered one of the best field generals in the game.

In fact, Brady has nothing but praise for Luck.

“He’s a great player, in his third year, and he’s had a lot of success,” Brady told the media on Wednesday, per an EPSN.com report. “Their offense is doing a great job this year; they score a lot of points, especially at home. He’s kind of the ringleader. He does a lot of things I wish I could do.”

The Patriots quarterback signaled out Luck’s physical attributes as part of the reason why he has enjoyed so much success.

“He’s big, fast, shrugs off blockers. He makes a lot of extended plays,” Brady said. “He’s a great passer. I think they’ve thrown for more yards at this point in the year than any other team in history. It speaks to what they’re doing offensively, and it’s a great challenge for our defense. We’re going to have to score a lot. When you play another great offense, you’re going to have to put up a lot of points, similar to our last game. We realize we have a big job, too.”

The Colts have put up gaudy passing numbers this season, and obviously it all starts with Luck, who has thrown for 3,085 yards, tops in the league, in nine games. Add in 26 touchdowns to only nine interceptions and Luck will show up on Sunday with a QB rating of 100.3.

Trying to stop Luck will be a difficult task for the Patriots defense, but they can hope to contain him. The problem presented to the Pats will be not allowing the Colts to jump to an early lead. The Colts defense has been playing lights out in the first quarter so far this season, surrendering only 13 points total.

Brady acknowledged that it may end up being a shootout in Indy.

“My focus is on the other side of the ball,” Brady said. “But you also know you’re not going to be able to score 13 points and win the game.”

The way Brady heaped enormous praise upon Luck is an indication that the veteran Patriots quarterback recognizes that the NFL is in the initial stages of the changing of the guard at the quarterback position. With players like himself and Peyton Manning, among others, getting up there in years, it’s only a matter of time before Luck passes them up and becomes the top quarterback in the game.

But don’t count out the old fogeys just yet. Brady has shown this season he’s got a lot of game left in his 37-year-old body, meaning he’s simply not going to roll over for some young and flashy whippersnapper. Brady may respect Luck’s talent, but nothing would make him happier than laying a beatdown on the kid’s team.

(photo credit: Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)