Time: 8:15 p.m. TV: Ch. 9, 13 (CBS). Line: Patriots by 71 / 2.
Last meeting: Patriots beat Colts, 59-24, on Nov. 18, 2012.
Tom Brady has been leading successful comebacks for more than a decade. Andrew Luck is just getting started.
One of them should have a chance to do that again Saturday night.
The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, who have overcome big deficits this season, will meet in the AFC divisional round.
The Colts are here with the second biggest comeback in NFL postseason history. They outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game, 45-44, after trailing 38-10 early in the third quarter.
“It’s pretty remarkable,” Brady said. “Down 28 points there in the third quarter, they just made a bunch of good plays, and it took them until the very end to win.”
The Colts had other impressive comebacks in the regular season — beating Houston after trailing by 18 in the third quarter and overcoming fourth-quarter deficits to win three other games.
Easing up with a big lead on the Patriots also can be dangerous.
New England erased a 24-point halftime deficit to beat Denver in overtime, topped New Orleans on a touchdown pass with five seconds left and scored two touchdowns in the last 61 seconds to come from 12 points back and beat Cleveland by one.
Brady “has definitely set the standard for success at the quarterback position,” Luck said.
The Patriots’ quarterback has led them to 41 wins in games in which they trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter. Luck has 11 of those, the most by a quarterback in his first two seasons since 1970.
This season, the Patriots are 7-4 in games decided by seven points or fewer, while the Colts are 5-1 when the final margin is six or fewer.
“We’ve been in a lot of close games. They’ve been in a lot of close games,” Brady said. “They find a way to win them. That’s how they got to this point. Hopefully, we can go out and be the team that goes out on top.”