The Sports Xchange
NFL Team Report - Indianapolis Colts - INSIDE SLANT
But if weather forecasts for this weekend remain on track, Sunday's AFC battle between the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals may be severely tested by the weather.
A heavy dose of snow is forecast for the Cincinnati area, which means that the playing surface at Paul Brown Stadium may be a little on the slippery side.
"I probably haven't played in the snow since I was throwing a football around as a kid, so (I'm) very excited about (the possibility)," Luck said Wednesday. "I think there's something about it that's fun, so we're looking forward to it.
"I don't think you want to think about it too much, in a sense. I think when you start thinking about (the weather), you're thinking about the wrong things."
For the moment, the Colts' second-year quarterback isn't as concerned about the weather as he is facing a Cincinnati team that comes into Sunday's matchup with an identical 8-4 record. Both teams are expected to win their respective divisions (AFC South, AFC North) and are vying for the best possible playoff seeding.
"Yeah, we know it's going to be a great challenge. I think they're the leaders of the AFC North right now. A phenomenal football team. I know from our perspective as an offense, (Cincinnati has) a tough stingy defense," he pointed out.
"An aggressive defense. A lot of playmakers all over the field. So it will be a great challenge and it will be a lot of fun."
Luck, as does the rest of the Colts team, know the stakes involved in the game with Cincinnati.
"Coach (Chuck) Pagano sort of spelled out where we are as a team. I think it's good to sort of be aware of that. But also, at the same time, it's a football game," he said. "We go out to win every football game, especially when it's down in Cincinnati (that's) a couple of hours away. (It's) a good little rivalry.
"We've got to win games to make it to the playoffs. And then also you hope to sort of, not that the ship is in the wrong direction, but iron out all of your kinks and we know we've got a chance to do that."
As for the Bengals' defense, Luck is pretty familiar with Cincinnati weak-side linebacker Vontaze Burfict. The two faced each other in college several times (Stanford, Arizona State).
"I thought he was definitely a playmaker in college and he's definitely seemed to flourish in these couple of years with the Bengals," the Colts signal-caller said.
"I'm happy for him. Great football player. You definitely have to respect the way he plays the game and he's done a heck of a job. It's going to be a fun challenge."
SERIES HISTORY: 26th regular-season meeting. Colts lead series, 16-9. The Colts and Bengals have also met once in the post-season, with the then-Baltimore Colts posting a 17-0 victory in 1970. Cincinnati won the last meeting of the two franchises, registering a 27-17 decision at Paul Brown Stadium in 2011. Quarterback Andy Dalton completed 25-of-32 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown in the win. Indianapolis posted a 23-17 victory over the Bengals in 2010 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning connected on 20-of-36 passes for 185 yards in the win. The Colts have won seven of the last eight meetings and seven of the past nine matchups that have been played in Cincinnati. Indianapolis is 1-1 at Paul Brown Stadium and was 7-2 at Riverfront/Cinergy Stadium. Indianapolis and Cincinnati have faced off in regular-season play six times in the last nine seasons. Cincinnati and Indianapolis is the closest geographical rivalry among AFC cities (110 miles). Sunday's game will mark the first-ever meeting with Chuck Pagano as the Colts' head coach. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has a 1-4 career coaching record against Indianapolis.
NFL Team Report - Indianapolis Colts - NOTES, QUOTES