When it was determined that the Patriots would play host to the Colts on Saturday night in an AFC divisional-round showdown, the Tom Brady versus Andrew Luck matchup immediately surfaced as a primary storyline.
"Truthfully, I'm not worried about the opposing quarterback," Brady told Boston sports radio station WEEI on Monday morning when asked what he thought when he watches Luck play. "I'm thinking about the defense and what I need to do to play against them.
"I didn't watch one snap of Indy's offense, nor will I this week," he continued. "I'll be focused on the defense and what we need to do score points, because that's what my job is."
That job starts with the Patriots finding a way to slow down Colts defensive end Robert Mathis, the league's regular season leader with 19.5 sacks and a top candidate for defensive player of the year honors.
In seven career games against the Patriots, Mathis has five sacks.
"And like I said, it all starts with Robert Mathis and being the defensive player of the year, basically, 19.5 sacks, he kind of wreaks a lot of havoc," Brady said. "We've got to be able to figure out how to slow him down and then we've got to be really balanced on offense like we've been. We've got to run it, and when we throw, we've got to throw it good."
The Patriots' offense found its rhythm late in the season, particularly in two wins in the season's final two weeks. Running back LeGarrette Blount was a spark plug for an improved rushing attack, and Brady knows the offense must once again be at its best to advance to their third straight AFC Championship Game.
"There's not going to be much margin of error this week, and we know that," he said. "So we've got to put everything in, it's the biggest week of our year."