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Colts face big challenge in preparing for Tom Brady

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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is playing at a very high level this year, which makes preparing to face him an even tougher reality for the Colts' defense.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will, without a doubt, go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.  He has the fourth-most passing touchdowns and the fifth-most passing yards of any player ever, and he has won two NFL MVP awards, three Super Bowl MVP awards, has been named a first-team All-Pro twice, and has made ten Pro Bowls.  He has thrown for 30+ touchdowns in five different seasons, 4,000+ yards in seven different seasons, and has posted a passer rating of 100+ in three different seasons.

So could it really be that Brady is playing as good as he ever has to start the 2015 season?  It's certainly possible.  "Yeah," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said, when asked that very question on Wednesday.  "MVP year.  As good as I've seen."

In four games this season, Brady has completed 72.5% of his passes for 1,387 yards (8.67 yards per attempt), 11 touchdowns, and no interceptions for a passer rating of 121.5.  He leads the league in yards per game and passer rating, is tied for third in touchdowns, is third in completion percentage, and is fourth in yards per attempt.  He's on pace to throw for 5,548 yards, which would break the NFL record, while his completion percentage of 72.5% would also be an NFL record.  Of course, it's only four games out of a 16 game season (and he will throw an interception at some point and could drop-off in his production a bit) but so far this year, he has been tremendous.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said that his opinion of Brady has not changed since Deflategate, but rather said that his thoughts on Brady are, "great.  One of the best ever.  I grew up watching him.  Done amazing things, hopefully he's not too good when we play him (laughing).  But obviously a lot, a lot of respect for him as a football player, and from what I've heard, a great guy as well.  A lot of respect for him."

Now it's the Colts' turn to try to stop Brady and the Patriots' offense, which is no easy challenge.  The Patriots have plenty of weapons in the passing game, and then they possess a threat to the Colts on the ground as well.  After all, we've seen them run all over the Colts in the past few meetings.  This will be the real test for the Colts' run defense, but the defense will have to prepare for a dangerous passing attack as well.  The cornerback trio of Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, and Darius Butler has not played together at 100% yet this year and the secondary has had some struggles, so they will need to have their best game of the season this week against Brady and the Patriots' passing offense if they are to have any shot at winning.  Considering one of the best games of Vontae Davis' career came when preparing for Tom Brady, let's hope that's the case once again.