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Belichick: Luck 'like a sixth receiver you have to cover'

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For a shot at their sixth Super Bowl appearance under Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots must to do something the Denver Broncos couldn't: neutralize Andrew Luck.

Beyond his pristine arm talent -- he led the NFL with 40 touchdown strikes -- the Colts quarterback has proven to be one of the league's most elusive movers in the pocket.

"It's like a sixth receiver you have to cover," Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters Tuesday ahead of Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

Asked if Luck created similar issues to bulky-but-nimble Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Belichick acknowledged: "Yeah, they're both a problem."

We saw that on Luck's 8-yard touchdown gallop in Sunday's Divisional Round win against the Broncos. The score was called back by penalty, but it serves as yet another example of how much trouble he can generate with his feet. Denver finished with zero sacks on the day despite having their hands on Luck plenty of times.

"I mean, he's a lot faster than Roethlisberger, much more a threat to gain more yardage and gain it quicker," Belichick said, adding: "... He can run, but if extends the play, then he has the ability to create big plays, and we've seen him do that multiple times throughout his career already."

One of those big plays came two Sundays ago in the wild-card win over the Bengals, with Luck showing off his escapability and supreme athleticism in slipping away from a would-be tackler to deliver this 36-yard touchdown bullet to Donte Moncrief:

Of all the four remaining teams, the Colts are the most incomplete across the board. But with Luck operating at such sterling levels in January, anything feels possible.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Divisional Round game and ranks the remaining quarterbacks still standing. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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