Colts host Saints in rematch of Super Bowl XLIV

Who will deliver epic performances in this week's matchups?

Air & Ground matchup of Week 7

New Orleans Saints at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX) -- While the Saints take aim at their first road win of the season, the Colts will try to put a bitter defeat behind them.

Despite their first-place status in the mediocre AFC South, the Colts have been a bit of a disappointment so far this season. Quarterback Andrew Luck is just 1-3 as a starter this season. Backup Matt Hasselbeck actually was at the helm for two of the team's three victories. While Luck is on pace for career-worsts in most major statistical categories, his performance in last week's loss to the New England Patriots had to be a sign of encouragement. Luck completed 60 percent of his passes for 312 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Luck's backfield mate, Frank Gore, continues to be a reliable force in the running game. Gore is on pace for 237 carries and an average of 4.5 yards per rush. There have been only two players in NFL history at age 32 or older to carry the ball at least 200 times while averaging at least 4.5 yards per rush: Ricky Williams for the Miami Dolphins in 2009 and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Henry Johnson for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1962.

Many would argue that Saints quarterback Drew Brees will one day join Johnson in the Hall of Fame. Also, many would suggest that Brees is having a down year. However, he still ranks among the NFL's best in some major passing categories, third in passing yards per game (323.2), fifth in interception percentage (1.4 percent) and tied for first with four 300-yard passing games.

The Saints have also scored at least one touchdown in 151 consecutive games, the second-longest such streak since 1925 behind the Cleveland Browns' 166 games from 1957 to 1969.



One draft spot

Quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall in the NFL draft have been the Saints' bugaboo this season. All four of the team's losses have come against quarterbacks selected in the draft's top spot: the Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer (No. 1 in 2003 NFL Draft) in Week 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston (No. 1 in 2015 NFL Draft) in Week 2, the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (No. 1 in 2011 NFL Draft) in Week 3 and the Philadelphia Eagles' Sam Bradford (No. 1 in 2010 NFL Draft) in Week 5. This does not bode well for the Saints' chances on Sunday. Luck was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Great Moments in Air & Ground History

Saints 31, Colts 17 (Super Bowl XLIV) -- Brees threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns in helping lead the Saints to their first championship in franchise history, and he did so against another future Pro Football Hall of Fame player: Peyton Manning. Four seasons prior, Manning delivered the Colts' first championship since the franchise moved to Indianapolis. Brees tied a Super Bowl record with 32 completions, with the final connection going to tight end Jeremy Shockey for the go-ahead points wiht 5:42 remaining in the game. Tracy Porter's pick six, of course, sealed the deal with just over three minutes remaining in the game.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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