FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The bye week is over. Now the New England Patriots can focus on a major challenge. How can they stop Andrew Luck?
The quarterback who brought Indianapolis back from a 28-point, third-quarter deficit to a 45-44 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC wild card game Saturday will lead the Colts into Gillette Stadium for a divisional-round game Saturday night.
“There’s no question he’s a complete football player and one of the top quarterbacks in this league already,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Sunday. “He has a great career in front of him, but I think he’s already established himself as a very poised and talented player that can do a lot of things to beat you.”
The second-seeded Patriots (12-4) would have faced No. 3 Cincinnati had the Bengals won Sunday. But they lost to the No. 6 Chargers 27-10. So the No. 4 Colts (12-5) will play in Foxborough for the second straight season.
Last season, in Luck’s 10th game as a pro, he threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns in a 59-24 loss.
Injured Packer re-entered
GREEN BAY, Wis. — A Fox sideline reporter said Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari forced his way back on to the field for a play while being evaluated for a concussion in Green Bay’s 23-20 loss Sunday to San Francisco.
Reporter Pam Oliver said Bakhtiari took part in an extra-point attempt after getting hurt during a play on which teammate John Kuhn scored on 1-yard run with 12:06 left in regulation.
Bakhtiari was taken to the locker room for further evaluation. He was eventually diagnosed with a concussion and did not return.
Redskins talk to Fewell
NEW YORK — Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will interview for the Redskins’ head coaching job today.
He is the fifth known candidate to interview as the potential replacement for Mike Shanahan, who was fired last week. The others are Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
Media-shy Lynch fined $50K
The NFL fined Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $50,000 last week for violating the league’s media policy.
Lynch spoke for less than 90 seconds Friday, his first time taking questions all season.
NFL spokesman Randall Liu told USA Today that “until this past week, the league had been unaware that Lynch had not been speaking.” NFL contracts require that players talk to the media.
Frozen tundra, but no record
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Fox reported the temperature in the 49ers-Packers game dipped to 2 degrees and the wind chill was minus-11. It was the seventh-coldest game at Lambeau Field since 1959, and the fourth-coldest postseason game at the stadium.
Each member of the Packers’ starting offensive line went sleeveless under green jerseys. The sleeveless look also fit for 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
The coldest NFL game on record is the 1967 championship game, known as the “Ice Bowl” won by the Packers 21-17 over the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field on New Year’s Eve. The temperature dipped to minus-13, and the wind chill that day was minus-48.
“We’ve been in playoff mode for five weeks. We knew if we lost one more, we’d be done.” — San Diego QB Philip Rivers, after the Chargers beat favored Cincinnati 27-10.