It's probably not surprising that Chicago Bears like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs see Sunday's matchup as anything but a rookie phenom quarterback facing your run-of-the-mill, aging, decrepit, stale, old cover-2 defense.
The Bears may have five starters 31 or older, and 34-year-old Urlacher is about a month past a scope to his left knee, but they think Colts first-round draft pick Andrew Luck will be the one who will be severely challenged.
"Andrew Luck is prepared, yeah, he’s prepared," linebacker Lance Briggs said. "All the rookie quarterbacks, yeah, they can come out and play. Do I think they’re Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? No. They have to learn just like everybody else.
"Guys like Cam Newton, they’ve come out and put up some special numbers, but most quarterbacks are a dime a dozen as far as I’m concerned."
Urlacher said rookie quarterbacks struggle in general against most NFL defenses at first exposure when it really counts.
"I think a lot of quarterbacks might get used to that preseason speed, especially young guys, and Luck has never played in a regular season game before," Urlacher said. "So they might kind of get used to that preseason speed and once you hit the regular season it speeds up a little bit."
DE Julius Peppers, DE Israel Idonije, CB Charles Tillman, Briggs and Urlacher are all in a 31-or-older club on the Bears defense -- one that uses a scheme based purely on speed to the ball with little or no trickery. So it's safe to assume at some point they will no longer be as effective playing their cover-2. It hasn't happened yet, though, they argue.
"I mean, we're older now and we're smarter and we know how to play the game a little better, I think, and play it smarter," Urlacher said. "Whatever we have lost in athletic ability or speed or whatever, I think we make up for it with our mental game just like most players do when they get older."
Still, the scope to Urlacher's knee has to be a factor. He admitted Thursday he isn't 100 percent yet in terms of being ready to play. It's reasonable to assume the Colts will test out his ability to get deep in the cover-2 the way he has ever since Lovie Smith became head coach in 2004.
"They can try, but they will fail," Briggs said of the Colts.
Idonije suspects the Colts -- and any other team -- will find Urlacher at 99 percent or less is better than most at 100 percent.
"If anyone is thinking that Brian is going to be a weak part of the defense, absolutely, run at him," Idonije urged. "The guy, he's a physical specimen. He's worked hard to put himself into a position so he can be on the field. And just he is one of those guys who is relentless. He's a tough, tough guy."