Is OLB-Robert Mathis Having the Best Season of His Career?


Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Some things get better with age.

Robert Mathis, 11-year veteran OLB/DE for the Indianapolis Colts, is on pace to have the best season of his career. Mathis who was originally selected in the 5th round (138th overall) by the Colts in the 2003 NFL Draft, has been a sack machine so far in 2013. Mathis has at least one quarterback sack in each game this season, for a total of 9.5 sacks and 24 tackles, after five games. At this rate of production, Mathis could shatter his former career totals. Formerly, Mathis had a career-high 50 tackles 2006, as well as 11.5 sacks in ’05 and ’08.

Mathis hit a milestone, after collecting two more sacks on Sunday, in the Colts’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Mathis now sits at 101 total quarterback sacks for his career, which puts him in a class with only 29 other players in NFL history.

Mathis spent the majority of his NFL career as a bookend, on the opposite side of DE-Dwight Freeney. Although their production was similar, Mathis was overshadowed by Freeney in some ways. Mathis has always been a quiet leader, and now that Freeney has moved on, Mathis is alone in the spotlight. Mathis has adapted well to Chuck Pagano’s new defensive scheme, and has seemed to even elevate his play, where Freeney tended to struggle. Now the uncontested champion of this defense, Robert Mathis could be on his way to NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.