Robert Mathis on Patriots: ‘They’ve Been a Thorn in our Side for 13 Years’
Indianapolis Colts veteran pass rusher Robert Mathis will get to face a familiar foe on Sunday night, as the team’s arch-nemesis New England Patriots come to town:
"“Safe to say they’ve been a thorn in our side for 13 years at least since I’ve been here,” said Mathis Friday. “Never easy and never dull. So let’s go.”"
The 34 year old Mathis has had the luxury of playing in arguably the NFL’s most heated rivalry over the past decade. Since being drafted in 2003 by the Colts, the 13-year veteran has played in 10 regular season games against the Patriots and an additional 4 playoff matchups.
Unfortunately for Mathis and the Colts, his teams have been on the losing end more often than not, as Mathis has seen his teams go 4-6 during the regular season and 1-3 in the playoffs against the Patriots respectively. That doesn’t even include the regular season and playoff loss the Colts suffered last season when Mathis was on season-ending injured reserve.
Of course, a huge part of the Patriots success has been because of the play of their all-time great quarterback Tom Brady. A player who Mathis knows from firsthand experience is difficult to sack:
"“It’s a lot easier said than done, I’ll tell you that,” said Mathis on sacking Brady. “He gets rid of it and probably has the quickest release in the league, so just have to do the little things right. Do your job and just keep chopping.”"
While mostly all of the key players from the “Tom Brady and Peyton Manning” rivalry of prior years have come and gone to other teams or namely retired, a few of the notable mainstays like Brady and Mathis still remain on the Patriots and Colts respectively.
With the exception of longtime kicker Adam Vinatieri, they’re the last remnants of that heated era between these two teams. However, with the nationwide “Deflate-Gate” controversy still running rampant, things haven’t exactly cooled off as of late.
Having gone 0-3 (including playoffs) under the Colts new regime since 2012 against New England, the team is hoping that a different cast this season will produce different results on Sunday night.
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