For the Indianapolis Colts, there has never been a “sack master” quite like him before, and there may never be one again.
In the third quarter of the Colts (9-5) 25-3 over the Houston Texans (2-12), Colts’ veteran linebacker Robert Mathis barreled into Texans quarterback Case Keenum in the end zone, forcing a safety that ultimately gave Mathis sack No. 16.5 on the year. Not only did that give Mathis the single-season record for most sacks in the season for the Indianapolis Colts, but he is now also the franchise’s leader in the category with 108. That’s a lot of bruised quarterbacks.
“Hard work paying off,” said Mathis after the game, who took a moment to wave to the crowd during a standing ovation on the sidelines. “D-line, counterparts, they take pride in helping me get to the quarterback. I have a good crop of DBs that give us that extra second. It’s enjoyable. The fact that we got a win is most pleasing.”
Mathis’ stellar defense was just one of the many standouts from the Colts victory on Sunday, one that finally saw the offense rolling along in the first quarter. Andrew Luck found Griff Whalen on a 17-yard touchdown early in the first, Adam Vinatieri kicked two field goals and Trent Richardson took a shovel-pass to into the end zone from nine yards out to give Indianapolis a 20-3 lead going into the half.
From there the Colts never looked back, with the safety and Vinatieri’s third field goal ultimately giving the Colts the 22-point victory.
“We talked all week about coming back. With these last three ballgames, even though we had won the division, clinched that, our first goal, we wanted to start building and gain some momentum, get a spark, whatever you want to call it. And so this was certainly something that’s very positive for our football team, our organization moving forward into this next game against Kansas City on the road and then the last one here and then the playoffs.”
Indianapolis had many reasons to be happy with their offensive-performance on Sunday. Richardson had arguably his best game as an Indianapolis Colt, finishing with a total of 102 yards on the afternoon, while Andrew Luck finished with 180 yards to go with his two touchdowns.
“I thought we did a good job of it as an offensive unit,” said Luck.
“I think the most stress it puts on is probably the O-line. They handled it very, very well. What a great job they did in protection all day. We know if it’s no huddle, or not, or three people or four, it’s all just about execution. When we can execute and not shoot ourselves in the foot, we give ourselves a pretty good chance of winning games.”
In their next contest, the Colts travel to Kansas City in a potential playoff match-up.