The NFL today announced that Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 17. This marks the fifth time he has earned the award in his career (Week 7 in 2005, Week 13 in 2008, Week 16 in 2011 and Week 16 in 2015). Mathis is now tied with Dwight Freeney for the most Defensive Player of the Week Awards in franchise history.
In the Colts 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mathis compiled three solo tackles, 1.0 sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his final game as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. He logged a sack-forced fumble in the fourth quarter to stall a Jaguars scoring drive. On the play, Mathis passed Dwight Freeney (122.5) for the 17th most sacks in NFL history. Mathis ended his career with an NFL record 47 sack-forced fumbles and sacked 62 different quarterbacks.
Mathis competed in 192 career games (120 starts), which is tied with Justin Snow for the seventh most games played in Colts history. His 14 seasons with the team are tied for the second most all-time in franchise history with Peyton Manning (1998-2011) and Reggie Wayne (2001-2014). Johnny Unitas (1956-1972) is the leader with 17 seasons. Mathis finished his career as the franchise leader in sacks with 123.0. He holds the Colts single season record for sacks with 19.5 in 2013, which also led the league that year. Mathis earned the inaugural Deacon Jones Award as the NFL’s sack leader. He was also named an Associated Press and Sporting News First Team NFL All-Pro selection in addition to being named to the 2013 PFWA All-NFL and All-AFC teams and the NFL 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year. Mathis finished his career with 604 tackles, 18 passes defensed, 52 forced fumbles, 17 fumble recoveries, one interception and three fumble recoveries for touchdowns.
Mathis is the first Colts player to earn AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors this season. Kicker Adam Vinatieri was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 5) and Month (October), while running back Jordan Todman also earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 9) accolades. Quarterback Andrew Luck was also named AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 13) this season. The last time a Colts player earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors was Mathis in Week 16 of the 2015 season.
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