Robert Mathis Emerges From Dwight Freeney's Shadow, Wins Defensive Player Of The Month

Jonathan Moore

This is the third time in his career that Mathis has won this monthly award, tying him with his one-time teammate, Dwight Freeney.

We’re late to the party on this one, but it wasn’t because we felt it was "boring news" that wasn’t worth our time. It’s because, like most things in life, we got caught up in other crap and simply forgot to post an article.

Not an excuse on our part. Just a reason.

I’m talking about the news of Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis winning the NFL’s Defensive Player of the month Award for October 2013. This is the third time in his career that Mathis has won this monthly award, tying him with his one-time teammate, Dwight Freeney.

At one time, Freeney and Mathis were considered the most fearsome pass rushing duo in the NFL. However, from a status standpoint, the perception of many was that Freeney was Batman to Mathis' Robin. Today, with Freeney out for the season with a torn quad muscle after signing with the Chargers last May, Mathis has proven he can put up insanely good numbers without his former passing rushing partner.

Mathis had 13 tackles, four sacks, one pass defended, forced two fumbles, and recorded a safety in October. He leads the NFL with 11.5 sacks, which, incidentally, is tired for his career high in one season. Yes, we’re at the midway point, and Mathis, at age 32, has tied his career high for most sacks in a season.

[Cue polite clapping]

Without question, Mathis is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. In my mind, he’s the lead horse seeing as he doesn’t have a buddy like Tamba Hali or Freeney to help take the pressure of him. For much of the 2013 season, Mathis has been the only consistent pass rusher for a surprisingly good Colts pass defense. First round pick Bjoern Werner, the man drafted to replace Dwight Freeney, has been out for four weeks with a foot injury.

The award caps off a dominating month for Mathis, who has been the team’s most consistent playmaker on defense. It also pulls Mathis out of the long shadow cast by Freeney, who is considered the greatest defensive player in Indianapolis Colts history. Today, Mathis might be just as good. Maybe even better, when all is said and done.

[Cue more polite clapping]

Bravo, Robert Mathis. Well done. Well done, indeed.

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