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Colts' Robert Mathis named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for week 16.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

For his performance in the Colts' 18-12 win over the Miami Dolphins, outside linebacker Robert Mathis has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for week 16.

In the game, Mathis recorded five tackles and two sacks.  His first sack came on a third down in the second quarter that forced Miami to punt, while his second sack came on the final meaningful play of the game, with the Dolphins facing a fourth-and-goal with under a minute left in the game trailing by six.  For Mathis, it was his 29th career multi-sack game, which extended his own franchise record.  It is his fourth career Defensive Player of the Week honor and his first since 2011.

On the season, Mathis has recorded seven sacks (most on the team) and 14 quarterback hits (second-most on the team; one behind defensive lineman Kendall Langford), along with 19 tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.  Mathis, a 34-year old pass rusher coming off of a torn Achilles suffered last year, was supposed to be a nice complementary piece to the defense as a situational pass rusher but wasn't supposed to be the best on the team.  Trent Cole and Jonathan Newsome have been pretty quiet this year, however, and so Mathis has been all the Colts have in the area of pass rushing specialists (Kendall Langford has done a solid job of getting pressure).

Mathis is the fourth Colts player to earn a Player of the Week honor this season.  Safety Mike Adams (week five) and cornerback Darius Butler (week nine) were both previously named Defensive Player of the Week, while punter Pat McAfee (week three) was named the Special Teams Player of the Week.  Additionally, kicker Adam Vinatieri was named the Special Teams Player of the Month for November.

One additional tidbit that is pretty cool is that Robert Mathis' longtime teammate, Dwight Freeney, was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week this week for the Arizona Cardinals, so the two members of the Colts' dynamic pass rush duo from several years ago were both named players of the week this week.  On Sunday against the Packers, Freeney recorded three sacks and a forced fumble (one that was returned for a touchdown by another former Colt, Jerraud Powers).  Freeney leads the Cardinals with seven sacks despite only playing in ten games (he was signed mid-season) and has also recorded eight quarterback hits and three forced fumbles.  This is Freeney's sixth Player of the Week honor, with the previous five all coming in Indianapolis, most recently in 2010.