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Notebook: Mathis Sets NFL Record, Critical Divisional Contest Awaits Sunday

Posted Nov 25, 2013

Intro: The Colts/Cardinals Notebook looks at Robert Mathis continuing to put together an NFL Defensive Player of the Year type season and the 7-4 Colts playing the 5-6 Titans next Sunday.



MATHIS SETS NFL RECORD— In his best season over the past 11 years, Robert Mathis added more records to his Hall of Fame resume on Sunday.

 

With 8:54 to play in the second quarter, Mathis registered a strip/sack of Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer.

 

The strip/sack was the 40th of Mathis career, passing Jason Taylor for the most in NFL history.

 

Mathis now has an NFL-best 14.5 sacks in 2013 and is just 1.5 sacks away from the franchise record (107.5) and single-season mark (16.0), both held by Dwight Freeney.

 

The second quarter sack marks the 81st career game in which Mathis has recorded a sack. That ties Freeney for the most in franchise history.

 

Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois had a very productive afternoon in getting after Palmer.

 

Jean Francois sacked Palmer in the second and third quarters on Sunday, giving him his first career multi-sack games in five NFL seasons.

 

The new Colts defensive tackle finished the game with five tackles, two sacks and one pass defensed.

 

MASSIVE CONTEST AWAITS COLTS—A few minutes after the Colts and Cardinals went final on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans put the finishing touches on a game-winning touchdown drive.

 

With the Titans 23-19 victory over the Raiders, Tennessee (5-6) is now two games behind the Colts in the AFC South.

 

The two will conclude their season series on Sunday when Tennessee travels to Lucas Oil Stadium at 1:00 p.m. EST.

 

Head coach Chuck Pagano knows that the performance against the Cardinals will not suffice in a vital divisional matchup this week.

 

“We obviously have to figure things out and figure them out in a hurry,” Pagano said. “We got a huge ball game coming up, and we got to figure some things out and find a way to get this thing rectified.”

 

The slow starts continue to plague the Colts and the ability to “survive your own mistakes” was too much to overcome in Arizona.

 

“It’s frustrating, but we realize the onus is on us to get it fixed. It’s on the players to do our job,” quarterback Andrew Luck said after the loss.

 

“I have to do my job much better if we are going to have a chance to win consistently. We know that. We will go back and work at it. We are going to go to practice. We’re going to work our butts off. Coach (Chuck) Pagano I think has a great work ethos and set that tone in the building, so we’ll go and we’ll work. I think guys are ready to get back on the practice field.”

 

A win on Sunday would push the Colts lead to three games in the AFC South with four weeks remaining, while also winning the season series over the Titans.

 

A loss would cut the divisional margin to just one game as the Colts still have road contests to playoff contenders Cincinnati and Kansas City during December.

 

“We’ll go back like we always do and look at the tape. We have to find something,” Pagano said.

 

“Obviously, when we say we aren’t going to talk about it, it doesn’t really mean we’re going to stop talking about it, as you know, but it’s got to be addressed, and we have to figure out a way to get off the field; figure out a way to get some drives together, put some points on the board.”


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