Robert Mathis Delivers In Extended Playing Time

Intro: On Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, Robert Mathis saw a significant increase in his playing time. What was Mathis’ production with extended reps?

MathisBrees.jpg

INDIANAPOLIS – The snaps for Robert Mathis were increasing on Sunday against the Saints, yet the franchise sack leader needed just one play to show why more playing time was coming.

From a stand-up position opposite Saints right tackle Zach Strief, Mathis speed rush to start Sunday's game got to Drew Brees for his 113th career sack.

Mathis was in the starting lineup against the Saints for the first time since the 2013 season.

His playing time skyrocketed to 60.7 percent of the defensive snaps on Sunday. Mathis had been playing 28.9 percent of snaps coming into Week Seven.

Robert Mathis' 2015 Snap Counts

Mathis' Snaps

Total Defensive Snaps

Percentage of Defensive Snaps

Week Two

14

69

20.3%

Week Three

20

82

24.4%

Week Four

24

84

28.6%

Week Five

33

77

42.9%

Week Six

19

69

27.5%

Week Seven

54

89

60.7%

With more playing time, Mathis showed why he's still the Colts most disruptive individual edge rusher, even at the age of 34.

On Sunday, Mathis had one sack and three quarterback hits. He got to Brees from both sides of the defense, standing up and with his hand on the ground. Mathis also was effective in inside moves and outside pressure.

"He had no rust at all," Colts defensive end Billy Winn said of Mathis' play against New Orleans.

"Rob takes great care of his body. We model ourselves after a guy like him because he's a pro's pro. He knows what it takes to stay in this league and he takes the necessary steps to take care of his body. That's his kingdom."

The playing time Mathis saw on Sunday is expected to continue throughout 2015 as the Colts try and re-write a script no one saw coming through seven weeks.

For the longest-tenured Colt in the locker room, Mathis is prepared to lead.

"If I need to give guys advice, if I need to fight somebody, if I need to just give somebody counsel or just be a big brother---whatever it is, we work too hard," Mathis said after Sunday's loss.

"We just have to stay as one. We can't let in any outside distracters distract us."

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