Robert Mathis Trying To Defy More Odds At The Age Of 35

Intro: In his 14th NFL season, Robert Mathis is still the best pass rusher in Indianapolis. Where would a double-digit sack season for Mathis rank in the NFL record books?

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INDIANAPOLIS – In Robert Mathis' football life, he's frequently defied the odds.

Too small. Too short.

Too this. Too that.

Oftentimes, it's rather that Mathis is just too good for opposing offensive tackles.

It's why he's still "quarterback hating" after turning 35 years old back in February.

The last time Mathis was healthy for an entire season was 2013.

His 19.5 sacks that year were the most any NFL pass rusher, age 31 or older, has ever complied in a single season.

When pass rushers reach their 30s, sacks diminish.

Mathis makes a strong argument against such a statement and the Colts still believe he brings a "dominant" pass-rushing trait.

"Robert looks pretty spry and he brings that presence off the edge," Ryan Grigson said on 1070 The Fan last week after watching Mathis participate in the Colts offseason program.

As Mathis enters his 14th NFL season, he has a realistic chance at rewriting a few more NFL records.

  • Only three players in NFL history, age 35 or older, have had seasons of more than a dozen sacks (none in the last 15 seasons).
  • Since 2000, only two NFL-ers 35 or older have reached the double-digit sack plateau. 

When new defensive coordinator Ted Monachino arrived earlier this offseason, he quickly addressed his best pass rusher.

Mathis' 7.0 sacks in limited playing time last season proved to Monachino that the top pass rusher in Indy was still No. 98.

That's again true in 2016.

"We've got to make sure that he does that as often as possible," Monachino says of Mathis rushing forward at the quarterback this fall.

"When he knows that's what we're going to do with him, then he'll continue to be excited about every third down."

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