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Minus two starters, Colts D still strong

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dwight Freeney wasn’t supposed to play because of a quad injury but did, contributing with a sack. His counterpart, Robert Mathis, put up a fantastic stat line in Indy’s 34-17 win over Seattle: six tackles, three sacks, a tackle for loss, four quarterback hits and two forced fumbles.

I’m about to hunker down and write a Colts’ column with an offensive theme, but not before some credit for the defense.

Playing without a couple significant injured pieces -- middle linebacker Gary Brackett and cornerback Kelvin Hayden -- the Colts were stingy on defense allowing an average pass completion of 7.8-yards, nothing longer than 22 and just 2.6 yards a rush.

“When those guys get back, we’re going to take it up to another level,” Mathis said. “The guys that are in there just got to hold it down for them. …We’re playing at a high level, we just can’t get satisfied or complacent, we’ve just got to keep it going.”