Robert Mathis adds to successful season

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis has a hundred dollar bill framed in his locker in honor of recording his 100th career sack earlier this season. Not that he’ll necessarily do it, but Mathis might have to slide that frame over a little bit to make room for his latest honor, one that wasn’t necessary to prove he doesn’t need former Colt Dwight Freeney on the field next to him to be one of the league’s best pass-rushers.

Mathis was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October on Thursday. He had 11 tackles, 4.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass defended in the month. He is also the last Colt to win the award. He did it in September 2010.

“The guy is just a pro,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Takes care of himself and he works at his craft. When you take care of yourself and you work year round like he does, I think obviously you’re able to do the things that he’s doing right now and being as productive as he is this far into his career.”

The Player of the Month award is nice and all, but it’s time to start talking about Mathis as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He leads the league in sacks at 11.5, which is already the fifth most in a season in Colts history, to go with 31 tackles and three forced fumbles. His five multi-sack games ties for the franchise record.

“Robert’s so impressive,” Houston coach Greg Kubiak said. “I think Chuck and those guys do a great job of getting him in position to make plays and be successful. Tremendous respect for him."