Aug 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis (98) watches from the sidelines during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Mathis is having a career year in 2013

In his eleventh season in the NFL, all with the Indianapolis Colts, Robert Mathis may very well be having the best season of his already successful career. Indianapolis selected Mathis in the fifth round of the 2003 draft, 138th overall.

Through five games this season, Mathis has managed a sack in each contest and has totaled 9.5 to this point to go with 24 tackles. Previously, his career bests were 50 tackles in 2006 and 11.5 in two seasons, 2005 and 2008. At this rate, the veteran pass rusher will shatter those numbers and then some.

As the Colts knocked off the 4-0 Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Mathis reached the 100-sack milestone, and now sits at 101 in his career. He is currently 1-of-3o players to reach that number.

Unfortunately for Mathis’ reputation, Dwight Freeney was rushing the passer on the opposite edge for the majority of his career. Despite living in the shadows of the superstar Freeney, his production was undeniable. Now, with Freeney gone, Mathis is the presence in the front four that teams game plan to hold in check. Since Chuck Pagano took over, the veteran OLB/DE has adapted well to the new personnel, staff, and scheme. For Mathis, it is now his time to shine. After sharing the spotlight with Freeney, Mathis is now in contention for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

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Tags: Chuck Pagano Dwight Freeney Indianapolis Colts NFL Robert Mathis