NFL Wire News

Mathis expected to take leadership role


The Sports Xchange

INDIANAPOLIS — With the Indianapolis Colts struggling this season, look for veteran outside linebacker Robert Mathis to become more of a vocal leader in the team’s locker room.

“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,” Mathis said. “Whatever it is, we work too hard (to have things go south). We just have to stay as one. We can’t let in any outside detractors distract us.”

Mathis made his first start of the 2015 season against New Orleans on Sunday and responded with two total tackles, including his second sack of the year. He also recorded three quarterback hits and a tackle for loss in the game.

–The 2015 season is reminding many veteran Colts observers of the franchise’s 2001 team that finished with a 6-10 record with Peyton Manning at quarterback. And through their first five games of each season, Manning and current quarterback Andrew Luck have accumulated very similar statistics.

Manning had 10 touchdown passes and nine interceptions while leading his team to a 2-3 record through his first five games of the 2001 season. Luck, meanwhile, has 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions and is 1-4 in his starts this year.

–Through seven overall games this season, Indianapolis has committed the fifth-most penalties (56) in the NFL. The Colts are tied with Atlanta for the most offensive holds. Tackle Anthony Castonzo is tied for the league lead in holds.

–The Colts have started slow in all seven of the games so far this season. It’s a problem that has to be corrected quickly.

“Yeah, we’ve managed to play a good 30 minutes here and there and then we’ve shot ourselves in the foot at halves. We’ve got to put together a complete football game,” head coach Chuck Pagnao said. “We’ve got to play 60 minutes of Colts football. You can’t beat yourself.”

Notes: Quarterback Andrew Luck ranks 30th in the NFL in passer rating (76.3). Luck is ahead of only Peyton Manning (72.5) and Houston’s Ryan Mallett (63.6). “I’d say I’m frustrated,” Luck said after the Saints loss. “I think, as an (offensive) unit, we’re frustrated and I’m frustrated with myself. Some egregious turnovers. It’s really bad football. We’ll come to work and start working to fix it.” … Rookie wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (lower leg) suffered a fractured left fibula in the second half of the New Orleans game and did not return. Dorsett is scheduled to undergo a medical procedure on Tuesday. He is expected to be sidelined anywhere from four to six weeks. As for who will replace Dorsett on the depth chart, head coach Chuck Pagano said that is still being discussed. … Center Khaled Holmes (stinger) is listed day-to-day after he was injured in the first half of the New Orleans game. Holmes was replaced by Jonotthan Harrison for the remainder of the game. Harrison could end up starting in Monday night’s game at Carolina.

About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business