NFL

Colts' Mathis wins NFL's first Deacon Jones Award

{eot}
The Canadian Press
1/2/2014 3:53:07 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

INDIANAPOLIS -- Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.

He learned to appreciate Jones' creativity over time.

The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honoured Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL's Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league's sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.

"Deacon Jones is the creator of the sack, so to be able to win the first award in his honour is an honour," Mathis told reporters in Indianapolis. "I'm very proud that I was able to win it and I thank my teammates, mainly the d-line, who were very instrumental in helping me get to the quarterback."

League officials named the award after Jones died June 3 at age 74. Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

Mathis has been one of the league's top sack artists since joining the Colts as a fifth-round draft pick in 2003. For nearly a decade, Mathis and Dwight Freeney were among the NFL's most feared pass-rushing tandems.

But when Freeney left in free agency during the off-season, the critics contended Mathis would struggle without his longtime teammate and close friend.

Instead, Mathis used it as motivation. When asked Thursday why he has played so well over the years, Mathis responded: "The fact that I do have a chip on my shoulder every time I play. When people say you can't do something, you want to show them that you can."

So the 32-year-old who is in his second season as a rush linebacker delivered the best season of his career.

He broke Freneey's franchise record for sacks in a season (16) with 19 1/2 and became the Colts' career sacks leader (111), surpassing Freeney's previous mark (107 1/2). Mathis finished the regular season with 65 tackles, matched his career high with eight forced fumbles -- two of which led to safeties -- and helped lead the Colts to their first AFC South title without Peyton Manning.

Indy (11-5) will host Kansas City (11-5) on Saturday afternoon in a wild-card game.

Mathis, who was the sacks leader most of the season, even came up with two sacks in the regular-season finale to move past St. Louis' Robert Quinn and join Freeney as the only Colts players to win a sacks title. Freeney took that honour in 2004.

Robert Mathis (Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: Septemeber 2nd - Alex Marvez

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 joins the show to discuss Jim Irsay, Michael Sam, and J.J Watt.

TSN 1050: Game Night: September 1 - Matt Florjancic

WKYC Cleveland's Matt Florjancic joins Andy McNamara and John Letherby on Game Night.

TSN 1050: Game Night: Joe Horrigan - July 30

Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of Communications Joe Horrigan joined Game Night with Jim Tatti & Andy McNamara to talk NFL Hall of Fame Weekend


More Podcasts

NFL on TSN and CTV

Sunday, September 21

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CKPR)


Houston Texans at New York Giants - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CITL)


Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Montreal, CTV Atlantic, CTV Saskatchewan)


Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Winnipeg)


Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Two Toronto, CTV Two Ottawa, CTV Two London, CTV Two Vancouver Island, CTV Two Alberta, CTV Two Atlantic)


Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks - 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Montreal, CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CTV Winnipeg, CTV Two Atlantic, CKPR, CITL)


Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers
8:15pm et/5:15pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


Monday, September 22

Chicago Bears at New York Jets
7pm et/4pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


NFL on TSN Broadcast Schedule

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television