Week 17 Football Fun Facts
• There were two Colts linebackers to consistently own this season, LILB Jerrell Freeman and ROLB Robert Mathis. Freeman was credited with 126 tackles (83 solo) for the season, making him a low end number one linebacker in most configurations but it was Mathis who had the more explosive season. While Freeman (-0.3) was definitely a fantasy stud, Mathis (+31.7) was great both on the field and in fantasy. Mathis had two sacks in Week 17 against Jacksonville which makes him the NFL sack leader for the season with 19.5. Mathis also leads the league with eight forced fumbles and recorded 44 stops, 39 quarterback hurries and five quarterback hits on the season.
Mathis now gets to chase around after QB Alex Smith (-2.2) on Saturday in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Smith was 11th in the league this season with 39 sacks taken but could have easily made the top ten if he hadn’t sat out his Week 17 game against San Diego. (And to the surprise of no one, Ryan Tannehill ended up leading the league with 58 sacks taken.) Kansas City is expected to be getting LT Branden Albert (+10.0) back for the playoffs although rookie RT Eric Fisher (-17.8) is now questionable after straining his groin during Tuesday’s practice. As long as one of the tackles can play, Kansas City should be okay by playing swing tackle Donald Stephenson (-8.2) wherever he is needed. Stephenson has been filling in at left tackle for Albert.
Anyway, back to Mathis. With him leading the NFL in sacks and forced fumbles he will probably garner many Defensive Player of the Year votes. But he should not win the award. A more viable candidate is the guy we talked about last week. The guy who ended up second to Mathis in both of those categories.