Clearly, the Indianapolis Colts were disgusted with their 22-17 loss to the Houston Texans, and their injured outside linebacker was no exception.
Tuesday, outside linebacker Robert Mathis had some strong comments about his team’s unfortunate loss to the Texans. He voiced his unhappiness on his weekly Indianapolis radio show.
"“Coming back against a team that has what you want in Houston, which is an AFC South title, we can’t rise to the occasion. That’s just unacceptable. I’m not bashing — I’m just telling the truth… The talent is there. We can play with any team, when we are on our A-game. It’s [just] a lot of mental. We are not the strongest mentally as a team. The physical ability, the coaching, the players — it’s all there. Mentally, we need to get stronger.”"
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By now, everyone should realize the implications Sunday’s game had on the Colts season. A win would have allowed Indianapolis to control their playoff destiny. However, they lost and are now need the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans to slip up down the stretch.
The only problem is Mathis’ criticism is it is coming way too late. There is only three games left in this season. It is too late in the season to be barking for change. To make matters worse, his main criticism is already a known problem for the Colts.
He noted that this team needs to get mentally stronger. Pagano said the same thing after they lost to the Texans in Week 6. That is nearly two months ago, and clearly, the adjustment has not been made. This is who the Indianapolis Colts are: a mentally weak football team.
Another interesting thing about Mathis’ comments is he did not play in the Sunday’s game. He is still nursing a biceps injury that has held him out of the past two games.
Also, he had not been effective even when healthy. He only has three sacks this season; the lowest of his career since his rookie year in 2003. He certainly know this and is accepting that blame.
"“I’m the leader and that falls on me. I’m the first one the fans should be angry at. If I can take those bullets for my teammates, I’m taking them. I have to do better.”"
Understandably, Mathis trying to do his job as the team’s leader. However, his comments are coming way too late in the season.
Also, it is hard to completely accept his criticism towards his teammates because he did not participate in the loss and he has not been very good this season.
The Colts hit the road to face a 7-6 Minnesota Vikings team that desperately needs a win to stay relevant in the NFC playoff chase. Hopefully, Indianapolis plays with better urgency and mental toughness, but history suggests they will not.