The Herald Bulletin

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Pro Sports

September 8, 2013

Gassed defense makes plays when it counts

INDIANAPOLIS — Outside linebacker Robert Mathis was a tired man Sunday night.

Mathis was one of several Indianapolis Colts defenders who tried to corral Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

More often than not, Pryor came out ahead in several individual matchups over the course of the game. Fortunately for Mathis, the Colts — thanks to the usual late-game heroics of quarterback Andrew Lick and a game-ending interception by safety Antoine Bethea — came away with what counted the most — a victory.

"It was a hard-fought game. (I'm) very, very tired. We got the win, so it was all worth it," the veteran defensive standout said, joking that he probably registered about 5.3 miles of running over the course of the game. "That guy (Pryor) is fast. He definitely showed up to play. We just had to make one more play. We are still growing as a defense. Bend but don't break. But we'd rather not bend either. We are still working towards our goal."

Bethea tried to play down his part in sealing the win.

"We said he's going to make some plays. We just had to continue to play hard, mark plays. We hung in there and was able to make a play," he voiced.

What happened to the offense?: Two possessions, two touchdowns. Then nothing until early in the fourth quarter. What happened?

"You have two drives, the touchdown drives, and then you kind of stall. It's self-inflicted wounds. We talked about it. You have negative plays. Credit (Oakland) for making those plays. But it's awful hard to stay ahead of the chains and stay on track," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano explained. "Again, we didn't go into a shell. It was more either a penalty, a negative play or a sack that took us out because we still drove the ball. We were still on their side of the 50, but then we'd shoot ourselves in the foot."

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