- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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What could have been an incredible day for the Indianapolis Colts didn't end the way they hoped.
Shortly after receiver Marvin Harrison and coach Tony Dungy found out they will not be heading to the Hall of Fame this year, linebacker Robert Mathis learned he wasn’t this season’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Mathis finished second behind Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly for the award.
Kuechly led the NFC in tackles with 156, including 24 against New Orleans in Week 16.
Mathis didn’t win Defensive Player of the Year, but he still had a successful season.
He also proved the naysayers wrong who doubted that he could dominate without Dwight Freeney on the other side.
The best part about Mathis playing with the chip on his shoulder?
He had no problem saying the doubters motivated him.
Mathis led the league in sacks with 19.5 and forced fumbles with eight. He had 46.4 percent of the Colts’ sacks this season, because they only had 42 as a team. The eight forced fumbles led to 35 Colts points.
677dPaul Kuharsky and Bill Williamson