- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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DPOY: You should have Colts linebacker Robert Mathis on your defensive player of the year list if you didn't have him on there before. Mathis has made any thoughts about him not being able to be a force without former teammate Dwight Freeney vanish. Mathis leads the league in sacks with 9.5 after picking up two Sunday. He also became the 30th player in league history to reach 100 career sacks when he recorded a strip sack on the final play of the first half. “I can appreciate it and never take it for granted because it is a big milestone,” Mathis said. “Appreciate it and I’m very blessed.”
Finding a rhythm: Running back Trent Richardson had a brutal first half -- and that’s being polite -- when he ran for 2 yards on six carries. But things changed for him in the second half when he averaged 5.4 yards on his 12 carries. You had a feeling Richardson would have a better second half when he took off for 16 yards, his longest run of the season, on his first carry. His best run came when he went off the left tackle for a 10-yard gain on third-and-5 to keep a drive alive in the fourth quarter. Adam Vinatieri later made a 49-yard field goal to put the Colts up 34-28. Richardson is still working to find a rhythm, with his play in the second half being a step in the right direction. “Everything is starting to slow down for me,” he said. “At first, you know it was pretty fast, trying to learn. Now I’ve played three games. With that, I’m still a professional, so at the same time I got to be on my P’s and Q’s. I've got to know what’s going on.”
Special teams were special: It was a rough start on special teams. The normally reliable Pat McAfee shanked his first punt -- 34 yards -- giving the Seahawks the ball near midfield. Then the Seahawks overloaded the middle and ran a pick-and-roll (excuse the basketball terminology) on snapper Matt Overton, allowing Jermaine Kearse to block McAfee’s punt. Jeron Johnson couldn’t gather the ball before it went out of the back of the end zone, giving Seattle a safety. The Colts countered the Seahawks’ blocked punt when defensive lineman Lawrence Guy blocked Steven Hauschka’s 48-yard field goal attempt. Safety Delano Howell picked up the loose ball and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown, barely outrunning Seattle holder Jon Ryan. “He was kind of quick,” Howell said. “I wasn’t expecting that. Respect to him. I heard he was a wide receiver at one point.” Sunday marked the fourth time in team history that the Colts have returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown.