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Robert Mathis ends career as Player of the Week

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  • By Quang M Lam NFL.com
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Although the Colts missed the playoffs, Robert Mathis was determined not to go out a loser.

After announcing that he would be retiring after the season, Mathis went out and led Indianapolis' defense in a 24-20 victory over Jacksonville. The veteran defensive end recorded three tackles, a sack and forced a fumble in the final game of his 14-year career, a performance that earned him the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award, the NFL announced on Wednesday.

"You just don't want it to end, but to be in position to say goodbye to the fans and the teammates the way they did, I can't ask for anything more," Mathis said after the game. "I was extremely nervous, like more than usual for some reason. I guess for obvious reasons."

The AFC Offensive Player of the Week was Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman had eight receptions for 151 yards and a 77-yard touchdown as the Patriots clinched the top seed in the AFC with a 35-14 defeat of the Dolphins.

Tyreek Hill was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. The Chiefs speedster scored on an electrifying 95-yard punt return, his fourth straight game with a touchdown.

In the NFC, Matt Ryan took home Offensive Player of the Week honors. The Falcons quarterback threw for 331 yards and four touchdowns to lead Atlanta over New Orleans 38-32. "Matty Ice" strengthened his case for MVP, completing the regular season with 4,944 yards passing and 38 touchdown passes. With the win, the Falcons (11-5) secured the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

The NFC Defensive Player of the Week was Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Rodgers-Cromartie registered three tackles, two interceptions and a sack in helping the Giants defense shut down the Redskins 19-10.

Buccaneers punter Bryan Anger was the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Anger averaged 45.8 yards on five punts and pinned the Panthers inside their own 20 each time, helping Tampa Bay prevail 17-16.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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