Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.
The two teams will meet again in an AFC wild-card playoff game Saturday (4:35 p.m., NBC Sports) at Lucas Oil Stadium. But Mathis, a player who has plenty of National Football League playoff experience under his belt, knows that what happened on Dec. 22 doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the post-season.
“Yeah, the whole [playoff] atmosphere’s electric from beginning to end. Pregame, halftime, postgame, everything is just magnified. And just a win-or-go-home type of deal,” the outside linebacker said Monday.
The 11th-year NFL veteran doesn’t have to think too much to remember a similar situation.
“Pittsburgh 2005. We beat them Monday or Sunday Night Football [actually Monday Night] pretty convincingly (26-7). They came back [in the playoffs] and beat us first (21-18 in an AFC Divisional playoff game),” he recalled.
“We were a one-and-done team. And that was arguably the best team we had that year since I’ve been here. So don’t fall for the banana in the tailpipe. [Kansas City is] coming to play. So you better come to play. Bring you’re A-game and your lunch pail.”
Being able to adjust will be the key. Mathis knows that the Chiefs will tweak what they do offensively, give Indianapolis some different looks than what they saw two weeks ago.
He also knows that the Colts must continue their defensive improvement, which has limited opposing teams to 13 points over their final three regular season games.
“Improve, adjust and improve on the good things. Anything that was bad or any minuses, you minimize that,” Mathis explained.
“Maximize the positives because you know they’re going to make adjustments and they’re going to work on the things that failed them the first time around. Whatever game plan they come with, you just have to be on top of what you are.”