JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 02: Rashean Mathis #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars asks the crowd for noise during a game against the New Orleans Saints at EverBank Field on October 2, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Rashean Mathis takes a lot of heat from Jacksonville fans. Many believe he is not even the best cornerback on the team and many were mad that he held out of voluntary offseason training activities in 2010. These beliefs were only compounded on Sunday when he made a mistake in coverage on a 3rd & 17, biting on a route towards the middle of the field that he should've passed off to a safety, and allowed a 37 yard touchdown to A.J. Green.
As Eric Stoner of DraftBreakdown said, "Mathis plays solid football. Problem is that when he makes a mistake, it's a big one." However, the mistakes have been far and few between in 2011. After Kenny Britt hauled in a touchdown over tight Mathis coverage and scored again on a weird, fluke of an 80 yard pass from Hasselbeck, Mathis's only other allowed touchdown was to Green.
With Derek Cox in and out of the lineup, but mostly out, due to injury, Mathis has had the assignment of shadowing the opposing #1's regardless of the side of the field the receiver lines up on.
According to the stat analysis on Football Outsiders, though, #1 receivers are having very little success against the Jaguars defense. In fact, Mathis and the Jaguars have done the 4th best in the league at stopping the best receivers on the teams they have played. Alternatively, the Jaguars rank 21st at stopping #2 receivers and 24th at stopping tight ends.
The 31 year old, 9th year cornerback is in a contract year and has expressed his desire to finish his career in Jacksonville. Whether or not he receives a new contract with the Jaguars is still very much up in the air, but he has done a good so far showing why he deserves one.