Yesterday it was an ode to Fred Taylor, the greatest player in franchise history.
Today? Mr. 27 himself — Rashean Mathis.
A penchant for the big play
Rashean’s penchant for a big, athletic play when the Jaguars needed it most will always stand out to fans, as will the fact that he always seemed to hit another gear when we were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. And those memories against the Steelers are what will stand out when I think back to why Mathis was one of my favorite players.
From watching him play, he was always good. But he played with a certain edge when it was the Steelers. I don’t know why that is. Mathis never played in the AFC Central when the Jaguars and Steelers were a division matchup.
Maybe he fed off of the fans who had nearly a decade of bitterness left over from before the 2002 realignment.
No matter what it was, Rashean’s dominance of the Steelers was what stands out to me. His walk off interception return for a touchdown against Tommy Maddox (in Pittsburgh!) in 2005 was one of the biggest plays of his career. His touchdown in the playoffs on the road during the 2007 playoffs. And a touchdown against the Steelers in Jacksonville in Week 5 of the 2008 season on Sunday Night Football.
Mathis is the only player in Jaguars history to return three interceptions for a touchdown — all against the Steelers. His eight interceptions during the 2006 season are a Jaguars single-season record.
He’s one of the greats to ever come out of Duval — and I wish we appreciated him more.
Send us your favorite moments and we’ll dig into each one until the Jaguars kick off on September 8th — including whatever video, audio, or stories we can find.