Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month for November. Mathis, the Jaguars' second-round choice (No. 39 overall) from Bethune-Cookman, started all five of the club's November games and missed only one defensive play all month. The 6-1, 202-pound cornerback posted 34 tackles and at least one pass defensed in every game and added an interception against Tennessee's Steve McNair, the NFL's top-rated passer.
The Jacksonville native (Englewood High School) began the month with a five-tackle performance and one pass defensed in Baltimore (November 2), followed by 10 tackles in a 28-23 win against Indianapolis (November 9), which entered with a 7-1 record. The rookie cornerback notched his second-career interception the next week at Tennessee (November 16), one of only six interceptions McNair has thrown this season. Mathis then had six tackles and a pass defensed in New York against the Jets (November 23) and finished the month with his second double-digit tackle game when he chalked up a team-high 11 tackles and another pass defensed against the Buccaneers in last Sunday night's 17-10 victory.
The 23-year-old Mathis was part of a defensive backfield in November that did not allow a 200-yard passer while facing the NFL's top three rated passers in Tennessee's McNair (103.5), the Jets' Chad Pennington (99.2) and Indianapolis' Peyton Manning (98.5), in addition to Tampa Bay's Brad Johnson, the NFC's third-rated passer (84.3). The Jaguars' defense ranks No. 6 in the NFL today after entering November ranked No. 10 by shaving 10.6 yards off of its yards-allowed per game average over the course of the past five contests.