June 21, 2015

Highlighted Year: Jerome Mathis, 2005

Wide Receiver/Kick Returner, Houston Texans

Age: 22
1st season in pro football
College: Hampton
Height: 5’11” Weight: 181

With his great speed that also made him a college track star, Mathis accumulated 4541 all-purpose yards that included 93 pass receptions for 2456 yards (26.4 avg.) and 21 touchdowns and a 26.6-yard average on 62 kickoffs. He ranked second in the nation with an average of 160.8 all-purpose yards per game and was chosen by the Texans in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL draft. Mathis handled kickoffs as a rookie and also took over punt return duties when CB Phillip Buchanon was injured, although he was less adept at fielding punts.

2005 Season Summary
Appeared in 12 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 54 [10]
Yards – 1542 [5]
Most yards, game – 266 (on 7 ret.) vs. Indianapolis 10/23, (on 7 ret.) vs. Kansas City 11/20
Average per return – 28.6 [2]
TDs – 2 [1]
Longest return – 99 yards

Punt Returns
Returns – 12
Yards – 68
Most yards, game – 29 (on 5 ret.) at Baltimore 12/4
Average per return – 5.7
TDs – 0
Longest return – 19 yards

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 5
Yards – 65
Average gain – 13.0
TDs – 1

TDs – 3
Points – 18

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-AFC: Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Texans went 2-14 to finish fourth in the AFC South with the NFL’s worst record.  

Injuries limited Mathis to five games over the next two seasons and he was let go by the Texans, having averaged 28.5 yards on 72 kickoffs with three TDs. He was briefly signed during the offseason with the Redskins, was waived, and moved on to the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, although injuries caused him to be cut and re-signed during the 2009 season. Mathis played in the Arena Football League in 2011 with the Pittsburgh Power and in nine games caught 30 passes for 418 yards and 7 TDs and returned 31 kickoffs for a 22.2-yard average and a touchdown.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970