Mathis finished the game with a pass breakup and five tackles, and the pass defense came on third down in the end zone to prevent the Texans from taking a 12-6 lead. He had a tough task of covering wide receiver Brandin Cooks a number of times, but he was able to contain the Texans' deep threat. After not appearing in Week 1, Mathis' strong performance indicates a bright future ahead for the rookie.
"[I] got to see him step up and make some of those plays," Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said. "The thing about Damarri is, it's not too big for him. I think you saw that here today — being a rookie, going out there and just executing at a high level."
Now with his first regular-season NFL appearance under his belt, Mathis said that his confidence and comfort on the field has grown. The rookie noted that this game was faster than college games or the preseason, so getting a chance to play was a great opportunity.
"It just feels good getting in and getting my feet wet," Mathis said. "Being able to adjust to the game, it's a different level of football and I think it's good that I came in and was able to do that."
Below the Fold
After being elevated from the practice squad the day before the game, wide receiver Kendall Hinton had the chance to play when Jerry Jeudy exited the game with an injury. In the limited snaps he got, Hinton made an impact with a 20-yard reception.
"It's the journey," Hinton said of his unexpected role in Sunday's victory. "You never know how it's going to look. Things happen, and [I'm] just rolling with the punches."