Derrick Mason Retires: 5 of His Most Memorable Games as a Tennessee Titan
Derrick Mason announced his retirement from professional football this January and walks away from a career that has seen many highs and lows.
While he certainly has made a name for himself over the last 14 seasons, most Titans fans distinctly remember 1997 through 2004 as his "glory days."
In light of his recent retirement from the NFL, let's take a look at some of his best games wearing the two-tone blue.
Titans Beat the Giants at the Meadowlands in Overtime 32-29 (12/1/2002)
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On Dec. 1, 2002, the Tennessee Titans defeated the New York Giants, 32-29, in overtime. I remember the game like it was yesterday, being from New Jersey. Titans victories over New York football teams are few and far between, and the Titans bested the Giants on this day.
Derrick Mason caught 12 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown. The game was won on a Joe Nedney 38-yard field goal in overtime.
In the 2002 season, this game gave Mason his highest catch totals and the most yards, except for the 118 yards he put up in a loss to the Cowboys in Week 2 of that season.
Titans Post 38-17 Win over the Houston Texans (10/12/2003)
On Oct. 12, 2003, Derrick Mason had arguably one of his best days as a Tennessee Titan. He did it at home in Nashville against division-rival Houston to boot.
Putting up 177 yards on only six receptions, he helped the Titans cruise to a 38-17 victory.
He scored three touchdowns that day and posted his season-high in both touchdowns and receiving yards. For the day, he averaged 30 yards per catch and was an integral part of the victory.
Titans Win in Cleveland 31-15 on Two Big Derrick Mason TDs (12/2/2001)
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On Dec. 2, 2001, the Tennessee Titans cruised into Cleveland and left with a 31-15 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
While Mason did not dazzle with 10-plus catches, he did post two long touchdowns of 43 and 71 yards. He finished the day with three receptions for 122 yards total.
While he only had three receptions on the day, watching the game on TV, it felt as though he was making a play every time he touched the ball. Technically, he did as two of his three touches went the distance.
Titans Lose to the New York Jets 24-17 in New York (12/1/2003)
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Once again, Derrick Mason found himself playing a game in New York on Dec. 1; he played a memorable game on Dec. 1, 2002 against the Giants which we previously discussed.
In 2003 though, the Titans were not as successful as they lost a tight contest to the Jets, 24-17. While the Titans lost the game, Mason had another memorable game in a Titans uniform.
He posted 11 catches on the day for 133 yards. On top of this, he added 122 yards in emergency special teams duty. Mason had a spectacular day, and without his performance, the Titans most likely wouldn't have been in the game as much as they were.
Mason finished the game with only one touchdown despite all of his yardage. This game featured Mason's high for the season in receptions, and it was his third-highest game of the season in yardage.
Derrick's Last Dance: His Last Game as a Tennessee Titan (1/2/05)
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Derrick Mason played his final game as a Tennessee Titan on Jan. 2, 2005. By Derrick's standards, he would certainly go on to post many games much better than this one.
For Titans fans, however, his four receptions and 48 yards on the day were memorable, as they were his last.
The Titans won this game, 24-19, over the Detroit Lions at home in Nashville.
After the game, Derrick went on to sign as a free agent with the Baltimore Ravens, only to return to Nashville as an opponent.
Between 2001 and 2005 Derrick was one of the top receivers in the NFL. During that stretch, he posted five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and led the Titans to a number of playoff appearances.
I know for him, being a Titan meant a lot. With the late, great Steve McNair passing him the ball, he leaves the NFL with many fond memories of his time in Tennessee.
As a lifelong Titans fan, I have tremendous respect and admiration for him as both a player and a man. I appreciate all he did for the Titans and for the game.
Derrick Mason will be missed.