Clowney, Mercilus Lead Strong Defensive Performance In AFC South Clincher

By: Alex Del Barrio, Sportsradio 610

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – After two injury plagued seasons, Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was hoping he could stay on the field all season in 2016. From the start of training camp he has said his top goal was just to stay on the field.

Clowney has been healthy for all but one game this season and has taken his game to a different level the last few weeks. On Saturday night against the Bengals he made several strong plays and tallied three tackles including a sack, along with several hits on quarterback Andy Dalton in the Texans 12-10 victory.

Clowney said the game plan was simple.

“Stop them,” Clowney said about the Texans defensive game plan. “All means necessary to get a stop and get the ball back to our offense. Try to get a turn over and good field position and try to get a stop.”

Whitney Mercilus, who returned after missing last week’s game against the Jaguars, also added a pair of sacks, to bring his season total to 7.5. Getting to Dalton was a priority for them in this game and it showed.

“We just did our deal,” Mercilus said. “We have an aggressive group. Just being able to work moves, work gains, get in his face, force some bad throws, especially our DBs, they did a great job.”

Clowney led the defense to allowing just under 300 yards of offense to the Bengals and his run defense, which is the most impressive part of his arsenal, helped hold Cincinnati to just 50 yards on the ground.

“We played physical upfront with the offensive line and not getting knocked back and you know, boxing the man to make them stay inside and that’s what we did. Everybody got to the ball,” Clowney said.

Clowney even made a remarkable attempt to run down the sideline in an attempt to stop Brandon Lafell on his 86 yard touchdown catch and run. He thought for a moment he would have a chance to catch him.

“I did for a second,” Clowney said.  “I reached my top speed and he still picked up speed and I was like “nah, that’s it, no more”. But I tried.”

Alex Del Barrio  and Matt Murphy can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm  Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio

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