Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney Shows Flashes Of Brilliance In 32-7 Rout Of Falcons

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Sunday, August 17th, 2014 | 0

Houston Texans Rookie Minicamp

After a dismal 2013 season that saw the Houston Texans go from perceived Super Bowl contender to cellar-dwelling laughingstock, the team decided to add one of the finest raw defensive talents to come along in years by selecting former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick in May’s 2014 NFL Draft.

Clowney is expected to immediately team up with Texans pass rush Specialist J.J. Watt to form the most dangerous duo of quarterback-swallowing ends in the league. But with Watt on the sidelines for last night’s (Sat., August 16, 2014) Week 2 preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, Clowney got a chance to shine all on his own.

On the second Falcons offensive series of the evening, Clowney exploded into the backfield untouched to tackle running back Antone Smith. On the very next play, Clowney showed flashes of the speed that earned him his high draft status, rushing in off the left side to sack quarterback Matt Ryan for a solid seven-yard loss.

Clowney had a rather simple view of his performance in a postgame interview with the Associated Press:

”It’s work,” Clowney said. ”You just got to work and get after the guys, go hard and hope for something good. You just have to do your job.”

There’s not much doubt that Clowney is already doing the job he was hired for, but this is still just the preseason. Despite his natural affinity for disrupting plays in the backfield, it could take Clowney a while to adjust to facing first team NFL offenses day in and day out.

Yet he’ll have Watt by his side when that day arrives, making the Texans’ defense instantly one of the most feared in the NFL. They looked highly impressive in holding the usually high-octane Falcons offense to a mere seven points last night, putting up 32 of their own to win in a rout.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan had high praise for the Texans’ defensive unit in the loss, focusing on the fact that his Falcons simply couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities they were given:

”We just had a few plays here and there that kind of got off schedule, and when you do that against a good defense it’s tough to overcome those mistakes,” Ryan said. ”We had opportunities to make plays, we just didn’t make them.”

So Clowney is having a big effect on opposing quarterbacks, and he may have an infectious impact on his teammates. Newly hired Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has already noticed the star rookie’s positive change to his team, something that was noticeably absent last year:

”When a guy makes a defensive play that’s a big hit, it really lights up your sideline.”

Indeed it does, and if early indications hold any truth, Clowney will give Texans a whole lot more to cheer for this year.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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