Underperforming Texans defense needs Jadeveon Clowney

Houston Texans

Jadeveon Clowney says he will play against the Giants this week, and he has to help get this Texans defense out of its early slump.

The Houston Texans have gotten off to somewhat of a disappointing 0-2 start this season.

This team should be one of the better teams in the AFC. They might not be a Super Bowl contender just yet, but they should at least crack the conversation. At the very least, Houston’s defense should be considered one of the best in the league.

The defensive unit for the Texans consists of Jadeveon Clowney, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus in the front line, as well as safety Tyrann Mathieu in the backfield. It’s an elite group on paper, but through two games, it hasn’t quite lived up to the hype.

It certainly didn’t help that Clowney (back and elbow problems) missed last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans — a 20-17 defeat for the Texans. But Clowney plans to be back on the field for Houston’s Week 3 matchup against the New York Giants. This will be a big help for the defensive line as they hope to get better at rushing the opposing quarterbacks.

With guys like Clowney, Watt, and Mercilus, there really is no reason why the Texans shouldn’t have a dangerous pass rush. But they weren’t good enough against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Week 1, as the Patriots put up 27 points and Brady threw for 277 yards.

So far in 2018, neither Watt nor Mercilus has recorded a sack. Houston has just three sacks as a team through two games.

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But fortunately for the Texans, it’s only been two games. Being 0-2 isn’t the worst mountain in the world to climb if you have to, but if they are going to climb out of that hole, this defense can’t be underperforming.

Having Clowney back on the field will put extra pressure on Eli Manning on Sunday. It’s time for this Texans defense to become elite, and a healthy Clowney can help them do that.

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