Last season, Jadeveon Clowney was furious when team doctors wouldn’t allow him to play in the Wild Card game against the Kansas City Chiefs due to a foot injury.
On Saturday, Clowney will make his first-ever appearance in the postseason, against a Derek Carr-less Oakland Raiders squad who isn’t sure if Matt McGloin or rookie Connor Cook will be starting at quarterback.
In 2016, Clowney moved from outside linebacker to defensive end and lived up to his first-round draft hype. He stepped up in a huge way for the Texans when J.J. Watt was lost for the season with a back injury in Week 3 and was voted to his first Pro Bowl.
When Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was asked by reporters what he wants to see from Clowney against the Raiders, he responded by saying he wants Clowney to keep being a “disruptive force in the running game and passing game.”
When Houston and Oakland faced off in Mexico City earlier in 2016, Clowney delivered an excellent performance, recording five solo tackles in a 27-20 loss.
“He’s doing a lot of different things, and he’s worked very hard,” O’Brien said. “To do what he’s done all year would be really good for us.”
Although Clowney missed two games in the regular season, he was still able to register six sacks, 52 combined tackles, 17 quarterback hits, and 16 tackles for loss. Clowney’s contributions have helped Houston’s defense become a scary force in the NFL, as they are currently ranked No. 1 in the league. Whoever winds up being the signal caller for Oakland will quickly learn Clowney’s presence must be accounted for if they are going to be able to successfully move the football down the field.