The Houston Texans were embarrassed Sunday, losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars 45-7.
Since former Clemson star quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending ACL tear it has been a lost season for the Texans. While many Houston players were criticized for a lack of effort against the Jags, few could find anything critical to say about Jadeveon Clowney.
The South Carolina Gamecocks alum continued to play the best football of his NFL career, filling up the stat sheet with everything but a sack in spite of the Texans’ lopsided loss.
Clowney recorded four tackles and three quarterback hits in the game. The Rock Hill native has 20 QB hits this season, a career high that surpassed his previous best of 17 set last season.
The only misstep Clowney might have made was in a postgame comment about the victorious quarterback. When asked about Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles, Clowney had a terse response.
Clowney also said “They beat us on both sides of the ball. They beat us, bad...They were that much better than us today....Nobody wants to get beat like that. It’s embarrassing to the whole organization, everybody on the team.”
But it was his “trash” talk that stood out.
Bortles completed 21 of 29 passes for 326 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in the blowout win. It was the Jags second win this season over the Texans and makes the timing of Clowney’s comment questionable, at best.
He came out fired up, but his enthusiasm couldn’t carry over to his teammates.
Clowney’s effort in an otherwise dreadful game for the Texans didn’t go unnoticed by fans. Many pointed to him and receiver DeAndre Hopkins as the lone players trying for the Texans.
On the season, the former No. 1 overall draft pick out of USC has a career-best nine sacks, 50 tackles, 20 for a loss, the 20 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles.
Hopkins finished the game with four receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown, which was his 12th this season. That total broke his own team record, which the former Clemson star set in 2015.
The Central, S.C. native has 92 receptions for 1,313 and 12 touchdowns so far this season, the best as an NFL player for the receiver nicknamed “Nuk.”
With Clowney’s checkered health history in the NFL, including a nagging knee injury that briefly sidelined him earlier this season, many question the merit of continuing to play the blossoming star.
On Twitter, Houston Chronicle sportswriter David Barron asked “when the #Texans will decide to shut down Clowney and McKinney for the rest of this lackluster season.”
It’s something that has fans up in arms. Texans fans worried about Clowney’s health have taken to social media to ask Houston to protect him for the future by benching him for the remainder of the season.