Jadeveon Clowney relishes biggest play of career


Jadeveon Clowney busted his status as an invisible former No. 1 overall pick. The pass-rusher came through with the first season-altering play of his career on Sunday, bowling over a feeble block attempt from tight end Dwayne Allen for a strip-sack of Andrew Luck on third-and-goal as the Colts were poised to regain the lead.

Clowney had no doubt when asked if he thought it was the biggest play of his career.

"Yeah. I do," he said after the game, via the team's official website. "It was a big play in a critical moment of the game. Finished this one out."

The strip sack, recovered by Whitney Mercilus, kept the game 16-10. Houston held on for the 22-17 road win to surge to the catbird seat in the AFC South.

Clowney missed last week's loss to the Green Bay Packers. Sunday he returned and Andrew Luck felt his presence. The pass-rusher earned three tackles, the strip sack and three QB hits on Sunday.

"The guys, all week long, they were telling me, 'We miss you and we need you back out there,'" Clowney said. "So to come out here and make a big play like that to help us win the game was big for us."

After his first two seasons were sabotaged due to injuries, Clowney has made the leap. Sunday's big play was a confluence of talent and opportunity. It might end up being the difference between the Texans winning the AFC South or sitting at home in January.

"My confidence has been high since I got here," Clowney said. "I always knew I could play this game. I just had to be healthy."

With no J.J. Watt, Clowney is proving he can be that game-changing playmaker the Texans hoped they were getting with the No. 1 pick in 2014.