Two huge plays for the Texans linebacker leads the day on defense

Player of the game: Mercilus' huge day helps Texans to sloppy 13-12 win

Zach Tarrant/

When the Houston Texans needed a play the most on defense, Whitney Mercilus was there.

With both teams stalling out on offense drive after drive the Texans had the Jaguars pinned deep in their own territory. As rookie Gardner Minshew dropped back to pass Mercilus went almost untouched after hitting the Jaguars tackle with a spin move. The ball squirted away where J.J. Watt recovered it.

"Now I get to do what I do best and tee it up," said Whitney Mercilus after the game.

It is the first time he has had three sacks in the first two games. It is the seventh time in his career Mercilus has had at least two sacks in a two game stretch.

"I think our guys rushed the passer hard," Bill O'Brien said after the game.

O'Brien praised Minshew's mobility and toughness against the Texans defense. Mercilus had equal praise for the Jaguars rookie.

It was the second time Mercilus had got home and caused a fumble for the Texans. Earlier in the day he beat his man again and engulfed Minshew causing a fumble. The Jaguars used extra help a couple of time on Mercilus and though his only stats came on those two tackles, he had quite the effect on the game.

Mercilus has been a terror and the best pass rusher on the team since returning to his natural position rushing the passer. Last week he had a key interception for the defense. Through two games he has been the defensive MVP for the team.

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