The Houston Texans finished the regular season with the No. 1 defense in the NFL. They allowed the fewest yards per game (301.3) and less than a hundred yards of rushing (99.7). Three of that defense’s key pieces were recognized by the Associated Press on Friday.
Linebackers Whitney Mercilus and Benardrick McKinney and defensive end/linebacker Jadeveon Clowney were named to the Second-Team AP All-Pro Squad, reports KRIV’s Mark Berman.
McKinney, 24, collected 129 combined tackles, five sacks, two passes defended, and one forced fumble. He was the only player in the NFL with 125 tackles and five sacks.
Mercilus, 26, had 53 combined tackles, 7.5 sacks, four fumbles recovered, and one pass defended. He has the third most sacks over the last 25 games (behind only Khalil Mack and Von Miller).
Clowney, 23, had 62 combined tackles, six sacks, two passes defended, and one forced fumble. Clowney was tied for sixth in the NFL in tackles for loss (16).
Those three defensive weapons helped sustain a defense that was without annual All-Pro and general monster J.J. Watt for much of the season. Congratulations to all of them for this well deserved honor.