Last season, Whitney Mercilus pressured the quarterback, but he didn’t have the meaningful sack and hit numbers that edge rushers need to have. That’s changed this season. Mercilus followed up a one sack, one quarterback hit, one and a half tackles for a loss, one pass defensed game against the Saints on Monday Night Football by brutalizing Will Richardson Jr. and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Mercilus had 2 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 forced fumbles (one of which recovered by J.J. Watt), and 3 quarterback hits on top of that. One sack was hand fighting and ripping, something missing from last season when Mercilus was rushing way, way, way out wide. The other was an absurd spin move where Richardson Jr. stood and watched in awe of Mercilus’s dance move, failing to even get a hand on him.
Mercilus was awarded this week’s AFC Defensive Player of the Week Award for that performance.
Defensive Players of the Week (Week 2):— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2019
AFC: @HoustonTexans LB @Merci380
NFC: @Buccaneers LB @MOOCHIE048
(by @Headshoulders) pic.twitter.com/paSRq5yTpz
#Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus (@Merci380) has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. This marks his 2nd career Player of the Week award & first since Week 1 of 2016.— Texans PR (@TexansPR) September 18, 2019
Mercilus finished with 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, two quarterback hits and two total tackles in Week 2. pic.twitter.com/pZAVb93T03
#Texans OLB @Merci380 has recorded a sack in back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 11-12 of 2018 & 9th time overall in his NFL career— Texans PR (@TexansPR) September 18, 2019
He now owns 11 career games with 2.0-or-more sacks, which is the third-most in team history behind @JJWatt (24) & Mario Williams (12) pic.twitter.com/27fyEGwl4W
OLB @Merci380 joined Chris Jones (2017), Terrell Suggs (2011) & Simeon Rice (2003) as the only players to record 3.0 sacks, two FFs & an interception in their teams’ first two games of a season since 1993.— Texans PR (@TexansPR) September 18, 2019
He now owns 45.5 career sacks, which is the 3rd-most in #Texans history. pic.twitter.com/qtH4YOR3Pf
Mercilus will look to expand upon his so far so great season against Philip Rivers soup tossing and a crappy tackle combination composed of Trent Scott and Sam Tevi on Sunday afternoon.