Hide your quarterback! Hide your running back! Hide your first-round offensive lineman! Jadeveon Clowney’s 2018 stat line reads as follows: four tackles for loss, four QB hits, two sacks, one fumble recovery for a touchdown. Clowney is back.
Not all sacks are created equal
Clowney had two sacks on the day, but one of them happened at a critical moment of the game. The play happened in overtime with one minute and fifteen seconds left til the game would end in a tie. The Colts had been moving the ball down the field. It was second down and eleven yards to go at the Colts thirty-six yard line. Clowney, lined up on the right side of the formation, and came around on a twist with Whitney Mercilus.
At six foot five, three hundred and thirty pounds, the highly regarded first lineman taken in the 2018 NFL draft, Quenton Nelson, set his hips to block Clowney. They met at the point of attack. And BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL, Clowney had the POWER to completely bulldoze Nelson out of the way. He closed the gap with bad intentions, and sacked Andrew Luck for a loss of ten important yards. This was important because it created a third and twenty-one situation. The Colts then completed a seventeen-yard pass on the very next play to make it fourth down and four yards to go. The Colts had to make the decision to go for it on fourth and four to have a chance to win the game with a field goal, or punt it away and play for the tie. They chose to go for it, and did not make it. Clowney’s sack gave the Texans just enough breathing room to a secondary that was giving up chunks of yards to back-up receivers.
The rust is off
With off-season knee surgery, and limited participation in the preseason, the rust had been thick for Clowney. He told reporters “I’m coming along, I haven’t done a lot since the beginning of the season, no training camp, all of that, but like I said, this game should be a lot better for me. I’m expecting a lot better game out of myself this week, so just looking forward to the game.” Well, he shed that rust off like Forest Gump shed off his leg braces. He kept Andrew Luck running and running and running.