In a tight divisional matchup, with the NFC South title on the line, having your defence come up big makes a huge difference. And they don’t come much bigger than Whitney Mercilus, quite literally.
The 6ft 4in, 258lbs, Texans outside linebacker, came up with a huge play in the second quarter to help his Houston side beat the Tennessee Titans 24-21 on Sunday.
With first and goal, and Tennessee closing in on the opening points of a tense game, Mercilus intercepted a Ryan Tannehill pass intended for Anthony Firkser. The linebacker then managed to sprint 86 yards, before finally being tackled just short of the end zone.
O'Brien on the Mercilus pick: "That really got us going." pic.twitter.com/4a7jFBhiDu— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) December 15, 2019
He may have been agonisingly short of a pick six, but it was real momentum shift for his side. According to ESPN stats, the big man even managed to clock 17.96 mph on the return.
It was his second interception of the season and leaves his side on top of the division with 9-5. Sunday’s opponent sit one game behind, with two to play and everything still on the line.
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