Nov 1, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) attempts to sack Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger (7) during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Most Improved Player
I have an inclination to put Jadeveon Clowney here, but he just can’t stay on the field. He has shown tremendous improvement this season, especially in the run game. His counterpart, Whitney Mercilus, is more deserving.
Mercilus is on pace for his best statistical season as a Texan, and if he keeps it up he can break double digit sacks for the first time in his career. In 2014, he only amassed 5 sacks…and through the midway point of 2015, he has 5.5 sacks. He was certainly aided by a huge game against Tennessee in which he constantly blew up their backfield and ended with 3.5 sacks for the contest. His pass rush acumen is not the only trait that is improving though. He has been vastly better against the run than in previous years. He is consistently able to set the edge, and if need be, make the tackle on an outside run. All signs indicate that it was a very savvy move to extend Mercilus after the 2014 season, even in the face of intense scrutiny of the fan base.