Playoffs or not, Texans need Hackenberg in first round

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Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) celebrates with defensive end J.J. Watt (99) after sacking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (not pictured) during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Even if the Houston Texans manage to win the AFC South, their sights need to be set on a signal caller in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft

Going into the Sunday night matchup vs the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, there was an odd sense of optimism for the Houston Texans.

Filled with a staff that understands how the Patriots like to operate, there was a feeling that Houston had a fighting chance. They honestly did.

Going into the game, the only prediction I felt comfortable making last week was that Jadeveon Clowney was going to break out for at least one sack. He was primed for it. A prime time game with a Bill Belichick offense that is known to game plan to take out a single player in a team’s best defender (J.J. Watt). Clowney was pretty much a guarantee to have the performance that he had. Both fans and media should not be that surprised because Clowney was taken with the first overall pick in the draft simply because he is truly a once in a generation talent at the position.

Jadeveon Clowney will have plenty more performances like Sunday night as he is now healthy. This defense is now what everyone locally thought it could be: arguably the best defense in the NFL.

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A defense though, can only stop opposing offense so much. It’s obviously up to the Texans offense to put up a some points.

In the second quarter, Houston was only down to New England 10-6. Houston just never scored again after the first half. That blame can rightfully be entirely on Brian Hoyer.

Next: So what happened?