The linebackers of the Houston Texans consist of Zach Cunningham, Benardrick McKinney, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus and others. Since we’ve already spoken about Clowney with the defensive linemen as he sometimes plays as a down lineman, there are still quality players to look at with the rest of the linebackers.
Cunningham is in his second season and is really making a name for himself. Though he missed this past Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, Cunningham has been a tackle machine this season with 63 combined tackles (46 solo) with two stuffs, one forced fumble and three passes defensed. Being he was a second-round pick in 2017, the Texans had high hopes for Cunningham, and thus far this season he has not disappointed.
In three of the past four games he’s played in, Cunningham has recorded at least 10 tackles, and though he doesn’t have a sack, Cunningham is needed more for stopping plays with his ability to make tackles that aren’t on a pass rush. Cunningham fits in well with this Texans defense, and his stock is only to get higher as the season continues.
One linebacker who has been silent though the first nine games of the season is Mercilus, who as a past first-round draft pick isn’t living up to that title this season. Mercilus has 20 tackles in nine games with one sack, three stuffs and two forced fumbles. There seemed to be higher exceptions for Mercilus this season, but he’s not had a game with more than four tackles in any game this season. It has been an interesting season for the linebackers, but the defense is playing well, and that is what matters the most at the moment.