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The light has come on for Justin Houston

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Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston didn’t record his first NFL sack until Week 13 of last season.

He must have liked the way it felt, because Houston’s been bingeing on sacks since then. In the last five games of his rookie season and the first three of this season, Houston has picked up a total of 9.5 sacks. That leaves the 2011 third-round pick tied with Vikings defensive end Jared Allen and Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware for the most in football over that time period.

That’s pretty lofty company for a third-round pick in his second year. It looks like the character concerns that helped Houston slip in the draft have turned into a blessing in disguise for Kansas City.

It bodes well for Houston’s future as well as the Chiefs pass rush since Tamba Hali is lined up on the other side. Houston acknowledged that Hali draws some extra attention from offenses, but the more performances that Houston has like the one he put together in New Orleans last week — three sacks, including a safety — the harder it will be for opposing teams to pick their poison when trying to slow the Chiefs defense. Saints tackle Zach Strief asked to be blamed for the team’s loss following that game because of how dominant Houston was over the course of the afternoon.

“The speed of the game has slowed down,” Houston said, via the Associated Press. “I feel like I’m doing my job. They brought me in here to put pressure on the quarterback.”

That’s just what Houston’s been doing and the Chiefs’ chances of erasing an 0-2 start are all the better as long as he keeps on doing it.

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11 Responses to “The light has come on for Justin Houston”
  1. jtfawver says: Sep 28, 2012 2:08 PM

    It blew my mind when he slipped to the mid 2nd rnd…. when he continued to fall the whole way to the 3rd I was certain he was worth the risk.

    His 1st step is as quick as Hali’s and physically he is more gifted than Tamba. With that said, Hali is the better overall player at this point and it shows in teams gameplans.

    I’m anxious to see what the Hali/Houston combo can do if the Chiefs can actually *gasp* get a lead!

  2. yelix says: Sep 28, 2012 2:10 PM

    The kid’s a beast. It’s nice to finally have a competent pass rusher besides Tamba.

  3. seahawks4alltime says: Sep 28, 2012 2:14 PM

    Houston has been doing great work. For this season, only Clay Mathews, JJ Watt, and Chris Clemons have more. Justin Houston, keep up the good work. With the NFL becoming even more of a “passing league” I am a big fan of any defense that can get in and wrap up the QB.

  4. chc4 says: Sep 28, 2012 2:27 PM

    Houston slipped to the 3rd round b/c he failed his drug test at the Combine.

  5. sb44champs says: Sep 28, 2012 2:34 PM

    Has the light come on or is it just the fact he faced a team without a head coach?

  6. jtfawver says: Sep 28, 2012 2:39 PM

    @chc4 very much aware of that. And don’t get me wrong it takes a moron to do that but his level of talent is difficult to find in the 3rd round. Some thought he was the 2nd best pass rusher next to Von Miller.

  7. tjjohnson98 says: Sep 28, 2012 3:02 PM

    I can’t believe he had 3 sacks and a safety with many more QB pressures and didn’t get the AFC defensive player of the week award. The guy from Cinci that won just had 3 sacks.

  8. jtfawver says: Sep 28, 2012 3:25 PM

    I’m not saying this to rub salt in the wound or be a jerk, but all indications are the Saints RT is pretty good?

    As for playing a team with no coach, Houston has been putting up these numbers since week 11 of last year. Pretty sure those teams had coaches

  9. randallflagg52 says: Sep 28, 2012 3:47 PM

    This guy was a projected mid to late frst rounder, then he popped positive for pot at the combine. Good for the chiefs for taking a calculated risk there, looks like it’s going to pay off.

  10. grendelg says: Sep 28, 2012 4:18 PM

    Go Dawgs!

  11. iminra6 says: Sep 28, 2012 4:44 PM

    definitely keep up the good work Justin

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