The Raiders’ offense looks like it’s going to be in for a long day in Houston. Jadeveon Clowney is a very big part of that.
In the first quarter, Clowney has already had an enormous impact and made the single biggest play of the game: On a Raiders screen pass in Clowney’s direction, Clowney read the play perfectly, tipped Connor Cook’s pass into the air to himself, then came down with it for an interception. If he had been able to break a shoestring tackle he would have had a pick-six, but instead he was taken down by one Raider, with another Raider piling on and getting a late hit penalty.
From there, Houston’s Lamar Miller ran it into the end zone to give the Texans a 10-0 lead.
On the Raiders’ next drive they double-teamed Clowney on a third down pass, and that gave Cook time to throw. They’re going to need to keep double-teaming Clowney.
Clowney, the former first overall pick whose first two seasons were marred by injuries, was outstanding throughout the 2016 regular season and is now off to a great start in the playoffs. He’s emerging as one of the best defensive players in the league, and in the first quarter today he’s been the best player on the field.