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Whitney Mercilus returns, tallies 2 sacks in victory

Posted Dec 24, 2016

Whitney Mercilus returned to the lineup and notched a pair of sacks in the win over Cincinnati.

Whitney Mercilus returned with a bang.

The Texans outside linebacker missed Week 15's win over the Jaguars with a back injury, but tallied a pair of sacks in the Christmas Eve triumph over the Bengals. Mercilus said he and the defense didn't do anything differently on Saturday night.

“We just did our deal," Mercilus said. "We have an aggressive group. Just being able to work moves, work gains, get in his face, force some bad throws, especially our DBs, they did a great job.”

Both sacks came in the second half for Mercilus, as he dropped Andy Dalton for a loss of eight yards and six yards, respectively.

“They just did an unbelievable job," head coach Bill O'Brien said of Mercilus and pass rush. "They really did an unbelievable job of getting pressure. They kept us in the game. It was 3-0 at halftime and we were terrible on offense and they kept us in the game. You can’t give our defense enough credit. They’ve done a nice job all year.”

Dalton said the Bengals knew they'd have their hands full entering the game, and the Texans lived up to their billing.

"They were not going against an easy front," Dalton said of his offensive line. "These guys are really good. They do a lot with their guys and they are good at pressuring the quarterback."

It was the seventh time this season the Texans have held an opponent to 20 points or less.


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