Andre Hal started his first NFL game on Sunday in Jacksonville.
He also closed the door, twice, on a pair of Jaguar possessions when he picked off a Blake Bortles pass.
The Texans triumphed, 31-20, and the second-year safety finished with three tackles and the pair of interceptions. One of those was returned 31 yards for a score.
It was a sterling effort by Hal, but he stressed in the locker room afterward how happy he was for the team's success.
"I wanted the win, badder than anything," Hal said. "As long as we got the win, I'm happy as hell right now."
Late in the second quarter, with the Jaguars driving, Hal dove at the goal line and snared an errant Bortles pass. It gave the Texans the ball back with seven seconds remaining in the half, and it allowed Houston to head to the locker room with a 10-7 advantage. It was the ninth play of the Jacksonville drive, and the third time this season the Texans defense forced a turnover.
Getting an interception, getting a turnover is always big for your defense, for your team," Hal said. "And in the red zone, that's why Coach always talks about getting an interception in the red zone. That prevents three points, seven points. That was a big play."
In the fourth quarter, with 7:22 remaining, Hal jumped a Bortles pass at the 31 and galloped untouched into the end zone for a score.
"It was very exciting," Hal said. "Every time you get a pick six you know it's very exciting. You see the end zone. There's nobody there. I was just running. I was happy."
For head coach Bill O'Brien, seeing Hal's success was special, because of all the time the cornerback-turned-safety has put in off the field.
"Always around the facility watching tape, trying to get better, trying to prepare for the next game, taking care of his body," O'Brien said. "There's a guy that's really paying a price to go out there and I'm glad to see guys like that perform well."
Hal and the Texans moved to 2-4 on the season, and face the Dolphins in Miami next Sunday.
Check out these game photos from the Texans' Week 6 matchup with the Jaguars at EverBank Field.