The Texans clinched their fourth AFC South title in six years with Saturday night's 12-10 win over Cincinnati. Jadeveon Clowney and the No. 1 Texans defense held the Bengals to just 50 yards rushing and no trips to the red zone in the Week 16 victory.
"It feels great," Clowney said after the game. "We started from the bottom, OTAs, training camp, that's what we do it for, to win the division and going to the playoffs and anything can happen in the playoffs."
For Clowney, this year's playoff road is the most special. He will make his first NFL postseason appearance since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2014. Clowney was inactive for last year's regular season finale against Jacksonville and the AFC Wild Card game against Kansas City.
"Man, it's going to be great," Clowney said Saturday. "I was mad last year I missed it. I was really upset I couldn't be out there with my teammates and this year I'm going to try and get out there with them and try to help win another game and keep going forward."
This season, Clowney moved to defensive end and earned his first Pro Bowl nod after setting career highs in tackles (52), quarterback hits (17), tackles for loss (16), and sacks (6.0). In the win over Cincinnati, Clowney recorded a sack for the third consecutive week. He also added a quarterback hit and one tackle for loss.
Wearing his brand-new AFC South division champions hat after the win, Clowney reflected on overcoming adversity in his journey back from two seasons of injuries. The 23-year old worked tirelessly to return from his microfracture knee surgery and admitted he also prayed. A lot.
"I prayed every day," Clowney said. "I thanked God for giving me an opportunity to go back on the field. So I stuck to myself and kept believing in myself and kept working and saying I'm going to get better just to prove everybody wrong. So to come back and have a season like I did, I give all glory to God so I thank Him and all my teammates stuck by me and hey, we are onto a new chapter now."
With the win, the Texans improved to 9-6 on the season and will finish their 2016 regular season on the road against the Tennessee Titans in Week 17.
Check out the best gameday photos as the Texans took on the Bengals at NRG Stadium.