As he's done all season, Jadeveon Clowney impacted the game.
Only on Saturday in the Wild Card playoff triumph over Oakland, he did it with an interception.
For the first time as a professional, Clowney picked off a pass. It came in the first quarter, in the Raiders' end of the field, and the Texans capitalized on the next play from scrimmage with a Lamar Miller touchdown run. Clowney attributed it all to preparation.
"Film study," Clowney said. "When 30 (Jalen Richard) came into the game, we knew they like to get the ball to him. He's a screen guy, he ran away from me. If he didn't cut me, I knew he was going to throw the ball so he didn't go for the cut like I thought off the rush. I made a play on the ball."
Clowney batted the pass in the air with his right hand, tapped it again with his left hand, and corralled it in at the Oakland 8-yard line. Latavius Murray held on to Clowney's ankles to bring him down, and a late hit unnecessary roughness penalty pushed the ball to the 4-yard line for Miller and the offense.
For head coach Bill O'Brien, it was just one more example of Clowney's magnet-like attraction to the ball.
"He makes plays on the football even when he's getting after the quarterback or tackling the running back, there's a chance that he could get the ball," O'Brien said. "He's got that knack and that was a very nice play by him."
Cornerback A.J. Bouye, who also picked off a Connor Cook pass in the game, was happy for the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.
"He shows you why he's No. 1 overall," Bouye said. "For him to get that turnover started everything right."
Clowney batted a pass earlier in the game on a similar type of play, and he was constantly disruptive in the Raiders' backfield.
"We are just trying to find ways to win out there," Clowney said. "Everybody stepping up today with the defensive backs locking up and the whole front line getting to the quarterback. It was an all-around good win, offensively and defensively."
Cook, who was picked off three times by the Texans defense, was impressed mightily by what Clowney was able to do.
"It was a great play by him," Cook said. "Me, trying to make a play in a hard situation like that, I just have to be safe and throw it away. He's a great athlete and he made a great play on it."
Had nose tackle Vince Wilfork been in the game, Clowney might've finished the play differently than getting tackled at the 8-yard line.
"I told Vince if he was in the game, I would have pitched it to him," Clowney said. "But I didn't want to pitch it to anybody but Vince. I wanted to see the big man rumble for a touchdown."
Clowney and the Texans limited the Raiders to just 203 yards of offense, and 64 rushing yards.
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