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Jadeveon Clowney comes up big in W vs. Cards

Jadeveon Clowney made plays Sunday.

And at key times.

The Texans outside linebacker continued his menacing play in the 31-21 victory over the Cardinals, sacking Blaine Gabbert twice, and ringing up three tackles for loss on the afternoon. 

On 2nd-and-10 at the Houston 33-yard line, Clowney dropped Gabbert for a loss of eight yards. He also helped Eddie Pleasant stop Larry Fitzgerald for a gain of just three yards on the next play, and the Cardinals had to punt on their opening possession.

Later in the game, with Arizona facing a 4th-and-1 at their own 35, Clowney and Zach Cunningham stonewalled Adrian Peterson for a loss of a yard. D'Onta Foreman broke loose for a 34-yard touchdown run on the next play, and the Texans were up by 10 with 6:26 left in the game.

Clowney explained he'd been beat on a similar play earlier in the game, but he corrected his mistake and made Arizona pay.

"On the first play of the game, I peeked my head inside and he bounce outside on me," Clowney said. "I said I wasn't going to do that anymore in the game. I kind of set it up where I peeked inside, and hurried up and got back out, and I wanted him to bounce to me so I had I could have a chance to make that play, so they don't push up inside, and that's what happened."

Clowney popped Peterson for no gain, a loss one and a loss of four yards on other occasions Sunday. He now has 15 tackles for loss in 2017, and 42 for his career. 

"Right now he's playing at a high level," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "He's a very disruptive player. I love the way the defense is using him, putting him in different spots."

Clowney also has eight sacks this season, which is two better than his previous career-high mark from last year. His teammates are enjoying what he's accomplished, and what he's allowing them to do because of the attention he's drawn. 

"It's fun," nose tackle D.J. Reader said. "We're doing our job inside; he's doing his job outside and he's making his plays. It's always fun to watch him make plays. He has fun with it."

Clowney and the Texans defense were able to limit Peterson to 26 yards on 14 carries. On the whole, the Cardinals' ground game averaged just 2.7 yards on 18 carries.

"Just being more physical than they were up front, being sound defense, everybody doing their jobs, staying in their gaps, gap-sound defense, and just playing on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage, I think we did that today," Clowney said.

The Texans will face the Ravens in Baltimore next Monday night.

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