As a nine-year-old, Jahleel Addae played football at Raymond James Stadium during halftime of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game.
Born and raised in Valrico, Florida, just east of Tampa, Addae attended Riverview High School and grew up a Buccaneers fan. On Saturday, the veteran safety returned to his hometown stadium for the first time since that game. He made the game-winning interception that would seal the Texans 23-20 win over the Buccaneers and lock up an AFC South division title.
"I remember being nine years old and running through the lockers and just fantasizing, wishing that we could meet them (the players) and to come back here after 20 years, do what I did today in front of my friends and family is special," Addae said. "It's a blessing."
With 1:31 left in the game, Houston had a 23-20 lead, but Jameis Winston and the offense were moving down the field. On third-and-one, Winston threw a short pass to running back Dare Ogunbowale, except Addae got there first.
"I was in man-to-man with the running back, they came out in empty and I read his shoulders," Addae said. "He started leaning toward the sideline and I said, 'Risk it or biscuit' and I went and got it."
The Texans held onto the lead and finished the game with a win. Addae, a seventh-year safety in his first season as a Texan, couldn't have scripted a better homecoming.
"It means everything," Addae said. "I came here this offseason and wanted to contribute in any way that I could, play special teams, play the money (dime linebacker) on third down and to be able to come in and seal the deal with an interception. I'm thankful for this opportunity."
Addae finished the game with one solo tackle, one interception and one pass defensed. Through 15 games this season, he has recorded 35 tackles (30 solo), two interceptions and three passes defensed.
With the win, the Texans claimed their fourth division title in five years. Houston will host the Tennessee Titans next week in the 2019 regular season finale.