Jalen Pitre made history on Sunday.
No, not the Gadsden Purchase or Edict of Nantes type of history. But it was history, nonetheless.
With a 13-tackle and one interception performance in the loss at home to Jacksonville, the Texans defensive back became the only player since Elias Sports Bureau started tracking tackles in 2000 to record 125-plus tackles and five picks in their rookie season.
Bright spots in a 13-loss season are few and far between, but the free safety is most certainly one of them. In the aftermath of Sunday's defeat, Pitre and the Texans felt the sting of going 0-7-1 at home in 2022.
"It's real disappointing," Pitre said. "It's sad that we couldn't get a win for the fans. But I want everybody to know that we're going to continue to put in the work and come back next season ready to get some wins here."
Pitre snared a C.J. Beathard pass in the third quarter, pushing his season total to a team-leading five. In the last quintet of games, Pitre's picked off a combined three passes. Only Dunta Robinson, with six interceptions in 2004, picked off more passes as a Texans rookie. Pitre's also tied for the second-most interceptions by a rookie in the NFL this season. He explained how tough it is to separate team goals from individual ones.
"It's pretty hard," Pitre said. "But you have to start with team goals. You want to get a win. Once you focus on that, then everything else will take care of itself."
Pitre's also talked about how the benefit of moving from the strong safety spot to free safety, and how his play improved with the switch. But the rookie also pointed to another major reason for his ability to get takeaways.
"I feel like I'm improving, but big shoutout to the defensive line," Pitre said. "They're doing a good job of getting pressure on the quarterbacks and forcing them to throw it very quickly."
He also leads all rookies in the league with 139 tackles in 2022. Only DeMeco Ryans, with 156 tackles in 2006, has more tackles as a Texans rookie.
Pitre and the Texans will wrap up the regular season on the road at Indianapolis this Sunday. They face the Colts at noon inside Lucas Oil Stadium.