The NFL named Houston Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus the AFC Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Mercilus recorded four tackles, a team-leading 2.0 sacks, two quarterback hits, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble in Houston's 23-14 season-opening victory. He was a part of a defense that limited the Bears to just 258 net yards of offense, the second-lowest total allowed by an AFC team in Week 1.
Mercilus became the third player in team history with 2.0 sacks on Kickoff Weekend, joining J.J. Watt and Mario Williams. He also posted his third consecutive multiple-sack game (including postseason) dating back to Week 17 of the 2015 season, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. He has registered nine total games in his career with 2.0-or-more sacks.
Since Week 6 of the 2015 campaign, Mercilus leads the NFL with 14.0 sacks in 12 regular season contests. Including the postseason, he has registered 17.0 sacks in his last 13 games.
This is the first Player of the Week award for Mercilus in his career and the 36th time a Houston Texan has been named Player of the Week in franchise history. It is also the second consecutive regular season week that the Texans have won the award, as Watt won it in Week 17 of last season.
Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus' career as a Texan, and his college career at Illinois are shown here in photos.