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"Unsung Hero": Texans react to Derek Barnett's contributions | Wild Card Round


As Derek Barnett walked past the training room, Will Anderson Jr. saw him and took his fist and beat on his chest. 

For the rookie, Barnett is a warrior. 

"He's solid. He'll just go out there and just wreck anything," Anderson said. "He's been a great addition to our room. Knows a lot about ball, he's solid. When he steps on the field you know he's out there man. He's been a great fit for all of us." 

The Texans claimed Barnett off of waivers on November 27 after the Philadelphia Eagles released the seventh-year defensive end and Super Bowl Champion. 

Since he arrived in Houston, Barnett has seen his utilization in the Texans defense rise week after week since his debut with the team against the Broncos on December 3. 

And his impact has been felt, producing 19 tackles, 11 quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks in just six games for the Texans entering Saturday's playoff showdown.

"He's truly the unsung hero," Jonathan Greenard said. "He's always been a baller, even going back to Tennessee in college. Then obviously being in Philly and having a bunch of success. I knew exactly what type of player he was, I knew what type of production he was going to have. No surprise here at all."

In the Texans playoff opener on Saturday, once again the guy who Anderson refers to as a "stone cold killer" on the field had his impact felt again. 

Late in the third quarter, with Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco dropping back it was Barnett who pushed through. Put pressure on Flacco and smacked the football as he released it.

With his impact on the ball, Flacco got no drive on it and it floated through the air and eventually was intercepted by Steven Nelson, who returned it 82 yards for a touchdown. 

"Been a dawg," Christian Harris, who also had a pick six, said about Barnett since he arrived in Houston. "Doing his job. Dominating every single time that he gets in there. We're very appreciative of that. He's a great player."

Barnett finished the Texans playoff win with two tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits and a tackle for loss. 

The remaining Super Wild Card Round games will determine whether the Texans play at home or on the road in the AFC Divisional Round. If the Texans are at home, tickets will go on sale at a later date.

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