Whitney Mercilus continues hot start to 2019

Whitney Mercilus came up with a pair of strip-sacks in Sunday's 13-12 triumph over the Jaguars.

In Monday's contest at New Orleans, he picked off a pass in the red zone, and also came up with a sack and a tackle for loss.

With three sacks, two forced fumbles, a pick and a tackle for loss this season, Mercilus said he needs to continue making plays.

"I've just got to keep it going," Mercilus said. "It's week-to-week, and I've got to prove myself every day."

Mercilus proved himself in a big way in each half of Sunday's win over the Jaguars.

In the second quarter, with the Texans up 3-0, Mercilus stripped the ball from quarterback Gardner Minshew. The Jaguars recovered, but not after losing nine yards. It brought up a 2nd-and-19 at the Houston 37, and Jacksonville wound up kicking a field goal a few plays later.

At the start of the fourth, with the Jaguars on their own 20-yard line, Mercilus struck again. This time, he knocked the ball loose from Minshew, but J.J. Watt recovered it. Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense were set up with a 1st-and-10 at the Jacksonville 11, and they would find the end zone four plays later.

"It was huge," Watt said. "Great play by Whit. Whit's obviously played a couple of great games for us. I think he's shown what he can do when he gets off the edge."

So far this season, he's enjoyed being able to move around the defensive front and make trouble for opposing offenses.

"Now I get to go hit and go out there and tee it up," Mercilus said. "Do what I do best and get after the quarterback, cause turnovers and all that. It's been fun."

Seeing the 8-year pro have such success, hasn't been a surprise to Watt, who's in year 9 with the Texans.

"We've always known Whitney is a rusher," Watt said. "He's back in his natural position this year, and I think you're seeing the results of when he's in his proper place. Hopefully, he continues to do what he does."

Mercilus, Watt and the Texans travel to Los Angeles for a Sunday matchup with the Chargers.

Houston Texans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium for the second game of the 2019 NFL season.

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