Texans' Pass Rush Adjusts Without J.J. Watt

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By SportsRadio 610
HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- Ever since J.J. Watt went down with a season-ending pectoral injury against the Oakland Raiders last month, a lingering question is where will the Texans get its pass rush.

The Texans defensive line and linebackers are strong against the run, but they haven't been able to maintain a consistent pass rush. 

Whitney Mercilus is the most accomplished edge rusher on the team, but his numbers have dipped since his strong start to the season.

Mercilus still leads the team with 5.5 sacks. Outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett is right behind him with 4.5 sacks, two of those against the Jaguars in London. 

Watt is third on the team with four sacks, but had an outstanding 20 quarterback hits before he was injured.

The Texans, who rank 26th in the league in sacks, are still trying to figure out how to best get to the quarterback. 

They hit Jacoby Brissett four times Thursday night. Jacob Martin, who was brought over in the Jadeveon Clowney trade just before the start of the season, recorded his first sack as a Texan. It was also the Texans' only sack of the night.

Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said Friday the key for this group of pass rushers is discipline.

“I think one of the things about the pass rush is relative to who we've played over the last few games, we've asked for very, very disciplined pass rush,"O'Brien said.. "So, a lot of times they're just really trying to do the best they can to keep quarterbacks in the pocket. Now last night, Jacoby (Brissett) scrambled a few times. I think there was one holding call on a long scramble. They called the scramble back, so he got out of the pocket a few times, but our guys overall, I thought they did a good job. They're active, they're trying to do the best they can to run good games, try to put pressure inside the pocket. I think they're doing a good job.”

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