Why isn’t the name Whitney Mercilus brought up when talking about the DPOY race?
Last season Mercilus played out of position all year so that the Texans could utilize Jadeveon Clowney as they saw fit. Mercilus was also recouping from a torn pectoral muscle suffered early in the 2017 season.
After only forcing 2 fumbles and collecting 4 sacks in 2018 Mercilus is off to a tremendous start in 2019 with 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 tackles for loss and 1 interception through just the first 4 games.
At the quarter mark most would have Shaquil Barrett of TB atop their respective lists. Barrett does have 9 sacks and 7 tackles for loss with 3 forced fumbles at this point, but absolutely no one is talking about Mercilus outside of Houston.
JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney combined for 25 sacks last year and Mercilus has already racked up more than half of Clowney’s production (9) from a season ago.
With double teams a constant vs Watt, look for Mercilus to continue his rampage in the role he was built to play, the EDGE. In a mic’d up play described best by Philip Rivers in Week 3 “watch 57, he’s the new Clowney”, referencing LB Brennan Scarlett, absolutely no one is accounting for Mercilus. His speed and technique on the outside along with a vicious spin-move will have him climbing the sack chart and pushing his name into the defensive player of the year conversation.