Tyrann Mathieu has returned to his high level of safety play. The Houston Texans need to make they make him their number one priority this offseason.
This past March, the Arizona Cardinals released defensive back Tyrann Mathieu after he refused to take a pay cut. Mathieu, who was just 25 at the time, was already an All Pro defensive back.
In his first five years in the league, Mathieu totaled 11 interceptions, four sacks, and 28 tackles for a loss playing for the Arizona Cardinals. Mathieu is a natural ball hawk.
Unfortunately, he has struggled to stay on the field in his first five years. In fact, Mathieu played all 16 games just once in his first five seasons. Add in a torn ACL to his resume, he was a high risk high upside free agent.
Which is why the Texans gave him a one year prove it deal. They wanted to see if they would get the former all pro version of Mathieu back, and see if he could play 16 games healthy for them.
Fast forward to now, as we head into week 13 of the NFL season, and the Honey Badger has played in every game and made his presence known in them all. He has totaled over 60 tackles, has two interceptions, and three sacks. His stats are so impressive, he was the only player with that particular stat line heading into week 12.
Mathieu has helped turn the Houston Texans defense back into an elite level defense. No thanks to the help of JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and rookie Justin Reid.
Mathieu and Reid have formed one of the best safety duos in the entire national football league.
Houston’s defense is sixth in the league in passes defended and ranks inside the top ten in total defense. Mathieu’s blend of veteran leadership and swagger have helped lead the Texans to their 8-3 record and first place in the AFC South.
Between helping mentor rookie Justin Reid, and stepping up as a leader to the team, Mathieu’s presence is being felt all over the team. So much so that Mathieu was elected as a team captain before the season, despite never playing a regular season down for the Texans.
Mathieu is exactly the role model and motivator this defense needed to take the next step this year.
Mathieu is back to playing at a high level, and is one of the best safeties in the league right now. He has brought swagger back to this defense and is exceling as a veteran presence on and off the field.
The Texans should make resigning Tyrann Mathieu there top priority this offseason to make sure this defense continues to play with attitude!