Jadeveon Clowney made impact plays against Falcons

Houston Texans' Jadeveon Clowney (90) celebrates after he sacked Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

Credit: Patric Schneider

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Houston Texans' Jadeveon Clowney (90) celebrates after he sacked Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

Credit: Patric Schneider

Credit: Patric Schneider

Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney showed why he was the No. 1 player taken in the draft on the Falcons’ second possession of the game on Saturday.

After a couple a nice gains by Falcons running back Antone Smith, Clowney shut down the offense on two consecutive plays.

He nearly took the handoff from Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan after turning the corner around left guard Justin Blalock as left tackle Sam Baker was blocking down.

On the following play, Clowney, the former South Carolina standout, ran around Baker and sacked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to force a punt.

“It means a lot, man,” Clowney said. “Trying to help the team out, you know, do my part and rush the quarterback and make plays for the team.”

Houston coaches had a simple message for Clowney after those two plays.

“Keep doing what you’re doing,” Clowney said he was told. “Keep rushing the quarterback, making plays and helping the team win.”

Clowney was slowed early in training camp after having sports hernia surgery. He was glad that he made an impact in his home NFL debut.

“I just tried to get back there,” Clowney said. “I just had my eyes on him at first and then once I flew off, kept my eyes on that quarterback, tried to get a strip sack.”

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