Alabama in the Pros

Kareem Jackson anchors Texans’ defense to bounce back win over Bengals

Aaron Doster - USA TODAY Sports

Now in his eighth season, Kareem Jackson has become one of the leaders on defense for the Houston Texans.

Even though his six tackles weren’t enough to help the team win its season opener against Jacksonville on last week, the first-round pick of the 2010 NFL Draft stepped up in a huge way on Thursday versus quarterback Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Wide receiver A.J. Green, who came off his first sub 1,000-yard year in 2016 (964), was held in check by Jackson all game long. He limited Green to two receptions for zero yards in the second half, while recording a team-high seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble in Houston’s 13-9 win at Paul Brown Stadium. 

Behind Jackson, the Texans rendered Dalton to a quarterback rating of 29.1 and limited Cincinnati to 82 yards rushing on 24 carries. Head coach Marvin Lewis witnessed his group convert just four of 15 third downs, and for a second straight week, the Bengals were shutout of the end zone. After finishing last season with 62 tackles, Jackson’s goal will be to help Houston make a deep run in the NFL postseason. The franchise has made the playoffs only four times (2011-12, 2015-16) in its history since 2002; the year it became a professional team. 

Before getting selected to the Texans, Jackson was a standout defensive back at the University of Alabama under head coach Nick Saban. Hailing from Macon, Ga., the four-star recruit turned in 49 total tackles, 13 pass breakups and an interception during the Crimson Tide’s 2009 Southeastern Conference championship and BCS national championship run. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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