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Houston Texans Playoff X-Factor: Chris Clark Quietly Stepping In

A Houston Texans playoff X-Factor, Chris Clark.

When Duane Brown went down with his torn quad in week 17, the season ending injury couldn’t have happened to a more key component of the offense. Stepping in quietly and doing his job, Chris Clark proved that this is what he was brought to Houston for, this exact moment. 

The Texans traded for Clark prior to the the start of the final game of the preseason, to pick up some veteran depth and a swing tackle for season. Primarily playing at left tackle for the Denver Broncos, Clark was used sparingly throughout the season, filling voids until the regular starting five became healthy. 

There is sense of confidence on what Clark brings to the team and that he can handle what is in front of him as the new starting left tackle.

“Yeah, well, he proved it really in the last game,” said offensive coordinator George Godsey of Clark’s play last weekend. “He did well. He's a true pro. He prepares well. He knows whether he plays or not, he knows the defenders that he's going against, and he studies. We're happy to have him here for sure.”

Clark is one of the few Texans who have started in a Super Bowl and he has appeared in seven playoff games. His experience is vital to the Texans success this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs, a team with which Clark is familiar, having faced them in the AFC West over the past few seasons.

Starting guard Brandon Brooks is all ears when talking to Clark about the Chiefs and what they bring to the table.

“Yeah, him playing against them so much, he has a lot of experience year in and year out, playing them twice,” said Brooks of Clark’s experience against the Chiefs. “He came to us Monday when he came in and kind of gave us his speech and things to look out for. We kind of rallied around it, took it all in.”

Coach Bill O’Brien is confident in his veteran offensive tackle and that confidence has come from watching Clark work over the course of the season. O’Brien is pushing forward with Clark and expecting high level of play from him. 

“I think it's really good that we have a guy like Chris Clark that can step in and play there.  You talk about a good pro,” said O’Brien. “Just actually watched him in practice today, and he had a really good practice.  Everything he does, the walk-throughs, and the examples that he sets in the media room, and on the practice field is just really good.”

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