Is Texans DE Jacob Martin about to have a big game against the Panthers?

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Houston Texans defensive end Jacob Martin may be poised to have a breakout game against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night at NRG Stadium.

One person who would be willing to believe in Martin’s chances is none other than fellow defensive end Whitney Mercilus. The former 2012 first-round pick has seen Martin develop since his arrival at the end of the 2019 preseason as part of the Jadeveon Clowney with the Seattle Seahawks.

After 7.5 career sacks since, one of which came last week against the Cleveland Browns, Mercilus believes Martin’s quickness off the ball and ability to bend around tackles will help Houston pressure Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold.

“Jacob Martin, the guy gets off the ball like crazy,” Mercilus said. “He’s got good pass rush moves, he’s got an arsenal in his repertoire. He’s going to be able to get a couple sacks out there, I ain’t going to lie to you.”

The only multi-sack game in Martin’s career came on Dec. 1, 2019, against the New England Patriots. Martin was able to sack Tom Brady 1.5 times and add another tackle for loss and three quarterback hits.

As if Martin’s potential as a pass rusher isn’t evident enough, the Seahawks even tried to re-acquire him at the trade deadline last season.

Mercilus believes Martin can get the job done against Panthers tackles Cam Ervin and Taylor Moton.

Said Mercilus: “He’s got good bend, good hands, great get-off on the ball. It’s just getting him those one-on-ones. The whole D-line, get us some one-on-ones just to be able to get back there as fast as possible. Hopefully, we get a chance to get the quarterback to hold the ball a little bit and give him a chance.”

The Texans are tied for fifth-fewest sacks in the NFL currently with just three. A multi-sack performance from Martin might help them jump up in the rankings.