Connor Barwin set a high bar for himself after a stunning 11.5-sack season in 2011.
Until the Baltimore Ravens came to town, Barwin spent most of the year doing the limbo.
When he finally broke through to haul down Joe Flacco in the end zone in Week 7, he had to admit the first tally of the year felt good.
Uh, it was huge weight lifted off my back, it felt good. I felt like I could finally, you know football is a lot of confidence and so if you get that early on in the game, I felt like I could really let it go for the rest of the game and I was able to play well.
A look at the film shows that he was disruptive throughout the game, and not only on the safety.
Early in the first quarter, he forced an incomplete pass by getting big pressure on Flacco.
He runs a nice stunt after lining up to the outside, gets around the blockers and delivers the blow to force a wide toss. After another incomplete pass, the Ravens settled for a field goal.
The safety was his biggest play of the day, but there was nothing to it. The Ravens blew the blocking scheme, and Barwin ran in untouched.
Later in the game, we see him disrupt a drive by skying to bat down a pass on first down.
In the fourth quarter, he has coverage responsibilities on the safety valve, but smartly sees Flacco roll out of the pocket and goes to apply pressure, forcing an incomplete pass.
Though the safety was the big play of the game, there's plenty of evidence that Barwin's success was not just the result of good luck and being unblocked.
He stayed active, smart and got after the quarterback in a variety of ways, proving the adage that luck is the residue of hard work and design.
Quote courtesy of the Houston Texans PR department via press release.