There were a handful of former Eagles coaches and players on display in this AFC playoff game, including DC Jim Schwartz and QB Joe Flacco for the Browns, and HC DeMeco Ryans, DE Derek Barnett, CB Steven Nelson, DT Hassan Ridgeway and P Cameron Johnston.
Derek Barnett was particularly notable with his performance on Saturday, highlighting just how much of a game changer he can still be, despite limited usage with the Eagles. Howie Roseman and Co. ended up releasing Barnett earlier this season, when the DE was unhappy with his role in the defense, but he hadn’t been a huge factor for Philly when he was on the field.
Prior to getting cut by the Eagles, Derek Barnett failed to log a stat in 6 out of his 8 games with Philly.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 13, 2024
He had 1 sack and 4 QB hits over his last 17 games.
Clearly doing better with a fresh start on the Texans. Sometimes players need that, which is what was said here.
For the Texans, however, Barnett finished the regular season with 19 total tackles, 11 QB hits, and 2.5 sacks, and followed that up against the Browns with 2 total tackles and one huge 3rd-down sack.
What is going on here?— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 13, 2024
Derek Barnett has a sack and a big pressure here on Joe Flacco to force an interception by another former Eagle Steven Nelson. Both coming up big for the Texans
Barnett isn’t the only former Eagles player who had a big game for Houston, CB Steven Nelson also had 5 total tackles and 3 passes defended in the game, plus an incredible 82-yard pick-6 which really set the tone in the second-half of what had been a back-and-forth game.
As for the other former Eagle with the Texans, Cam Johnston had 4 punts for 189 total yards, including 3 that landed in the 20.
The Browns started off pretty good, going back-and-forth with the Texans for most of the first half, and former Eagles QB Joe Flacco had a big game despite his two very costly interceptions. Flacco finished the game 34-of-46 attempts for 307 yards and one TD.