The Texans linebackers are the kings of pregame costumes

Oh hello, I am extremely here for this. The Houston Texans’ linebackers have been coordinating outfits before games this season, and the group’s latest one might be its best yet.

The Houston Texans played the New England Patriots at home for Sunday Night Football, and the Texans’ defense came in ready for the challenge ahead. Before the game, Texans’ linebackers Benardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham, Brennan Scarlett, Peter Kalambayi, and Whitney Mercilus wore what looked like S.W.A.T. vests into the stadium, and it looked dope as hell:

I mean just look at how intimidating this is:

This linebacking corps does this dressing up thing together a lot. Before Houston beat the Colts 30-23 in Week 12, the linebackers (including Dylan Cole instead of Mercilus, who tore his ACL in October) wore outfits straight out of the Mortal Kombat video game:

They dressed up as Ninja Turtles before playing the Carolina Panthers in late September, too:

The ringleader of all this is Cunningham, who leads the team in tackles on the season. Here’s more from The Athletic:

Much of the rest of the group’s look — the straw hats, the masks and the free-flowing black vests — were courtesy of Cunningham, who supplies the outfits for each home game.

“This is a big ask,” fellow linebacker Peter Kalambayi said of Cunningham’s commitment to the bit. “He buys a lot of the stuff the night before (that week’s final team meeting).”

That final meeting always occurs at a Houston hotel, where Cunningham passes along that week’s look to Kalambayi, McKinney and — before he landed on IR this week with a torn ACL — Dylan Cole.

The Texans ended up winning 28-22, giving Houston its first win over New England since 2010, when Houston won 34-27 at home. Houston’s linebacking corps was definitely looking to change the Texans’ fate against the Patriots on Sunday night, and it definitely did. Maybe the Pats should have taken these outfits as a warning, tbh.