Eagles Outlast Troublesome Texans

By Chip Bayless (click Howie for more Chip)





Despite going into halftime tied at 14, the Eagles managed to put together a stellar second-half performance to outscore the Texans 15-3 for the remainder of the contest, ending in a 29-17 victory on Thursday night.

On the first drive of the game, the Eagles let the Texans drive down the field rather quickly for an easy TD; however, the Eagles came back with a rapid drive of their own thanks to the offensive line clearing a gaping hole for a short Miles Sanders touchdown, tying the game at seven.

Hurts bounced back well from his fumble on the Eagles’ second drive to lead the team on a long, 10 play, 79-yard drive that ended in a Gainwell TD run to put the Eagles up 14-7.

The Eagles offensive line looked imposing throughout the contest, and an effective running game allowed for an efficient passing game.

The Texans came back again with their own long, 70+ yard drive capped by an incredible play where Davis Mills rolled out and fired an absolute dime to Chris Moore, who made a spectacular catch and kept his feet inbounds.

After a diving, career-high, NFL-leading fifth interception by C.J. Gardner-Johnson and a nice return, the Eagles used the short field to go up 21-14 courtesy of another AJ. Brown TD.

For what its worth, Sirianni said in postgame comments, “That catch shifted the game and our momentum” when referring to Gardner-Johnson’s play.

Miles Sanders quick cuts and hard running combined with phenomenal run blocking was clearly the difference on the offensive side of the ball. Averaging over five yards per carry, Sanders’ and the O-line’s play opened up the entire offense.

It was that running game that set up short TD passes like A.J. Brown’s, and later Goedert’s to put the Eagles up 29 – 17 after a two-point conversation.

The Eagles defense stepped up when they needed to, as a coverage sack and a fast first step by Javon Hargrave forced a Texans punt to the Eagles with eight minutes remaining.

But the Eagles couldn’t do anything with the ball and were forced to punt back at the six-minute mark, after taking just two minutes off the clock while holding a two-score lead.

Hargrave had another key sack that led to a third and long with around two minutes left in the game. On the next play, James Bradberry capitalized on a horrendously thrown pass – or maybe a miscommunication – from Davis Mills to seal the win.

Dallas Goedert also showed a national audience why he’s one of the best TEs in the game and had an unbelievable night based on the eye-test and the stat sheet.

Goedert led the Eagles in targets with nine, which resulted in 100 receiving yards and a clutch TD in the fourth quarter.

Today, the Eagles are 8-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Philadelphia is the 29th team in the Super Bowl era to start 8-0. The other 28 all made the playoffs. Over half of those teams went on to win their conference with eight going on to win the Super Bowl.

Hurts only threw six incompletions throughout the game and did an impressive job of spreading the ball around as six Philadelphia pass-catchers saw two or more targets against Houston.

The Eagles offense has been productive and efficient all season, in large part thanks to Hurts’ elite governing of the offense in addition to first-class run and pass blocking.

So far this season, the Eagles rank:

  • 10th in passing yards per game
  • 6th in rushing yards per game
  • 3rd in points per game (trailing only the Bills and the Chiefs)

The offense aside, Javon Hargrave’s incredible defensive performance was likely the difference in the second half.

Hargrave led the Eagles with six solo tackles and accounted for all three of the Eagles’ sacks. He tossed around a variety of Texans lineman and was a nightmare to block one-on-one.

Through Week 9, the Eagles defense has allowed the 3rd-least passing yards per game, the 4th-least points per game, and the 3rd-least total yards per game.

Gardner-Johnson’s fourth interception in as many games was the clear turning point, and if the Eagles want their winning streak to continue, generating terrifying pressure combined with snaring opportunistic turnovers is a great way to do it.

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