Menu Close

Eagles vs. Texans Week 16 observations and reaction

Nick Foles temporarily writhed in pain as he lay flat on his back in the Philadelphia Eagles’ end zone. He had just completed a critical pass to Alshon Jeffery after taking a bone-crunching hit by Jadeveon Clowney. A hushed silence quickly turned to cheers again when Foles stepped back onto the field following one Nate Sudfeld incompletion.

And then Good Ol’ Saint Nick came through again to deliver another present in 2018.

Foles threw for an Eagles franchise-record 471 yards and four touchdowns and Jake Elliott kicked a game-winning 35-yard field goal as Philadelphia kept its playoff hopes alive with a 32-30 win over the Houston Texans at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon.

Foles, who was 35-of-49 and finished with a quarterback rating of 120.4, gained 19 yards on the completion and 15 extra for a flag on Clowney. He then hit Zach Ertz for a gain of 20 on a 3rd-and-10 after the tight end maintained his balance while almost falling to the ground. A 16-yard gallop by Darren Sproles followed a few plays later to set up Elliott’s boot.

If this was Foles’ last game in Philadelphia, it was one hell of a way to go out.

As for the playoff updates, the Eagles can only get in via the wild card after the Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East with their 27-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Minnesota Vikings beat up on the Detroit Lions Sunday 27-9, but face the red-hot Chicago Bears at home to close the year. The Bears have incentive since they can earn a bye in the NFC playoffs with a win and a loss by the Los Angeles Rams. It’s simple, if the Eagles beat the Redskins in Washington next week and the Bears take care of business, Philly will be in the postseason.

The other route is by the Seattle Seahawks losing both of their games. They clash with the Kansas City Chiefs in Seattle Sunday night and host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.

Prior to Foles’ heroics, Deshaun Watson was making the Eagles’ defense face some deja vu. The Eagles led 29-16 before Josh Adams fumbled to give Houston life with 5:30 to play. Like so many times before in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia’s defense crumbled as Watson began to make one unbelievable play after another.

Watson hit D’Onta Foreman with a 20-yard touchdown to claw Houston within 29-23 and a Philadelphia three-and-out followed. Watson was about to make Michael Bennett miss twice and Chris Long en route to staying alive and finding Jordan Akins for a gain of 22 on 3rd-and-11. He lofted a beautiful ball into the back left corner of the end zone on he ensuing 3rd-and-11 right into Vyncint Smith’s lap for a 35-yard score with 2:11 to play.

Ertz set the all-time tight end receptions record for a season Sunday, totaling 110 yards and two touchdowns on 12 catches. Good thing Dallas Goedert was alert enough to recover Ertz’s fumble on the record-breaking snag.

It was another huge game for Ertz, who surpassed Jason Witten’s 110 receptions on the all-time tight ends list. His 23-yard score gave the Eagles their 29-16 margin early in the fourth.

Houston led at the half 16-13 and Foles made one of his few mistakes when he came back over the middle late and threw behind Ertz. Bernardrick McKinney came up with the interception, but the Eagles defense responded with a key three-and-out.

Seventeen straight points by the Eagles followed. A 52-yard catch and run by Alshon Jeffery set up a 47-yard Elliott field goal to tie the game.

Foles then stepped up in the pocket and lofted a beautiful pass with perfect trajectory into the waiting arms of Nelson Agholor on the first play of the Eagles’ ensuing possession late in the third. The 83-yard touchdown was the longest of the Eagles’ season.

Chris Long recorded a strip sack on Houston’s next series and Fletcher Cox made the recovery and the luxury of getting to put on the ski mask.

An Eagles victory overshadowed another woeful call from the officials. Brandon Graham was flagged 15 yards for this hit on Watson.

A trio of fourth down conversions highlighted the first half for Philly. Darren Sproles took a swing pass 37 yards for a touchdown on a 4th-and-2.

The other decisions came on a 4th-and-3 to Dallas Goedert, which he converted, and then a 4th-and-goal from the 1, which Ertz was able to make Doug Pederson look smart with the touchdown.

Watson was responsible for four scores for the Texans, running for a pair and throwing for the other two. He was 29-of-40 for 339 yards, while DeAndre Hopkins caught nine balls for 104 yards. Houston had a chance to earn the AFC’s No. 2 seed with consecutive wins to close the year, but a Philadelphia win has put the New England Patriots back in front for a potential bye.

You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at [email protected]. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here.

Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.