The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Houston Texans 29-17 on Thursday night. The Eagles improved to 8-0 while the Texans dropped to 1-6-1. The Eagles had never started a season 8-0 before this season, but made history tonight.
The Texans made a statement early, surprising many by scoring the first touchdown of the game. Quarterback Davis Mills guided his team down the field and the 75-yard drive was capped off by a Teagan Quitoriano 2-yard touchdown reception.
The Eagles started deep in their own territory, but were able to drive 91 yards for a score, getting on the board thanks to a Miles Sanders 2-yard rushing TD.
The Eagles had only turned the ball over twice this season ahead of this game, but the Texans defense got to quarterback Jalen Hurts with Steven Nelson forcing a fumble and Johnny Johnson recovering. The Texans were unable to capitalize on the turnover.
Philly bounced back offensively, taking their first lead on a 79-yard drive. Kenneth Gainwell punched it into the end zone with a 4-yard rush.
Just before the first-half two-minute warning, Dameon Pierce took the ball 36 yards to give the Houston offense a spark. Pierce was a key offensive component and ended the half with 13 carries and 88 yards. Chris Moore caught a pass in the end zone that was initially ruled incomplete, but was overturned to a score, tying up the game.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson intercepted Mills and with the next play the Eagles scored a touchdown, taking back the lead. A.J. Brown’s 17-yard reception made it 21-14.
The Texans put up three in the third quarter to narrow the Eagles lead.
Philadelphia’s lead was extended in the fourth quarter with a Dallas Goedert 4-yard touchdown reception and a successful two-point conversion thanks to a Hurts rush up the middle.
A second interception by Mills sealed the Texans’ fate and the Eagles were able to run down the clock to come away with the win.
Why the Eagles won
The Eagles did not playing at their normal level, especially at the start of the game against a one-win team, but they never fell far behind. Heading into the game, the Eagles had scored more points in the second quarter of games alone than the Texans had scored all season combined, but this matchup was a different story.
The Eagles had the shock factor of not dominating as they had, but despite the confidence deflation, they managed to keep grinding and eventually came away with it.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts went 21 of 27 for 243 yards and two touchdowns and continues to be the leader this team needs. Hurts’ ability to throw down field, particularity while on the move or pressured sets him apart from other quarterbacks in the league.
Miles Sanders led the team with 17 carries with 93 yards and a touchdown. Dallas Goedert had eight receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown.
The defense came up big with two key interceptions and the biggest element of those turnovers was the Eagles capitalizing on one and running out the fourth quarter clock on the second. Javon Hargrave had himself a night with six tackles and three sacks.
Why the Texans lost
The Texans started off strong, but struggled to close the deal. They kept up with the Eagles through most of the contest, but let Philly widen the lead toward the end.
The two Mills interceptions did not help their case at all and unlike the Eagles, when the Texans defense forced a turnover, their offense did not capitalize on the fumble.
The Texans were 2-for-4 in the red zone, while the Eagles were 4-for-4 in red zone play. The field goal that could have been a touchdown and the interception in Eagles territory were two main factors in the loss.
A Mills pass intended for Moore was intercepted by C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who now leads the league with five. The Eagles turned the interception into a touchdown, giving the away team a lead they would keep for the rest of the game.
Here is a look at the interception:
Play of the game
James Bradberry seals the victory with a late interception. Take a look:
The Texans will face the New York Giants in Week 10. The Giants currently sit at 6-2 and have surprised many NFL fans with their impressive season. The Giants have their bye this weekend after falling to the Seahawks in Week 8.
The Eagles have an NFC East matchup coming up next week on “Monday Night Football” when they will host the Washington Commanders. The Commanders are currently 4-4 after winning their past three games. They face the 6-1 Minnesota Vikings this weekend.