ANY team (or fan base) that says they aren’t scared of the Eagles right now, is lying. Right now the Eagles are playing scrappy, ballsy, no holds barred, football. We’re playing with the swagger of a radioactive man, walking among his enemies, with nothing to lose. At this point in the year, when teams see the Eagles on their schedule, they swallow hard and just hope that we make it quick.
EAGLES 32 – Texans 30
QB Nick Foles (35/49 – 71.4% – 471 – 4 – 1) set the team record for having the most 400 yard passing games of any QB in an Eagles jersey. TE Zach Ertz (12 – 110 – 9.1 – 2) set the ALL-TIME RECORD for passes caught by a TE in a season. On the way to those records, we took a minute to hand Houston a shiny new “L” for their Christmas tree.
The stats do no justice to the day that was had by RB Darren Sproles (9 – 32 – 3.5 – 0 – 0/ 3 – 76 – 25.3 – 1). Since returning from injury four weeks ago, Sproles has been playing like a man possessed. On just 35 touches, he has 3 scores, often fighting off multiple defenders, while he refuses to stop until he hits paydirt.
DE Chris Long (2 – 2.0 – 0 – 0) brought his sack total up to 6.5, which is his best year since 2013, when he had 8.5. The difference is, in 2013 he had 16 starts. This year he has zero. DT Treyvon Hester (2 – 1.0 – 0 – 0) 25 games into his career, finally broke his NFL cherry and git himself a sack. CB/FS Rasul Douglas (8 – 0 – 0 – 0) despite being beaten by an amazing throw for a score, played a hell of a game, yet again. The pairing of he and CB Avonte Maddox (2 – 0.5 – 0 – 0) is giving the Eagles a real presence both against the run and the pass.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Run the ball: I said we needed 25 handoffs and we got 21. The run/pass play selection was 21 to 51. We can’t live that way. We got away with it this week though. NOT DONE
2) Take away the catalyst: The Eagles spent a lot of time in Cover Two, and kept the catalyst out of the endzone. We allowed completions, then we closed, made the tackle and didn’t let him become a problem. DONE
3) DE’s set the edges: The Defense was AMAZING at this! The Texans run game was served right up to our tacklers, who wrapped up and finished the down. DONE
4) Screen Time!: We didn’t do much in the way of Screens. NOT DONE
This brings this week’s Four Things score to 2 of 4 and the seasons total to 26 out of 58. Next week we get a shot at sweeping the Redskins in a game we need (along with outside help) to make the playoffs.
On The Whole:
Nick Foles picked up another cool quarter million, plus a record, plus a win, plus more validation for the shrine to him, created by Chris Long. On February 6th I said: “If Foles wants to stay, we need to find a way to let him. If he doesn’t, we need to find a way to convince him.”
This game was a great win to watch, but there may be a very serious decision to be made at the QB spot for this team. This game ruined any chance of there being a cut and dried decision on it.
Have fun celebrating, but recognize that there is a headache and some extreme discomfort coming up. And the further we go, the worse it will get.