The Texas Eagles fended off, moving to 8-0 for the first time in franchise history

HOUSTON – The Houston Texans fought one of the toughest fights the Philadelphia Eagles have seen this season, but Philly managed to win, 29-17, and maintain his undefeated start to the season. The Eagles 8-0 for the first time in franchise history, while the Texans moved to 1-6-1 on the season during “Thursday Night Football” at NRG Stadium.

Philadelphia Eagles

Midfielder Galen Hurts’ return home proved to be a historic night, as he helped guide the Eagles to their first 8-0 start. It wasn’t always pretty, but he bounced back up to this point, throwing a pair of touchdown passes—including a 17-yard go-ahead hit to wide receiver AJ Brown in the third quarter—to maintain continuity on the undefeated train.

An MVP candidate near the midpoint of the season, Hurts threw at least two passes in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. Up to 18 touchdowns (12 assists, six lunges) with two interceptions over eight games.

Describe the game in two words: Temporarily uncomfortable. With the one-win Texans losing each of the starting receivers, this seemed like a complete mismatch. But Thursday’s road games are tough, and the Eagles have been uncharacteristically sloppy at times, as evidenced by their first loss of the season in a play where Hurts wasn’t ready for the ball when it was picked up. The game was tied in the first half – the first time Philly had not led after two quarters – but the Eagles gradually took the lead as the second half continued.

worrying trend: The Eagles’ first game without a junior defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who had just been put into reserve injured due to a sprained ankle, proved to be a problem for the lunge defense. Houston running back Dameon Pierce sprinted for 139 yards on 27 buggies. Philly’s interference was often poor and the jogging lanes were very wide. Davis was a team maker. Entering the game, the Eagles allowed 3.9 yards per dash on the field (70 rushes) as opposed to 6 yards per dash outfield (112 rushes).

pivotal play: CJ Gardner-Johnson came in with his fifth-leading league interception of the season midway through the third quarter, setting up Hurts’ pass to land on Brown. The Eagles’ first possession was quickly halted in the second half as Miles Sanders packed a third and short run, swinging momentum in Houston’s favour. But Gardner-Johnson put it right back with a choice of a dive over middle for third. – Tim McManus

Statistics not estimated to find out: Gardner-Johnson now has four interceptions in a row, and tied for the longest streak by an Eagles player since the merger (Bill Bradley in 1972).

Next match: Against Washington’s Leaders (8:15 p.m. ET, November 14)


Houston Texas

The Texans were a 14-point underdog against the Eagles and yet they managed to put up a respectable fight. They entered the end of the first half tied 14-14, but Houston’s defense struggled against a pass and run when Hurts threw twice, and the Eagles’ attack rushed twice.

The Texas attack was led by rookie Pierce, who finished with 139 yards. This relieved the pressure on quarterback Davis Mills, who was without leading receivers Branden Cox and Nico Collins. Pierce’s strong performance allowed Mills to be effective as he threw twice. But he got two interceptions in the second half that crushed Texans’ chances of winning.

Promising direction: Pierce struggled against the Tennessee Titans last week as he finished a 35-yard race on 15 buggies, his second-lowest yardage production of the season. But Pierce bounced back in a big way by finishing 139 yards, a season high. Without Pierce, the match would have ended by half the first half.

Buy on Breakout Performance: Houston’s passing rush is improving. Produce four sacks against the Eagles, who have one of the best offensive lines in the league. Texas also had 10 pressures on 31 dip points, according to Next Gen Stats. If they can put pressure against this offensive line when they play the New York Giants in Week 10, they should be able to withstand that momentum because the Giants have allowed quarterbacks to be sacked 25 times, which ranks in the top ten. – darling dj

Statistics not estimated to find out: Mills was traveling at 16.04 mph when he threw a 13-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to Chris Moore—only his third TD of the season has been thrown while sprinting that fast.

Next match: At Giants (1 p.m. ET, November 13)

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