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Week 16 Game Recap: Houston Texans 30, Philadelphia Eagles 32
What you need to know
WR Demaryius Thomas
was lost for the season after tearing his achilles trying to block on a screen. Thomas was carted off the field, his season is over and future with the Texans is up in the air.
WR Vyncint Smith
filled in for Thomas and only had one catch but it was a 35-yard touchdown. It was a sliding catch before going out of the end zone on a perfectly placed ball from Watson.
RB Lamar Miller
did not make the trip to Philadelphia, he has an injured ankle and his status moving forward to week 17 is in question.
The Eagles are rising at the right time following a sluggish opening three months of the season. Nick Foles
led a pass-heavy attack for more than 450 yards as the run game provided little balance. The spread-it-around passing game produced four players with at least 75 yards including Nelson Agholor
’s first 100-yard game of the season. Darren Sproles
has been growing in role and impact by the week, producing more than 100 total yards as the do-it-all offensive weapon.
|QB Deshaun Watson, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 40 - 339 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 49 - 2|
Efficient. That was Deshaun Watson
’s day against the Philadelphia Eagles throwing for 339 yards and two touchdowns. Watson continues to play at a high level and did a better job of getting the ball out of his hands but still took four sacks during the game. Watson was able to keep the Texans in the game and put up four total touchdowns, two in the air and two on the ground. His two rushing touchdowns were designed runs that saw him on both opportunities get to the outside around the left end. Watson had rushing touchdowns of 5 and 6 yards. AS for throwing, Watson was accurate and precise with his throws and when he needed to move the sticks he went to DeAndre Hopkins
. Hopkins caught 9 passes for 104 yards and just kept going to the well to move the sticks. Watson’s two touchdown passes came to unlikely targets in RB D’Onta Foreman and WR Vyncint Smith
. On a broken play rolling to the right, Watson was able to find Foreman all by himself in the middle of the field for a 20-yard touchdown reception. His best ball came late 4th quarter on a deep ball to Smith for a 35-yard touchdown reception where he dropped it right over the defensive back in coverage. Watson hit 8 different targets on the day through the air.
|RB DOnta Foreman, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - -1 - 0, Rec: 2 - 28 - 1 (2 targets)|
-1 yards rushing for Foreman, it was a tough and ugly day for him on the ground. Foreman’s best work came in the passing game catching two passes for 28 yards. His longest reception came on a 20-yard touchdown where he slipped out of the backfield down the middle of the field where Deshaun Watson
found him by himself.
|RB Alfred Blue, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 14 - 0, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (5 targets)|
Blue ended up starting the game and rushed for only 14 yards. The rushing game has been terrible for the Texans and Blue was passed over for Foreman in the offense. Blue caught four passes for 26 yards with his longest being only 9 yards. Blue needs room to work as a running back and he is not getting any of that of late with a struggling offensive line.
The veteran target continues to make plays when it counts. Hopkins caught 9 passes for 104 yards and at one point he was a one man wrecking crew catching three consecutive passes for first downs, with a 6, 14 and 18 yard receptions. Held out of the end zone, his impact was felt working the under neath routes the entire game. The Eagles did not have an answer for him and had to roll coverage to his side and then that is when Watson went to his other options.
When Demaryius Thomas
went down, the Texans left DeAndre Carter
on the field and he was able to provide some key plays down the stretch. Carter caught a key 13 yard pass to extend a key scoring drive late in the game. He also caught a 24 yard pass from Watson showing that he can provide some big plays when needed in the passing game. Carter was able to do work underneath and catch four more passes.
Thomas continued to be a reliable target when needed, his longest reception was 15 yards. He continued to work within the system but It ended up being the game no one wanted for Thomas after tearing his achilles trying to block on a smoke screen.
|QB Nick Foles, 81 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 49 - 471 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0|
Without much of a run game, Foles put the Eagles offensive on his shoulders with 49 passes and more than 450 yards in the critical home win over Houston. Foles had two turnovers, including an ugly interception and losing a fumble near his own end zone. However, Foles was at his best in the closing minutes with a perfect deep throw to Nelson Agholor
for a long touchdown in a tie game and on-point to Alshon Jeffery
down the seam, absorbing a huge hit in the process. Foles missed time from the hit but returned to complete the comeback drive and game-winning drive.
|RB Darren Sproles, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 32 - 0, Rec: 3 - 76 - 1 (6 targets)|
Sproles surged forward in his offensive role for the Eagles against the Texans with a season-high 12 touches and more than 100 total yards. Sproles broke a tackle on a fourth-down swing pass for a long touchdown. Sproles corralled another sideline reception for a chunk gain. Sproles was held relatively in check as a runner but had his best run on the game-winning drive for 15 yards on a draw play into field goal range.
|RB Josh Adams, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 21 - 0 (1 targets)|
Adams struggled on the ground for the second straight game, also ceding snaps and production to the recently-returned Darren Sproles
as the more dynamic element in the Eagles backfield. Adams was slippery through contact, gaining additional yards on two notable, but short gains amidst his 21-yard effort. Adams was stuffed on third-and-short in the red zone and had a goal line touchdown called back on his lone scoring opportunity. Adams kept the door open for Houston in the close game with a critical lost fumble in the closing minutes.
Agholor posted his best performance of the season and his first touchdown since Week 2. Agholor was on the receiving end of one of Nick Foles
’ best throws of the game, a perfect deep pass as Agholor scored the long touchdown in a tie game. In addition to Agholor’s 116 yards, he also had a reception called back, which would have pushed Agholor’s stat line beyond 150 yards.
Despite five targets, his second-fewest of the season, Jeffery made three impressive plays including a yards-after-catch explosion for more than 50 yards on a post route. Jeffery also made a critical seam reception on the game-winning drive and a high-point slant earlier in the game. Jeffery’s volume was tempered considering the Eagles logged 50 passes in the game, but his efficiency and big-play rate was at a high level.
|WR Golden Tate, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (3 targets)|
Tate’s production continued to go silent in Week 16 despite the Eagles’ huge passing performance against Houston. Tate dropped a pass on third down and was short of the sticks on another third down opportunity. A quick out route completed Tate’s passing game involvement as he has a dismal 8-63-0 stat line over the past three games.
|TE Zach Ertz, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 12 - 110 - 2 (16 targets)|
After back-to-back quiet games, Ertz surged past the all-time tight end reception record for a season in the passing game explosion against the Texans. Ertz found the end zone not once, but twice, for the first time in a month and his 16 targets marked a season high. Ertz’s highlights included a diving third down reception, a fourth-and-goal touchdown catch, and yards-after-catch while eluding a defender in the open field for a chunk touchdown later in the game. Ertz did fumble following one of his 12 receptions, but Philadelphia fortunately recovered. Ertz will look to extend his NFL record to close the season against division rival Washington next week.
Goedert quietly logged his sixth game of at least 30 yards of the season in the Eagles’ passing game explosion against the Texans. Goedert had a touchdown opportunity on one of his receptions, but slipped as he looked to turn the corner on a fourth-down red zone catch. Goedert has been one of the impressive rookie tight end performers despite being behind record-setting Zach Ertz
all season on the Eagles depth chart.