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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Philadelphia at Houston: 3 Things We Learned

MaclinDespite starting quarterback Nick Foles leaving the game with a shoulder injury, the Philadelphia Eagles still managed to defeat the Houston Texans 31-21. The Eagles win, combined with the Dallas Cowboys loss to the Arizona Cardinals, puts the Eagles joint top of the NFC East. The Texans fall to 4-5 and 2nd place in the AFC South.

It was an injury plagued game, with both squads suffering injuries to key players. As mentioned the Eagles lost Foles early in the game, and later on linebacker DeMeco Ryans was carted off the field with a lower body injury. The Texans lost both starting cornerbacks and the Eagles took immediate advantage putting together a scoring drive consisting of only pass plays, topped with a Jeremy Maclin touchdown grab.

More concerning for the Texans is the health of Arian Foster who after scoring a 56 yard receiving touchdown, left the field a few plays later and didn’t return.

Apart from injuries galore, what were the three main points from this game?

No.1: Mark Sanchez is still... Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez came in and guided the Eagles to a win, I can’t take that away from him. But the two interceptions should have been punished by the Texans. Jeremy Maclin had a game and a half with 158 yards and two touchdowns. Eagles fans should be hoping that Foles can return to the helm as soon as possible, because if the Texans’ backup corners can force turnovers imagine what a full strength defence could do.

No.2: DeAndre Hopkins is a legitimate No.2 receiver.

Well, today he looked like the Texans’ number one guy who also has Andre in his name. Hopkins caught six passes for 115 yards and one touchdown and accounted for over half of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passing yards. I’ve had faith in Hopkins since he entered the league, his place on my fantasy team in both seasons shows this. In his last three games he has totalled 318 yards, and his four touchdowns have already doubled his total from last year.

No.3: The Eagles need a full strength squad fast.

Coming into the stretch the Eagles have a tough schedule, they still have games to play against the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. But more importantly, out of their last six games of the season, five are against divisional teams, including week 13 and 15 games against the Cowboys, with the current standings in the NFC East, these two games could be huge for either team. The loss of DeMeco Ryans is huge, hopefully his injury is nothing serious. If Foles misses a couple of weeks and is rushed back into action the Eagles could struggle.

Going into the next few weeks both the Eagles and Texans are in similar boats, hoping their injuries aren’t serious so both can make playoff pushes in their respective conferences. 


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