Eagles at Texans score, takeaway: Philadelphia for first 8-0 start in franchise history

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Houston Texans 29-17 on Thursday night. The Eagles improved to 8-0 while the Texans fell to 1-6-1. The Eagles had never started an 8-0 season 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 downfield and the 75-yard run was capped off with a 2-yard touchdown reception from Teagan Quitoriano.

The Eagles started deep in their own territory, but were able to go 91 yards for a score, going up the board thanks to a 2-yard TD from Miles Sanders.

The Eagles had only turned the ball over twice this season before 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 its first lead on a 79-yard drive. Kenneth Gainwell hit it in the end zone with a 4-yard run.

Just before the two-minute first-half warning, Dameon Pierce took the ball from 36 yards to spark the Houston attack. Pierce was a key offensive player and finished 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 on a score, tying the game.

CJ Gardner-Johnson intercepted Mills and with the next play the Eagles scored a touchdown, reclaiming the lead. AJ Brown’s 17-yard reception made it 21-14.

The Texans scored three in the third quarter to close the Eagles’ lead.

Philadelphia’s lead was extended in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard touchdown reception from Dallas Goedert and a successful two-point conversion off a Hurts run down the middle.

A second interception by Mills sealed the fate of the Texans and the Eagles were able to run time to come away with the victory.

Why the Eagles won

The Eagles didn’t play at their normal level, especially early in the game against a one-win side, but they never fell far behind. Heading into the game, the Eagles had scored more points in the second quarter of games than the Texans had scored all season combined, but that game was a different story.

The Eagles were shocked not to dominate like they had, but despite deflating confidence, they managed to keep grinding and eventually got through.

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 the field, peculiarity when on the move or under pressure sets him apart from other quarterbacks in the league.

Miles Sanders led the team with 17 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown. Dallas Goedert had eight receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown.

The defense came in strong with two key interceptions and the biggest element of those turnovers was the Eagles capitalizing on one and missing the fourth quarter clock on the second. Javon Hargrave himself had a night with six tackles and three sacks.

Why the Texans lost

The Texans started strong, but struggled to close the deal. They trailed the Eagles for most of the contest, but let Philly widen the lead near the end.

Mills’ two interceptions didn’t help their case one bit and unlike the Eagles, when the Texans defense forced a turnover, their offense didn’t 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 the two main factors in the loss.

Turning

A pass from Mills intended for Moore was intercepted by CJ Gardner-Johnson, who now leads the league with five. The Eagles turned the interception into a touchdown, giving the visiting team a lead they would hold for the rest of the game.

Here is an overview of the interception:

Game of the game

James Bradberry seals the win with a late interception. Looked:

And after

The Texans will face the New York Giants in Week 10. The Giants currently sit 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 game coming up next week on “Monday Night Football” when they host the Washington Commanders. The Commanders are currently 4-4 after winning their last three games. They will face the Minnesota Vikings 6-1 this weekend.

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