The big, bad Eagles are coming to town and, ohhhh boy, what a resume they're bringing to Houston.
7-0, 14 wins in their last 17 regular season games
+14 turnover margin, more than double the second place team in one less game
Fresh off a 35-13 shellacking of their in-state foe, the Pittsburgh Steelers
Greater Houston born, and raised, QB.
Every single offensive and defensive unit is a top ten unit in the league.
The best Philly team since 2017 and probably even better than that unit through seven games.
So, okay, what better way for the Texans to get off the mat after taking a physical pounding against the Tennessee Titans than to walk up and bust the 800-lb elephant right in the mouth, huh? Well, if the Texans are going to get off the mat after their performance against Tennessee, they're going to have to do it against the best in the league. That's all? Well, no one said navigating an NFL schedule was going to be easy, but this is one massive green and white test heading the Texans way.
QB Jalen Hurts, formerly of Channelview HS, might be the league's most valuable player and its most improved player. He just doesn't make mistakes. He is the consummate leader that the Eagles are following each and every day. They have ALPHAS all over the roster. When Robert Quinn showed up from Chicago, longtime Eagle DT Fletcher Cox pulled him aside and said "Rob, we practice HARD here." They play HARD too and the result has been a sterling 7-0 record.
So, it's time to get out the Battle Red helmets and the Big Boy pads ready for a 60-minute fight, answering the bell each and every play, no matter what. As such, let's get to Know the Texans' Week 8 Foe for Battle Red Night - the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles 2022 Schedule (7-0)
|@ Detroit Lions (W, 38-35)
|Minnesota Vikings (W, 24-7)
|@ Washington Commanders (W, 24-8)
|Jacksonville Jaguars (W, 29-21)
|@ Arizona Cardinals (W, 20-17)
|Dallas Cowboys (W, 26-17)
|Pittsburgh Steelers (W, 35-13)
|@ Houston Texans (Thursday)
|@ Indianapolis Colts
|Green Bay Packers
|@ New York Giants
|@ Chicago Bears
|@ Dallas Cowboys
|New Orleans Saints
|New York Giants
Eagles OFFENSE (in 2022 Regular Season)
|Rushing Yards Per game
|149.6 ypg (6th in the NFL)
|Passing Yards Per game
|245.9 ypg (10th)
|Total offense per game
|395.4 ypg (3rd)
|2 (2 INT, No Fumbles lost)
Expected Eagles starting offense for Week 9
Other key offensive pieces
ALL CAPS = New to team in 2022
Keys to winning v. the Eagles offense
1. It Hurts because he's true
When Eagles QB Jalen Hurts took over as the Eagles full-time starting quarterback, there were plenty who wondered who would be next and how soon he would be replaced. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the next guy as Hurts improved each and every game, leading the Eagles to the playoffs last year. He had always been dynamic on the ground, but his passing acumen improved greatly over the 2021 season. Now, he wasn't a finished product and even the Eagles weren't 1000% convinced he was THE MAN as they put out feelers to trade for a former Houston Texans QB. But, the best thing that happened to the Eagles since that 2017 championship season was sticking with Hurts and allowing him even more opportunities to show how far he's come as a complete QB. He's throwing as well and as consistently well as any QB in the league. He just doesn't make wrong decisions and his leadership is off the charts. The coach's kid is a tremendous teammate, a sound decision maker and a playmaker of the highest order. Philly didn't get four clover lucky, but in showing a ton of patience in Hurts, their faith paid off in a BIG way.
On 2022 NFL Draft Night 1, a draft night trade bomb was dropped when the Tennessee Titans traded All-Pro WR A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. I immediately danced a little jig on our radio stage. He's finally out of our hair; I was SO excited. Then, I remembered that the Texans were playing the Eagles in 2022. Oy. Well, I remember thinking that it's better than twice a year every year. Then, I thought, "well, maybe he won't be playing well when it's…" Yeah, I can't even finish that sentence because it's not even close. He had his best game of the year against Pittsburgh catching three TD passes in the first half and he was double teamed on each TD catch. He finished with six receptions for 156 yards and those three TD. He's ALWAYS had great games against the Texans so this young Texans secondary has its work cut out in a major way. As difficult as it's going to be, it cannot allow #11 to take over the game…as he's done against Houston many times before.
3. Confront them violently
One thing is extremely clear about this Eagles offense; their OL will violently attack the Texans defensive front at all times. They have multiple run schemes and a varied RPO attack that hasn't really been slowed down at any time this season. The one aspect of the loss to Tennessee that stood out was the Texans inability in playing violently at the point of attack throughout the game. On the final two drives, that violence and block destruction was finally evident, but by that point, it was a bit too late. If the Texans want to challenge this Eagles defense, it must physically answer the Eagles' physicality for a full 60 minutes…or else.
Eagles DEFENSE (in 2022 Regular Season)
|Rushing Yards Allowed Per game
|114.7 ypg (15th in the NFL)
|Passing Yards Allowed Per game
|183.4 ypg (4th)
|Total offense Allowed per game
|298.1 ypg (4th)
|16 (10 INT, 6 Fumble recoveries - Eagles are +14 (!!) in TO margin)
Expected Eagles starting defense for Week 9
|Josh Sweat/ROBERT QUINN
* Starter depends on how they match the Texans opening lineup
Other key defensive pieces
ALL CAPS = New to team in 2022
Keys to winning v. the Eagles defense
When the Eagles traded for Darius Slay in 2020, some around the league thought that his best football was behind him. The New York Giants' new management didn't want to continue with James Bradberry on into 2022 and allowed him to be a free agent. So, now opponents must tangle with these two rejuvenated Pro Bowlers on this Eagles' roster. Slay is as competitive at the catch point as anyone in the league and Bradberry has fit Jonathan Gannon's scheme as well as possible. This renewed duo plays man and zone equally well, so the Texans pass catchers will have their work cut out, not to mention QB Davis Mills trying to find openings in the passing game throwing in either direction.
In week three in Chicago, former Bears dynamic edge rusher Robert Quinn had a tough day facing Texans Pro Bowl LT Laremy Tunsil. After a trade to Philadelphia, Quinn gets another shot at Tunsil as the two stars will go head-to-head again on Thursday night. Tunsil had success attacking Quinn before he could set up his move and that was key in the first meeting. Tunsil also did a great job staying on Quinn all the way through Davis Mills' throws, riding him past Mills when Quinn sped upfield. The Eagles edge rusher will have more help around him than he had surrounding him in Chicago, but I'd still expect the Texans to allow Tunsil to account for Quinn one-on-one throughout the game.
3. We'll take that
Earlier this week, Lovie Smith (and my man Drew Dougherty) alluded to the Eagles outstanding turnover margin. My reaction was "well, yeah, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence fumbled them the ball four times. That's probably why it's so high." Uh, John, even without those four fumble recoveries, the Eagles' TO margin is STILL +10 and first in the league without those four turnovers. Wow, just wow! The Eagles defense is taking the ball away, on average, two times per game, giving one of the top three offenses in the league two extra possessions per game. It goes without saying that the Eagles offense doesn't need any additional help to put up 35 points in a blink. It also goes without saying that the Texans can't gift that offense extra possessions after turning the ball over. Ball security. Solid passing decisions. Do not turn the ball over…or else.
The Houston Texans will take on the Philadelphia Eagles for Thursday Night Football. Browse tickets.