*Visit HoustonTexans.com Friday at noon CT to watch the live streaming video of coach Gary Kubiak's press conference.
PHILADELPHIA- The Texans were focused on turning around their season Thursday night and keeping pace in the AFC South, but their determination wasn't enough to overcome the exploits of sensational quarterback Michael Vick.
Roaring back from a 17-3 first quarter deficit, the Texans went on a 24-3 run and controlled the clock for 12:34 in the third quarter to take a 24-20 lead with less than 16 minutes left in the game.
Vick responded by rushing for a touchdown and passing for another score on consecutive drives to help give the Eagles a 34-24 victory at Lincoln Financial Field.
The turning point came on tight end Brett Celek's first-down catch on third-and-19 from the Houston 24. The play initially was ruled short of a first down, but a replay review overturned the play and moved the chains. Two plays later, the Eagles made it a two-possession game on Vick's pass to fullback Owen Schmitt with 4:23 to play.
"When you play great football teams, you got to get it done at crunch time," coach Gary Kubiak said. "And they did and we didn't."
A national audience watching on NFL Network witnessed a quintessential Vick performance. The athletic lefty accounted for 350 of Philadelphia's 416 net yards of offense and constantly eluded defenders in the pocket. It was quite a contrast between Vick, a veritable MVP candidate, and Titans rookie quarterback Rusty Smith, whom the Texans intercepted three times in a shutout win four days earlier.
"It's easy to have a plan against (Vick), it's hard to execute," coach Gary Kubiak said. "This young man is playing as good as anybody I've seen play in the National Football League, and I've been doing it for a while. He's special. We just tried to contain him, but obviously he still had a big night and he's been doing it against a lot of people."
After allowing touchdowns on the Eagles' first two possessions, the Texans limited Philadelphia to two field goals and a punt on their next three series to keep the game within reach.
In the third quarter, running back Arian Foster scored twice, and wide receiver Andre Johnson caught two passes for 50 total yards. Defensively, cornerback Jason Allen forced only the second interception for Vick this season when he stepped in front of a deep pass intended for wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
The fourth quarter was a different story. While the Eagles found the end zone twice, the Texans punted, turned the ball over on downs and then lost a fumble before the game slipped away near the two-minute warning.
"We really, really played very well in the third quarter and had total control of the football game," Kubiak said. "So you're sitting there, 24-20, in control of the football game with a quarter left to play, and then that's where we started to make our mistakes.
"They didn't stop us in the second half. We stopped ourselves a couple times. And then defensively when we needed to rise to the occasion with the lead, we didn't do that (either)."
Playing in his hometown, quarterback Matt Schaub finished with 337 yards on 22-of-36 passing with two touchdowns and an interception. Schaub and Johnson, who both missed portions of the game due to injury, connected nine times for 149 yards (24.8 avg.).
Schaub received medical attention after hitting the ground hard before halftime, while Johnson aggravated his ankle injury and will receive an MRI on Friday.
"(Andre) just tweaked it again and came in (to the locker room), took a shot, played for his team, played big, played very big in the game," Kubiak said.
The Texans finished 1-3 against NFC East opponents this season and now must win every remaining game to equal last season's 9-7 record. Next on the schedule is a Battle Red Day showdown with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football Dec. 13.
Despite a 5-7 record, the Texans know that a division title remains possible. The margin for error is razor thin, though.
"It wasn't the way we planned things to go when we were looking at the season in the beginning of the year," Schaub said. "We have four games to play and we have a little time before we play Baltimore and we just have to regroup and be ready to go out and win all four of them."