ReFo: Eagles @ Texans, Week 9
The Eagles came down to Houston looking to make up ground on the Tony Romo-less Cowboys and did just that. It was bitter sweet though as they lost their own starting quarterback in the process. Nick Foles was taken to the ground five times in 15 dropbacks and on the last one Whitney Mercilus drove the quarterback’s left shoulder into the turf, breaking his collarbone.
For the Texans, this may well have been the breaking point in their playoff hopes. At 4-5 they are now behind seven non-division leading teams in the wildcard standings. The offense continues to be mired by inconsistency and it won’t turn around any time soon if Arian Foster is out for any length of time with the groin injury he suffered in the second half.
Philadelphia Eagles – Performances of Note
Jason Peters, LT: +6.0
Breakdown: The Eagles rushing game was dominant in the second half and the All-Pro left tackle was doing a good amount of that work. Absolutely crushed down block after down block in the zone-option and power attack. Was beaten a couple times in pass protection, but his +6.0 is as good as it gets.
Signature Play: At Q4-8:20, Peters took Jared Crick for a ride five yards down field to open up a big lane for Chris Polk to run through.
Mark Sanchez, QB: +0.7
Breakdown: A successful day for the maligned veteran quarterback. The interceptions looked bad on the stat sheet, but he was positively graded for his first one that clanged off Josh Huff’s hands and his second one was a miscommunication with Reilly Cooper. Went 11-of-13 on targets within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and did just enough to hold on to the win.
Signature Play: Sanchez started out with a bang, hitting Jeremy Maclin for 52 yards on the exact same post with an underneath crosser concept against cover four that Maclin scored on earlier in the game.
Mychal Kendricks, ILB: +4.2
Breakdown: Simply one of the best blitz performances by a traditional linebacker all season. Kendricks overpowered Arian Foster almost every time the running back was tasked with blitz pickup. Came away with a sack, a hit, and three hurries on 11 rushes.
Signature Stat: Kendricks’ +4.1 pass rushing grade is the highest we’ve given an inside linebacker since Week 4 of last season (NaVorro Bowman’s +5.5)
Houston Texans – Performances of Note
Andre Hal, CB: -5.1
Breakdown: The rookie corner just didn’t have the speed to run with the Eagles on vertical routes. He was beaten for two huge gains on posts by Jeremy Maclin and then another touchdown from Jordan Matthews on a seam route. Yielded completions on six of seven targets for 142 yards to go along with two missed tackles.
Signature Play: With 8:39 remaining in the first quarter, Maclin scored on a deep post with Hal playing outside leverage. It’s a tough route to defend, but Hal lost considerable ground on his break and didn’t have enough juice to recover.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR: +4.1
Breakdown: Hopkins showed once again on Sunday what he can do when he’s given a healthy number of targets as the passing of the torch from Andre Johnson may finally be complete. Nine targets generated six catches for 115 yards (62 after the catch) and a touchdown.
Signature Play: On a 3rd-and-2 with 7:07 remaining in the first quarter Hopkins adjusted beautifully on a go route that was thrown wildly inside. Hopkins reached behind Cary Williams helmet and plucked the ball from the air even with Williams arm still hooking Hopkins left arm.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB: -4.6
Breakdown: It’s difficult to win games when your quarterback misses the mark on as many open receivers as Fitzpatrick did Sunday. The quarterback blatantly missed the mark on open receivers seven times and completed just 4-of-12 throws targeted 10+ yards down the field. Add in a fumble and it was a day to forget for Fitzpatrick.
Signature Stats: Struggled mightily against pressure going 7-14 for 93 yards with a pick, four sacks, and a -3.4 grade.
Jason Peters almost single-handedly kick started the run game in the second half and earned himself a game ball in the process.
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