Game Preview – PHI at HOU

Posted: November 3rd, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Game Preview – PHI at HOU

Winning games in the National Football League isn’t easy, especially when you face a team that has a stud RB like Dameon Pierce, an elite LT like Laremy Tunsil and a veteran pass rusher like Jerry Hughes. People don’t understand how good the Texans are. Their record might not show it, but this is a great team.

Okay, that was my best attempt at coachspeak.

The Texans suck. They are 1-5-1 and lucky to have the win and the tie. I watched them play Tennessee last week and they were physically dominated. The Titans had a rookie QB making his first start. That should have given Houston a real chance to win the game. Put some pressure on the rookie and see what happens. The Titans ran the ball so well that Malik Willis only had to throw 10 passes in the entire game. He only threw one pass in the second half. One!

The Titans ran for 314 yards. That’s a college football stat. NFL? Hard to believe, but I watched it with my own tortured eyes. Houston came into the game with the worst run defense in the league. They average giving up 186 rushing yards per game. The Bears are next worst at 156. There is a difference of 30 yards between 31 and 32. That’s mind boggling.

And this isn’t just a matter of teams getting leads and running a lot. The Texans allow 5.6 yards per carry. Teams are gashing them, over and over. This has led to some insane rushing totals.


The Chargers are the team that only ran for 81 yards. For some reason, they decided to throw 39 passes in that game.

So are you getting an idea of what I think the Eagles gameplan should be tonight? I’m not saying the Eagles should limit Jalen Hurts to 10 passes, but this is a game where they need to run the ball. A lot.

The Eagles should feed the ball to Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott. Mix in some RPOs and play-action passes. The Texans will make some plays. They aren’t afraid to load the box and take chances. Rookie safety Jalen Pitre has 2 INTs and 5 TFLs. The problem is that Houston misses too many tackles and they can struggle to get off blocks. That’s where teams are able to get outside or up to the second level and break some big runs.

Houston’s pass defense has had some success. They are 5th in completion percentage and 4th in passer rating. They haven’t exactly faced star QBs, though. Are those stats legit or have they just shut down mediocre passers?

The Eagles should be able to move the ball and score points.

The Texans offense isn’t exactly lighting it up. They are 29th in scoring, 31st in yards and 31st in offensive DVOA. There are some talented pieces, but just not enough. QB Davis Mills is hard to judge with such limited weapons. He has talent, but as we see more and more these days, you need good receivers. An elite QB like Aaron Rodgers looks lost without Davante Adams.

Nico Collins and Brandin Cooks are talented receivers, but not foundational players that you build a passing game around. Both are out tonight. Collins is injured and Cooks isn’t playing for personal reasons. He is upset that he wasn’t traded and is dealing with some issues. So now Mills gets to throw the ball to Phillip Dorsett, Chris Moore and Tyron Johnson. Yikes.

You can bet the Texans will focus on running the ball. Pierce is an outstanding RB. He can be a workhorse, but also deliver big plays. He already has a 75-yard TD run on his resume.

Jonathan Gannon better not sit in a 2-high safety look in this game. The Eagles DBs are clearly better than Houston’s receivers. This is a game to play man coverage and bring a safety down into the box. Shut down the run and get the Texans into known passing situations.

Houston has a rookie at LG in Kenyon Green. I haven’t been impressed by him. I think the Eagles can clog the interior on runs and get good push on pass plays. Javon Hargrave could have a big game.

It will be interesting to see what the Eagles do in their 5-1 and 5-2 looks. Will Marlon Tuipulotu become the NT? Will Hargrave take on that role? Gannon can try a couple of different things and see what works the best.

This game is a clear mismatch. The Eagles are favored by 13.5 points. I can see them winning 31-13.

The short week should give the Eagles an advantage. Houston’s defense played in a tough, physical game on Sunday. Derrick Henry is a punishing runner. Their defense could use more rest before a game with another physical team. The Eagles played three quarters against the Steelers and then got to rest a lot of players. The Eagles should be the fresher team.

Houston needs a lot to go right to keep this game competitive. If they can come up with takeaways and get some lucky bounces, they can stay in this game. If the Eagles play clean football, they should control the game.


The team at 32nd…the Eagles.


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