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Eagles Keep Playoff Hopes Alive With Over Texans

With a last-second 35-yard field goal by kicker Jake Elliott, the Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive and won a wild contest against the Houston Texans, 32-30, at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

The Eagles led 29-16 with less than five minutes to play but the Texans scored two touchdowns to take a lead with 2:04 remaining. The second score came on a 35-yard pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson to wide receiver Vyncint Smith in the back of the end zone.

Trailing 30-29 with 1:59 to play, Nick Foles and the Eagles' offense embarked on an 11-play 72 yard drive that culminated with Elliott's game-winner.

The drive didn't come without adversity, as Foles was hit hard while completing a 19-yard pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, causing him to be tended to by the trainers.

However, Foles quickly re-entered the game after missing only one play and proceeded to complete passes to tight end Zach Ertz. Darren Sproles pitched in with a 16-yard run to set the Eagles up to win the game.

With the win, the Eagles kept their season alive. With the Vikings' victory over the Lions, a loss would have eliminated the Eagles from Wild Card contention. A win and a Vikings loss next week or two losses by Seattle (the Seahawks play on Sunday night) would put the Eagles in the playoffs.

Foles finished the game 35-of-49 for a single-game franchise-record 471 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor led the way receiving with 116 yards on five receptions. Eighty-three of Agholor's yards came on an electrifying touchdown during the third quarter. Ertz added 110 yards on 12 receptions.

Ertz now has 113 catches in 2018, setting a new NFL record for receptions in a single season by a tight end.

It was an ideal opening for the Eagles as the defense forced a three-and-out and the offense found the end zone on its first possession. On a fourth-and-2 at the Houston 37, the Eagles stayed on the field and Foles found Sproles on a wheel route. Sproles then broke down the sideline, powered through tacklers at the 5, and scored the touchdown.

The Texans answered with a field goal and a series of events that turned the game. The Eagles started at their own 10-yard line after a holding penalty on the kickoff. On second down, Foles was sacked by linebacker Jadeveon Clowney and fumbled at the 5. The Texans took over and Watson ran in for a touchdown on the next play. The Texans missed the extra point, but still held a 9-6 advantage.

The Eagles marched right back down the field with a 30-yard third-down conversion to Sproles. The Eagles then converted another fourth down, this time on a pass to Dallas Goedert. Then things got crazy.

A roughing the pass call on J.J. Watt extended the drive after the Texans thwarted the Eagles on third down. Then, a Josh Adams touchdown run was called back for a holding penalty. That was followed up with delay of game that put the Eagles back at the 16.

The Eagles managed to get the ball back to the 1-yard line and on fourth down, Foles found Ertz in the end zone for a touchdown. The Eagles did not convert the two-point conversion and the score remained 13-9.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Texans had just enough time for another drive. With the help of a roughing the passer penalty on a would-be Brandon Graham sack, the Texans drove into Eagles' territory and added another Watson touchdown to take a 16-13 lead at the half.

The Eagles had a tough start to the second half as an opening-drive interception gave the Texans the ball at midfield. The defense picked up a three-and-out and the Eagles followed with a drive that ended in a game-tying 47-yard field goal.

The Eagles' defense forced another quick possession, as the Texans punted at midfield after just five plays.

Foles wasted no time. On first down from the 17, Foles stepped up and unloaded a dime to Agholor, who beat safety Tyrann Mathieu in single coverage for an 83-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 23-16 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles turned the corner and brought out the ski masks early in the fourth. On a third-and-13 in Eagles territory, defensive end Chris Long sacked Watson and forced him to fumble, which was scooped up and recovered by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

Five plays later, Ertz caught a pass at the 20, juked at the 10, and finished a 23-yard score, giving the Eagles a 29-16 lead. Elliott missed the extra point, which proved to be crucial later in the contest.

The Eagles appeared to have the game in hand when the Texans turned the ball over on downs on the next drive, but a fumble by Adams set up Houston's comeback.

Fortunately for the Eagles, they were able to pull out a victory.

It all comes down to Week 17 as the Eagles travel to FedEx Field to take on Washington.

Take a look at the best photos from the Eagles' Week 16 matchup against the Houston Texans.

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