It didn't matter who was running Chip Kelly's offense Sunday afternoon. Despite losing quarterback Nick Foles to a shoulder injury at the end of the first quarter, the Eagles' offense scored four touchdowns, racked up 484 yards of offense, and knocked off the Texans, 31-21, Sunday.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for 202 yards and compiled a 89.6 quarterback rating in relief of Foles, while running back LeSean McCoy ran for 117 yards on 23 carries, an average of 5.1 yards per carry.
The scoring began with a bang Sunday afternoon when Foles found Jeremy Maclin on a deep pass in the middle of the field, a 59-yard touchdown pass that put the Eagles up 7-0. It was Maclin's seventh touchdown catch of the season and the first of two on the afternoon for the wide receiver who finished with six catches for 158 yards and the two scores.
Unfortunately the lead didn't stick around for long. After the Eagles' defense forced a Texans punt, Foles was intercepted by A.J. Bouye, who returned the pick 51 yards to tie the game at 7-7.
And three minutes later, the game took an unexpected turn when Foles suffered a left shoulder injury. He was driven into the NRG Stadium grass, and walked off under his own power but was ruled out for the game at halftime.
Enter Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez wasted no time finding a rhythm early in the second quarter, taking his first drive of the regular season 60 yards in six plays.
Sanchez found Maclin for a 52-yard bomb, and then a handful of plays later lofted an 11-yard touchdown pass to rookie Jordan Matthews to put the Eagles up, 14-7. It was Matthews' third touchdown of the year.
But, again, the Texans refused to succumb to the Eagles' offensive assault. After trading punts and a quiet middle of the second quarter, Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found running back Arian Foster for a 56-yard touchdown pass to even the game at 14 with just under four minutes to play in the half.
So the Eagles used all 3:58 remaining and pieced together a 13-play, 53-yard drive ending in a 45-yard field goal by Cody Parkey as the half came to an end, taking a 17-14 lead into the break.
The third quarter saw the Eagles dominate the flow of play, with the defense limiting the Texans' chances and the offense rediscovering the run game in a big way. With just over four minutes to play the Eagles engineered a four-play, 70-yard drive, with all four plays being runs.
Running back Chris Polk punctuated the dominating drive with an 8-yard touchdown run. The touchdown gave the Eagles a 24-14 lead with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter.
Yet for the third time on the afternoon, the Texans refused to let the game go away.
After a Sanchez interception, Fitzpatrick found wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the right corner of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown pass to make it a one-score game. The Eagles reclaimed the ball with 11:50 to play and a 24-21 lead.
They responded with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ate up 8:01 of clock and ended in an eight-yard touchdown pass to Maclin. It was the longest drive of the Eagles' season.
The Eagles took a 31-21 lead with less than four minutes to play, and forced a turnover on downs on the ensuing Texans drive to ice the win.
The Eagles, now 6-2 on the year and in first place in the NFC East, return home next week to host the Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) on Monday Night Football.
The Eagles are in Houston to take on the Texans at NRG Stadium. Philadelphia is looking to bounce back after last week's loss in Arizona ...