|Date of game: 11/2/2014
Recap: Houston vs. Philadelphia
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeremy Maclin racked up 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns on six receptions, as the Philadelphia Eagles gutted out a 31-21 decision over the Houston Texans on Sunday despite losing starting quarterback Nick Foles.
"When I went down (with a torn ACL), I told myself to do whatever I can to come back better than before. I'm going to work to get better every day," Maclin stated after becoming the first receiver in franchise history to record back-to-back 150-plus receiving and two-plus TD contests in one season.
Foles began the game completing 10-of-13 passes for 124 yards with one score and a pick before leaving due to an apparent shoulder injury after one quarter.
Mark Sanchez ended up 15-of-22 for 202 yards, two TDs and two interceptions for the Eagles (6-2), who shook off a loss last week in Arizona and ascended to the top of the NFC East after Dallas lost at home to the Cardinals.
LeSean McCoy contributed 117 yards on 23 carries, while Chris Polk added a touchdown run and Jordan Matthews posted a TD reception for the visitors.
Ryan Fitzpatrick finished with 203 yards and an interception on 13-of-27 passing, but threw TD strikes to DeAndre Hopkins and Arian Foster for the Texans (4-5), who fell to 0-4 all-time against Philadelphia.
"It's not a good loss, we made a lot of mistakes. We have to correct this stuff because we're certainly not out of anything," said Texans head coach Bill O'Brien. "We have a disappointed locker room, but we have a lot of games left. Seven games is a lot of games."
Hopkins totaled 115 yards on six catches, with Foster adding 56 yards on 15 carries and 63 yards on a pair of receptions in defeat.
Jumal Rolle picked off Sanchez late in the third quarter, and the Texans gained control on the Eagles' 38-yard line. On 2nd-and-7 from the 10 early in the fourth, Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans stepped in front of a Fitzpatrick pass but fumbled while falling, and Hopkins recovered on the 7-yard line.
Ryans left the game on a cart with a suspected right ankle injury and two plays later, Hopkins recorded a 7-yard score to pull the Texans within 24-21.
Following the contest, Ryans was reported to have suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury.
"He's our leader, our Mufasa. when a warrior goes down, you pick up a shield and play in honor of him," said Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
The Eagles began on their own 20, and methodically moved into the red zone -- with the biggest play a 21-yard Maclin reception to midfield. Later in the drive, Polk's short run to convert a 4th-and-1 from the Houston 4 inside of four minutes remaining was upheld by review. Following a false start penalty on the next snap, Sanchez hit Maclin from eight yards away and a 31-21 contest.
Houston reached its own 45 on the next series, but a Fitzpatrick pass to Hopkins on 4th-and-5 fell incomplete. Polk picked up a first down on 3rd-and-1 from the Texans' 36 and Sanchez took a knee twice to run out the remaining time.
After going three-and-out on their first possession, the Eagles capitalized on their second chance. They moved 88 yards in seven plays -- with 59 of those coming as Foles aired it out over the middle where a waiting Maclin hauled it in for the game's opening score.
Foles gave it back on the first play of the Eagles' next touch, making a back- foot throw over the middle that was picked off by A.J. Bouye and he weaved his way in the opposite direction for a 51-yard return TD.
Foles was felled on a sack by Whitney Mercilus on the last play of the first, then Sanchez completed a 52-yard pass to Maclin on his first play under center. Five snaps later, his 11-yard pass to Matthews gave the visitors a 14-7 edge.
"It felt good to get back out there, get hit a little bit. Really proud of the team on rallying and great job in all three phases," noted Sanchez, who hadn't played since Dec. 30, 2012 for the Jets.
Sanchez was picked off by Rolle in Texans territory to end Philly's next drive, and five plays later Fitzpatrick and Foster teamed up for a 56-yard strike up the right sideline to draw even.
Late in the half, McCoy converted a 4th-and-1 from the Houston 26 and Cody Parkey kicked a 45-yard field goal for 17-14 game at halftime.
Despite Hopkins' 45-yard rumble to the Philly 21 in the latter stages of the third quarter, Randy Bullock pulled a 39-yard try wide left with just over four minutes to play. Taking over at the hosts' 30, Philadelphia needed only four plays to go up 24-14 as Polk shot up the middle for an 8-yard rushing TD.Game Notes
Maclin's 158 yards marked his second-most this season, behind his 187 from
last Sunday's loss to the Cardinals ... The Eagles improved to 10-0 against
teams based in Houston, having gone 6-0 against the Oilers before the
franchise moved to Tennessee in 1997 ... Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph
left the game in the first quarter and did not return due to a concussion ...
Eagles center Jason Kelce returned to action for the first time since
suffering a sports hernia on Sept. 21 vs. Washington ... Houston punter Shane
Lechler played in his 199th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the
NFL ... With Joseph out and linebackers Jadeveon Clowney and Brian Cushing
inactive, Philadelphia racked up 30 first downs and 483 yards of total offense
while converting 9-of-16 third-down opportunities.