The Philadelphia Eagles are getting more and more difficult to figure out. Just two weeks ago the NFL scores showed an Eagles team that took a hard-fought game away from a good New York Giants team. Yes, the Eagles were helped by the bad play of Giants quarterback Eli Manning. But in order to win a team has to be able to capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes. Then the Eagles lost to a Chicago Bears team that is normally handing wins out to opposing teams. It was a little bit of the Bears looking sharp and the Eagles looking flat.
The Houston Texans are grasping on to preseason NFL predictions that they would be in the playoffs this year. While the NFL betting experts are not impressed with the Texans’ recent losing streak, Houston did manage to beat a Tennessee Titans team that is in complete disarray right now. As the Texans continue their trek towards the playoffs, they come across the Eagles who are still trying to figure out who they really are.
It is hard to say what exactly got into Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson when he got into a fist fight with Tennessee Titans’ defensive back Cortland Finnegan, but frustration over the Texans past few games is probably a good guess. The Texans will be fortunate in that Johnson will probably be fined but not suspended for his fight, but that does not change the fact that other teams saw how to get Andre Johnson off his game. The combination of quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Adrian Foster and Johnson has been prolific for Houston this season. But the Texans are showing their lack of experience as their playoff hopes drift further and further away. The game against the Titans was the first time that the Houston offense showed up for a game in weeks. The Texans will find out quickly that the Eagles defense is not the same as the Titans.
The Eagles are trying to put games in the hands of quarterback Michael Vick, but Vick is showing growing pains that cost this team a game last week. Vick is fighting the urge to run with the ball when his pocket collapses, and in the process he is missing opportunities to gain important yardage for the Eagles. Vick will eventually figure out how to play the quarterback position the way he has said he wants to, but in the meantime he needs to use all of his talents to help Philadelphia put points on the board.
The bad thing for the Texans is that they have the 31st ranked defense in the league, the good thing is that they are ranked eighth against the run. If Houston can keep Michael Vick contained in the pocket, then they just may have a chance at winning this game.
The Eagles defense is punishing, fast and smart. While the Eagles may not resort to the thug tactics that Finnegan used last week, the Philadelphia secondary will use other ways to get inside Andre Johnson’s head. Double coverage and hitting Johnson at the line can be almost as frustrating as a defensive back pulling on Johnson’s helmet. The Eagles’ front seven should be able to contain Adrian Foster as well.
The Bottom Line:
The Eagles need to establish Vick as a passing quarterback, and this game is the perfect opportunity. The Philadelphia defense will keep the Houston offense under wraps while the Eagles offense finds its passing legs.
BSNblog Pick: Philadelphia Eagles