It's been 21 days since the Philadelphia Eagles last won a football game. The team has only played one game in that span, which was a loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week, but it certainly feels like a long stretch. Philadelphia has the opportunity to get back on track this week following last week's disappointing dropped game in the desert.
The Eagles are in Houston to face a Texans team sporting a 4-4 record. The Texans have already doubled their 2013 win total of just two games so it appears Houston is off to a relatively good start under the Bill O'Brien era. Still, it remains to be seen just how good this unit really is. The Texans are 2-4 in their last six games and they don't really have an impressive win. Their highest quality victory came over the Bills, and that was last game Buffalo quarterback E.J. Manuel played before being benched.
Houston just isn't very intimating with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. The Eagles defense needs to key in on running back Arian Foster and keep him in check so that Houston is forced to make plays through the air. Foster is very talented, but Philadelphia is well-equipped to handle the run. If the Eagles can eliminate the mistakes made in Week 8 that led to big plays for Arizona, this defensive unit should be able to do enough to put Philadelphia in a position to win.
With that said, the Eagles offense needs to live up to their end of the bargain. That means Nick Foles needs to stop throwing off of his back foot and turning the ball over. The Eagles should take the ball out of Foles' hands and force-feed LeSean McCoy the ball early again Houston. The return of Jason Kelce at center should help the run game and the return of running back Darren Sproles will give the offense a boost as well. While Jadeveon Clowney might not play, Philadelphia's offensive line will still have their hands full with defensive stalwart J.J. Watt.
Once again, it appears the Eagles have a significant advantage on special teams. Philadelphia's unit ranks first overall by Football Outsiders while Houston is ranked near the bottom of the league at 27th. Having Sproles return punts instead of Jeremy Maclin is obviously a big upgrade.
I'm not sure this one will be easy for the Eagles but it's certainly a winnable game. I like Philadelphia to win by one score (so take the Eagles -2).
What do you think? Will the Eagles come out on top?
Bold prediction: Josh Huff rushing touchdown on a reverse play