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Eagles-Texans Final Score: 10 things learned from Philadelphia's win over Houston

Here's what we learned from the Philadelphia Eagles' 31-21 victory over the Houston Texans.

Thomas B. Shea

The Philadelphia Eagles are 6-2 after beating the Houston Texans by a score of 31-21 (Recap).

Here are 10 things to be learned from this game. There is a lot to discuss, so let's get right to it.

1) The Sanchize is here to stay

Starting quarterback Nick Foles left the team's game with a shoulder injury and it looks like he will miss several weeks due to a broken clavicle. One report suggests Foles could be out for four to six games, if not more. It's no secret that Foles has struggled this season, but the coaches obviously like him more than Sanchez.

Sanchez looked pretty great while filling in for Foles... at first. His deep pass to Jeremy Maclin was underthrown but consider it was his first pass attempt of the game. The veteran hit Jordan Matthews with a beauty of a ball in the end-zone. Then bad Sanchez showed up and threw two interceptions, along with a few dropped picks. To Sanchez's credit, rookie receiver Josh Huff should have caught the ball on Sanchez's first interception.

Sanchez rebounded relatively well after his mistakes and did enough to put the Eagles up by two scores late in the fourth. He finished 15 completions on 22 attempts for 202 yards (9.2 average), 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a rating of 89.6.

2) Nick Foles' future is even more uncertain

As previously mentioned, Foles has struggled this season. The Eagles have been winning despite those struggles, but to this point it hasn't looked like Foles has played well enough to warrant a long-term contract extension by the Eagles in the offseason. With Foles set to miss several weeks now, his future with the team looks even more uncertain. If Sanchez plays well in Foles' absence, it's hard to see head coach Chip Kelly veering away from the hot hand if the team is winning. Even if Foles takes back his job if/when he returns, he will have missed a number of games that could have been useful in determining his future with the team. There's still a lot up in the air so this isn't time for definitive conclusions, but it's time to admit things look really uncertain.

3) DeMeco Ryans' season is over

What a wide swing of emotions: DeMeco Ryans picks off a pass in the red-zone, then fumbles it, then is carted off the field with a season-ending injury. Just brutal. Big loss for Philadelphia. It was only this week that the Eagles saw the return of both Ryans and Mychal Kendricks as starters on the inside. Now it's up to Casey Matthews, who performed above expectation while filling in for Kendricks, to pick up the slack. The loss of Ryans doesn't only hurt from a talent perspective; his absence is a big void in leadership on the defense.

4) Jeremy Maclin is going to get PAID

What's there to say about Jeremy Maclin that hasn't already been said? He's on fire. Stats so far this season: 45 catches, 790 yards, 17.5 average, 8 TD. Pay the man!

5) Three-headed monster

The Eagles run game was alive in kicking in Houston: 190 rush yards on 40 attempts for an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Even better for Philadelphia, it wasn't just one player responsible for the success. LeSean McCoy accounted for the bulk of the workload with 23 carries for 117 yards (5.1 average). Chris Polk chipped in with 8 carries for 50 yards (6.3 average) and 1 touchdown and Darren Sproles finished with 17 yards on just 3 carries (5.7 average).

6) Polk continues to prove his worth

Adding this as an extension of point No. 5: Chris Polk continues to prove why he's worth keeping around despite nagging injury issues. The Eagles just aren't going to give up on his talent so easily. Now only if he can manage to stay healthy...

7) Mychal Kendricks makes a difference

Kendricks returned to full-time action after playing limited snaps in Week 8. Kendricks was very active against Houston. The third-year inside linebacker finished with 12 tackles, including 5 solo stops, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 quarterback hit. Put simply, the Eagles defense is so much better when Kendricks is on the field. Kendricks will be especially important now that Ryans is gone.

8) Turnovers need to stop

This seems to be a sticking point every week, but it's true. The Eagles are just way too careless with the ball. They're not going to be able to keep winning, especially against good teams, if they're giving opponents free points. All three of Houston's touchdowns on Sunday came directly as a result of Philadelphia turning over the ball. The Eagles need to stop beating themselves like this. It's pretty amazing that they have the NFC's best point differential and the worst turnover differential (H/t @JimmyKempski). If they can cut down on the mistakes, they could be looking like a really good team.

Speaking of turnovers, Josh Huff needs to stop being involved in those. Last week it was a fumble. This week it was a dropped pass that caused a Texans interception. Huff can't keep affording to make these mistakes. It's a shame for him because he's showing some potential in limited opportunity. Huff had a few nice first down conversions where he caught the pass behind the marker and barreled through contact in order to get the first down.

9) Wolff pack left howling at the moon

Cheesy title, but it's true: Earl Wolff didn't really impress in Nate Allen's absence. He left DeAndre Hopkins uncovered for a red-zone touchdown and just generally failed to stand out. Wolff just hasn't done anything to take away Allen's starting job.

10) Eagles are back in first place

That's right, the Eagles are back on top of the NFC East again. The Arizona Cardinals were too much for the Tony Romo-less Dallas Cowboys to handle. The Eagles are 6-2 while the Cowboys dropped to 6-3. Philadelphia is 2-0 in the division while Dallas is 1-1.

On a side note, Washington also lost on Sunday, which basically ended any hopes of an unlikely season revival.

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