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Eagles vs. Texans preview by the numbers

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

With the Eagles playing on a short week, I have combined both stats pieces for offense and defense into one article this week and shortened it slightly. Let me know what you think of the format in the comments! I am always open to feedback on these pieces. All data from Sports Info Solutions as always!


Eagles Offense Tendencies

In recent weeks, we have definitely seen the Eagles run more heavy personnel. This past week, the Eagles had 35% of their snaps from either 12/12 personnel.

Nothing’s changed here, the Eagles remain a shotgun no-huddle offense with very little motion and they love a screen pass!

Eagles Defense Tendencies

Nothing new here either, the Eagles continue to run nickel, and that 4 linebacker number just gets lower and lower each week it seems! Sorry, Nakobe Dean!

The Eagles still rarely stack the box either and in recent weeks we have definitely seen more two-high shells than one-high shells. However, I am intrigued to see if that changes with Jordan Davis out.

The man coverage numbers continue to rise! The blitz numbers have declined slightly in recent weeks but they are still blitzing around the NFL average rate.

Texans Offense Tendencies

The Texans may have the most variety of personnel packages I have seen any team use this year. Expect them to test the Eagles' defense with numerous personnel packages.

This feels like a pretty boring old-school under-center offense with little motion or RPOs used. They are good at play-action and I’m surprised they don’t use it more.

This is an old-school gap-running team too but they will wait for light boxes and won’t just run at stacked boxes all game.

Texans Defense Tendencies

That ‘base’ 4-3 number is high. Expect the Eagles to run some 12 personnel to get them into ‘base’ and then throw at them this week.

No surprises after seeing the 4-3 numbers, the Texans love to stack the box! The Eagles won’t get many light boxes this week but they will get a lot of stacked boxes and single-high coverage... AJ Brown might have another huge week!

This is a heavy cover 3 defense with very low man coverage numbers. They don’t blitz very often either which will suit the Eagles (despite them playing the blitz well this week).

Statistical Matchup

Eagles Offense vs. Texans Defense

The Texans' defense is terrible when looking solely at points, but some of the rushing numbers are brutal.

What is fascinating about the Texans is despite continually stacking the box with base personnel, they cannot stop the run! It seems difficult to stack the box that much and still not be able to stop the run at all. The rushing numbers are awful whereas the passing numbers are pretty average. I would expect the Eagles to be able to run and pass the ball on this defense unless something goes wrong.

Eagles Defense vs. Texans Offense

Well, this is comfortably a win for the Eagles' defense!

Despite the Texans being poor, they don’t take that many sacks or turn the ball over that frequently. However, the EPA numbers are pretty brutal and the numbers show a bottom 5 offense in a lot of categories. The Eagles' numbers continue to look excellent, although their run defense continues to get worse each week. However, I think a lot of this is to do with the fact that they have huge leads in games and will let the opposing offense run the football. I would be interested to see the Eagles run defense when they are behind in games and playing catchup... but that hasn’t happened for a while!

2 Key Matchups

1st down run game

Let’s start with the Eagles' offense, as mentioned above, the Texans cannot stop the run. Their 1st down run defense is horrific. On 126 attempts against them on 1st down, they have allowed 721 yards (2nd) at 5.7 YPC and 5 TDs (5th). They have missed a league-high 16 tackles (the next highest is 12!) so the Eagles should absolutely feel confident coming out and running on 1st down. In recent weeks, the Eagles have passed early on and run more in the second half but this could be a game to reverse that trend.

Be careful of play-action

Moving onto the Eagles' defense, the key to stopping the Texans' pass game is stopping play-action. With play-action, Davis Mills is 42/66 (63%) for 415 yards (6.2 YPA) with 2 TDs and 0 INTs. That doesn’t sound fantastic, but without play-action, Davis Mills is 107/176 (60%) for 1087 yards (6.1 YPA) with 6 TDs and 6 INTs. In terms of the Eagles' defense, they have been good against play-action. Against play-action, they have allowed 38/58 (65%) for 339 yards (5.8 YPA), 2 TDs, and 2 INTs. But the pass defense has been good against everything this year, so they shouldn’t fear Davis Mills too much!

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