Eagles at Texans score, takeaways: Philadelphia off to first 8-0 start in franchise history

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Houston Texans 29-17 on Thursday night. The Eagles improved to 8-0 while the Texans dropped to 1-6-1. The Eagles had never started a season 8-0 before this season, but made history tonight.

The Texans made a statement early, surprising many by scoring the first touchdown of the game. Quarterback Davis Mills guided his team down the field and the 75-yard drive was capped off by a Teagan Quitoriano 2-yard touchdown reception. 

The Eagles started deep in their own territory, but were able to drive 91 yards for a score, getting on the board thanks to a Miles Sanders 2-yard rushing TD.

The Eagles had only turned the ball over twice this season ahead of this game, but the Texans defense got to quarterback Jalen Hurts with Steven Nelson forcing a fumble and Johnny Johnson recovering. The Texans were unable to capitalize on the turnover.

Philly bounced back offensively, taking their first lead on a 79-yard drive. Kenneth Gainwell punched it into the end zone with a 4-yard rush.

Just before the first-half two-minute warning, Dameon Pierce took the ball 36 yards to give the Houston offense a spark. Pierce was a key offensive component and ended the half with 13 carries and 88 yards. Chris Moore caught a pass in the end zone that was initially ruled incomplete, but was overturned to a score, tying up the game.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson intercepted Mills and with the next play the Eagles scored a touchdown, taking back the lead. A.J. Brown's 17-yard reception made it 21-14. 

The Texans put up three in the third quarter to narrow the Eagles lead. 

Philadelphia's lead was extended in the fourth quarter with a Dallas Goedert 4-yard touchdown reception and a successful two-point conversion thanks to a Hurts rush up the middle. 

A second interception by Mills sealed the Texans' fate and the Eagles were able to run down the clock to come away with the win. 

Why the Eagles won

The Eagles did not playing at their normal level, especially at the start of the game against a one-win team, but they never fell far behind. Heading into the game, the Eagles had scored more points in the second quarter of games alone than the Texans had scored all season combined, but this matchup was a different story.

The Eagles had the shock factor of not dominating as they had, but despite the confidence deflation, they managed to keep grinding and eventually came away with it. 

Quarterback Jalen Hurts went 21 of 27 for 243 yards and two touchdowns and continues to be the leader this team needs. Hurts' ability to throw down field, particularity while on the move or pressured sets him apart from other quarterbacks in the league. 

Miles Sanders led the team with 17 carries with 93 yards and a touchdown. Dallas Goedert had eight receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. 

The defense came up big with two key interceptions and the biggest element of those turnovers was the Eagles capitalizing on one and running out the fourth quarter clock on the second. Javon Hargrave had himself a night with six tackles and three sacks. 

Why the Texans lost

The Texans started off strong, but struggled to close the deal. They kept up with the Eagles through most of the contest, but let Philly widen the lead toward the end.

The two Mills interceptions did not help their case at all and unlike the Eagles, when the Texans defense forced a turnover, their offense did not capitalize on the fumble.

The Texans were 2-for-4 in the red zone, while the Eagles were 4-for-4 in red zone play. The field goal that could have been a touchdown and the interception in Eagles territory were two main factors in the loss. 

Turning point

A Mills pass intended for Moore was intercepted by C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who now leads the league with five. The Eagles turned the interception into a touchdown, giving the away team a lead they would keep for the rest of the game. 

Here is a look at the interception:

Play of the game

James Bradberry seals the victory with a late interception. Take a look:

What's next

The Texans will face the New York Giants in Week 10. The Giants currently sit at 6-2 and have surprised many NFL fans with their impressive season. The Giants have their bye this weekend after falling to the Seahawks in Week 8.

The Eagles have an NFC East matchup coming up next week on "Monday Night Football" when they will host the Washington Commanders. The Commanders are currently 4-4 after winning their past three games. They face the 6-1 Minnesota Vikings this weekend. 

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Javon Hargrave has the first Eagles DT with 3 sacks in a game since Fletcher Cox in Week 17 of the 2018 season.

November 4, 2022, 3:01 AM

That's a ballgame, folks. With the two-minute warning approaching, Davis Mills puts one up down the left side, and Phillip Dorsett runs way past the intended mark, making for an easy pick by James Bradberry. Eagles get their second INT of the evening and will just milk the clock up 29-17. The night started ugly but finished strong for the visiting favorites.


Javon Hargrave up to three sacks on the night and five in the last two games. Too easy working the center after already embarrassing rookie guard Kenyon Green earlier this evening.


Lane Johnson just allowed his first sack since Week 11 of the 2020 season.

November 4, 2022, 2:49 AM

Texans are holding the ball relatively long -- they lead the time-of-possession battle -- but they haven't finished on many drives lately. Davis Mills, for as hot as he started, has only thrown 17 total passes. Javon Hargrave's second sack just now, marking his second straight multi-sack start, will keep the Eagles comfortably in front as the clock ticks in the fourth.


Javon Hargrave is set to make another Pro Bowl this year.

He's feasting in that lineup with Haason Reddick and Robert Quinn on the edge.

November 4, 2022, 2:45 AM

Texans are offsides on the extra point, so Eagles elect to go for two instead and easily get it on the Jalen Hurts QB sneak. We've now got a 29-17 ballgame, and suddenly the Texans need points fast.


Jalen Hurts tonight: 20-of-26 for 241 yards, 2, TD, 0 INT, 131.4 rating 

Dallas Goedert -- 8 catches, 100 yards, TD 

4th career 100-yard game for Goedert. 

Eagles continue to change that second half narrative

November 4, 2022, 2:31 AM

Dallas Goedert steps up on a couple of key throws to move the chains, twice coming back beyond the sticks and then again on a catch-and-run. Eagles also working Miles Sanders in aplenty, pushing him close to 100 yards on the night. Making it look easy creating space down the middle. Fittingly, they cap it with a play-action TD pass to Goedert, who's now up to eight catches for 100.


Jalen Hurts has made two "wow" plays this drive. This is the result of working in the lab at your game. That throw to Dallas Goedert is one the best #NFL QBs make. 

November 4, 2022, 2:27 AM

Dameon Pierce is up to 123 yards on the ground, and he seems to have the juice to run for 200+. Eagles have no answer for him up front, and even when he gets to the next level, they can't bring him down. He is the biggest reason Houston is hanging in this, and now trails 21-17 after the field goal.


The Eagles run defense has allowed 26 carries for 142 yards. The Marvin Wilson experiment at nose tackle isn't working. Javon Hargrave might have to slot over there. Good stop by the defense to hold Houston to a FG. 

November 4, 2022, 2:19 AM

Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown have that QB-WR connection at full throttle.

Brown with his 4th receiving TD this week.

He has 716 receiving yards and 6 TD on the year so far. Been even better than advertised. 

November 4, 2022, 2:09 AM

And then, right on cue, A.J. Brown wide open crossing deep in the end zone, scoring to put the Eagles ahead after the turnover. It's 21-17 Birds, and Philly has control once more. Brown up to 57 yards on three catches.


C.J. Gardner-Johnson with his 5th INT, that leads the NFL.

The Saints have 2 INT as a team through 8 games.

November 4, 2022, 2:07 AM

Little miscues here and there by the Eagles are keeping the Texans in this. Miles Sanders trips up on a third-and-short carry, and after initially appearing to move the chains, he loses the first after officials review it and find his knee touched the turf first. But then the defense finally shows up, with C.J. Gardner-Johnson laying out for his fifth pick of the year. Huge play by a huge difference-maker for their unit this year.


Jerry Hughes kills the Eagles' first drive of the second half, sacking Jalen Hurts twice in three plays. The 34-year-old veteran looks refreshed just bursting past Jordan Mailata off the left side. Brilliant start for the Texans' defense, and Houston will have a chance to retake the lead on its next series.


Heading into the break, it's clear this is the Eagles' sloppiest game of the year so far. Maybe not a total surprise considering it's a road game on a short week against a team that's played teams ugly all season? But still, for a 7-0 contender, it's notable. Bad snap doesn't help Jake Elliott convert a 54-yard field goal try to end the first half, and it's 14-14. Eagles have been able to do what they want on offense, even with Jalen Hurts opening a little antsy in the pocket, but the Texans have also been playing inspired ball. Davis Mills has threaded the needle on a couple of key throws, and his makeshift receiving corps is winning for him.


Officials properly reverse the Davis Mills-to-Chris Moore TD, and Houston is back in this. All knotted up at 14-14. Some really impressive pitch-and-catch going on with the Texans wideouts, ironically on the night Brandin Cooks is sitting out.


The Eagles miss Jordan Davis. He's on IR with a high ankle sprain. The Texans have 6.5 yards per carry for 98 yards in the first half. 

November 4, 2022, 1:25 AM

Davis Mills and Dameon Pierce are actually putting on a little bit of a show here. Mills threads one to Chris Moore rolling out to the right in tight coverage, and it initially looks like a TD before officials rule it an incomplete pass. Replay may reverse this further. Pierce helped set up the would-be score with some bruising running. Texans making this a fight.


The Eagles have 16 rush TD this season.

That's the most by any team through 8 games since the 2005 Seahawks (who also had 16). 

November 4, 2022, 1:19 AM

Fletcher Cox gets to his feet under his own power and walks gingerly off the field alongside trainers. Doesn't appear to be an overly serious injury for the big-name defensive tackle.


Fletcher Cox is down. Eagles trainers tending to the big man.


Kenneth Gainwell has been relatively busy tonight, logging four touches in relief of Miles Sanders through almost two quarters. Just capped a TD drive with a tough carry up the gut. It's not been a perfect night from the Eagles so far, and yet the game already feels well within their control. Already 5 of 6 on third downs.

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