the republic logo

Texans doomed by inconsistent offense; Sanchez fills in for Foles to lead Eagles to 31-21 win

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans were done in by their inconsistent offense on Sunday.

The Texans (4-5) scored a defensive touchdown and two other scores came after turnovers, but they were unable to move the ball for most of a day in a 31-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (6-2).

"It has to get better," coach Bill O'Brien said. "We've got to figure out what type of spark we need. Maybe it's schematic, maybe it's something else."

Andre Johnson, who had two catches for 12 yards on Sunday, is frustrated.

"(We're) just not making plays when things need to be made," Johnson said. "That's what separates the good teams from the others."

Nick Foles hurt his left shoulder late in the first quarter, and Mark Sanchez came on to threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns to lead Philadelphia to the victory.

Sanchez, who also threw two interceptions, missed all of last season after tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the preseason. He last played on Dec. 30, 2012 with the New York Jets.

The Eagles (6-2) led by 3 when Jeremy Maclin grabbed a low throw from Sanchez for an 8-yard touchdown to make it 31-21 with about four minutes remaining.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 203 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Houston.

"It was a tough day, and obviously that falls on the quarterback in terms of not being able to get things started and accomplished," Fitzpatrick said.

Maclin finished with two touchdowns and 158 yards receiving and LeSean McCoy had 117 yards rushing.

The Eagles were up by 10 and driving late in the third quarter when Jumal Rolle grabbed his second interception of the game.

DeMeco Ryans intercepted Fitzpatrick at the Philadelphia 10, but was injured on the play and fumbled the ball as he fell to the ground. DeAndre Hopkins recovered for Houston and scored on a 7-yard reception two plays later to cut the lead to 24-21.

Ryans tore his right Achilles tendon, a person familiar with the injury said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Eagles didn't release details of the injury.

PHOTO: Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, left, falls into the end zone after catching a 56-yard pass for a touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher, right, defends during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, left, falls into the end zone after catching a 56-yard pass for a touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher, right, defends during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

Top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney (illness) and linebacker Brian Cushing (knee) were inactive for the Texans and they lost starting cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph (concussion) and Kareem Jackson (knee) to injuries in the first quarter.

Houston's defense got to the quarterback early, with four sacks in the first half. The Eagles had allowed just two in the previous six games.

Whitney Mercilus sacked Foles twice in three plays, driving him hard into the turf on the second one to send the quarterback to the locker room.

Sanchez didn't waste any time in his Philadelphia debut, finding Maclin deep on his first play for a 52-yard gain. Five plays later, he threw a perfect pass to Jordan Matthews for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 14-7.

Houston tied it up when Arian Foster grabbed a 56-yard TD pass about four minutes before halftime. Foster dashed away from a diving Connor Barwin after the reception on his way to the end zone. That score was set up when receiver Josh Huff tipped a pass by Sanchez that was intercepted by Rolle.

Foster left late in the game and coach Bill O'Brien said he injured his groin and that he hoped he'd be OK after an extra week of rest with the bye next week.

A 45-yard field goal by Cody Parkey gave the Eagles a 17-14 lead at halftime.

Houston missed a 39-yard field goal in the third quarter. The Eagles used four straight running plays capped by an 8-yard run by Chris Polk after that to extend their lead to 24-14 with about three minutes left in the third.

The Texans converted just five of 13 third-down attempts.

"We are hurting ourselves," center Chris Myers said. "We are not getting dominated in games. We are just stopping ourselves with not being able to convert on third down because of certain mental errors."

NOTES: Eagles S Safety Nate Allen had started 23 straight games before sitting out with a hamstring injury. ... J.J. Watt finished with 1 ½ sacks and has 6 ½ in his last four games. ... Maclin has three touchdowns for 50 yards or longer this season.


AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.


Online:

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.