The Philadelphia Eagles land their first 8-0 start in franchise history with a 29-17 defeat over the Houston Texans for Week 9's Thursday Night Football matchup.
After a slow start, the Eagles got back to their usual domination all over the field, racking up sacks, interceptions and touchdowns with ease. Houston did well to keep them to 14 points in the first half, but you can only hold down Jalen Hurts for so long.
A Philly fumble and a missed field goal took the teams into the break tied 14-14, but the second half saw the Eagles spring into action on both sides of the ball.
After two punts on opening drives to start the half, an interception from CJ Gardner Johnson proved to be a turning point in the matchup. The pick recorded an NFL-best and career-high fifth interception for Johnson and set up a touchdown throw to AJ Brown to give Philadelphia a 3rd quarter lead.
That catch shifted the game and our momentum
Nick Sirianni (Eagles Head Coach)
Hurts threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns, finding TE Dallas Goedert for the second score through the air. Goedert led the wide receivers for both receptions and yards, logging 8 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown on the night.
Meanwhile, Davis Mills did surprisingly well with the lack of weapons he has.
The Texans QB threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns, finding Teagan Quitoriano and Chris Moore from red zone snaps to put points on the board, plus a few good grabs by Phillip Dorsett.
But the Texan's broke down in the second half as Mills threw two interceptions, and the defense couldn't hold Philly back any longer.
Despite a few displays of talent in the passing game, it's clear where the strength lies in Houston's offense - rookie RB Dameon Pierce.
Pierce is a very strong contender for Rookie of the Year and continued his campaign in this matchup at NRG Stadium, as he logged 139 yards from 27 carries. Put this man behind the right O-line and in the right scheme and he'll light up defenses across the league - more than he already has.
Philly's run game also proved to be a useful tool at times. Both Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell took red zone touches in for 6 in the first half. Hurts doesn't need too much help, but the few times they do hand the ball off, they still find success.
Sanders led the Eagles on the ground with 93 yards on 17 carries in the win, while Gainwell had the more impressive TD.
On the other side of the ball, it was hard to ignore the Eagles D-line in the passing game. Javon Hargrave dominated the line all night, bagging all 3 of Philly's sacks on Davis Mills. If it was one thing that forced punts and turnovers, it was this man giving Mills no time to throw the ball. Watch him bully No.59 with ease...
Houston could only muster 3 points late in the second half, which was far too little, far too late. And it was all capped off by an errant throw towards the end zone, picked off by James Bradberry. From there, it was a simple case of a few first downs to run out the clock - all too easy for the Eagles.
Despite the astonishing start to the season, Hurts is still looking to the future before he celebrates. It's sounding like Super Bowl or nothing for the rising star:
I know it’s special for the city of Philadelphia. But I’ve been 8-0 before and lost the National Championship. So we just have to take it day by day. We haven’t accomplished anything yet. It’s a day-by-day thing of us controlling the things we can and playing to our standard and trying to grow every day.
So, the Eagles kick off Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season with yet another win. It seems nobody in the schedule has what it takes to stop Jalen Hurts and Co.
Join me on Monday as I run through all of Sunday's matchups. I'm predicting an eyesore of a game between the Jags and Raiders, but an absolute score-fest from the Bills-Jets and Chiefs-Titans Matchups.