Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation proposed an interesting idea to me earlier in the week. I would write a quick little column on why the Texans would lose this Sunday’s game, and he would write about why his Eagles would lose. We would then swap our answers and post them on our respective sites. As homeriffic as SB Nation writers tend to be – myself included – I found it refreshing to participate in an exercise highlighting why all of our favorite teams collectively suck at football. Here is Brandon’s answer on why his beloved Philadelphia Eagles will leave Houston with a loss.
The Eagles will be getting a boost up front on their offensive line this week with the likely return of starting center Jason Kelce. Philadelphia now has a new concern to Kelce's immediate right, however. Veteran guard Todd Herremans suffered a torn biceps muscle injury in Week 8. Herremans will try to play through the pain but there's no telling how effective his blocking will be. Houston's front seven, namely J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, should be a significant test for the Eagles' offensive line.
Speaking of pressure, that's just something quarterback Nick Foles has not done well responding to this season. Foles is back-pedaling way too deep in the pocket and often finds himself throwing off of his back foot. His decision-making has been suspect and he has turned the ball over 12 times already.
Lastly, the red zone has been a huge area of struggles for Philadelphia. The Eagles are only scoring a touchdown in 34.78% of their red zone trips, which ranks dead last in the NFL. Meanwhile, Houston owns the third best red zone defense at 48.28%.
Houston's passing attack isn't overly threatening with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. With that said, the Eagles have allowed some big passing performances to quarterbacks such as Kirk Cousins and Austin Davis this year. Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins could be a threat to an Eagles secondary that is vulnerable to giving up yards through the air. Starting safety Nate Allen might miss the game. Allen is far from perfect but the team is clearly higher on him than they are second-year backup Earl Wolff.
Philadelphia has the personnel to match-up against Houston's run game, but stopping Arian Foster is easier said than done. If Foster gets the run game going that could open up things for Houston through the air.
What do you think, BRB? Is this plausible enough to give you hope against one of the best teams in the league? Sound off below.
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