This post is back after a hiatus last Sunday because tailgating, State College, Megabus, etc.
Now we’re back though, and it returns at an interesting time, because from a personal standpoint, it is going to be rather weird to have to root against Bill O’Brien for three plus hours today. It is still sometimes surreal to me that a guy who I once sat 10 feet away from asking questions at Penn State is now running an NFL franchise. I have followed his first season with the Texans closely, but I’ll get past it for the Eagles today obviously.
It always feels like the following Sunday takes forever to arrive after a tough Eagles loss, but this week felt incredibly long. Thankfully, we made it and are only two hours away now. Provided they don’t beat themselves, the Eagles are a better team than the 4-4 Texans and should have a great opportunity to improve to 6-2 today down in Houston.
Let’s hit the numbers that I believe could key a birds road victory:
- 99 or fewer rushing yards from Arian Foster — The Texans star running back has been tearing it up with four consecutive games of 100+ yards and six total on the young season. Frank Gore is the only opposing running back to hit the century mark against a solid birds run defense this season. Something has to give here between two strengths, and stopping Foster from going crazy will go a long way towards keeping the Eagles defense off the field and putting more pressure on Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
- Seven points on the first drive of the third quarter — If Bill O’Brien had a gameday weakness at Penn State, it might have been third quarter struggles in big games, especially during the 2012 season. His offenses would occasionally go stagnant or commit a bad turnover, and generally stout defenses would suffer a breakdown. Ideally the Eagles go into halftime with a lead, and increase it right away as the second half begins.
- Less than two sacks for J.J. Watt — I am putting Watt down for at least one sack today. The idea is that its an isolated play that doesn’t result in further damage. Todd Herremans is essentially playing with one arm, and the Eagles are still without left guard Evan Mathis for another week. The return of Jason Kelce should help LeSean McCoy and the running game, but Watt making life miserable for Nicky Foles is the one thing that could really swing this thing in the Texans favor.
- At least 90 yards for Jeremy Maclin — He has become incredibly fun to root for coming back from a second torn ACL. Do the damn thing, Jeremy.
- One interception by an Eagles cornerback — It hasn’t happened since the playoff game against the Saints last year and needs to happen. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown seven picks in eight games so far. Let’s end this streak today.
There you have it. 99, seven, two, 90, one, and hopefully a nice road victory with a good chance to take over sole possession of first place once again.