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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — And the legend of Nick Foles continues.
Foles was lying supine in the Eagles’ end zone looking up at the sky and gasping for breath — along with the other 69,000 that filled Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday against the Houston Texans.
But Foles rose like Lazarus and did it again, directing the Eagles downfield to a season-surviving 32-30 victory on a 35-yard Jake Elliott field goal as time expired.
The Eagles, now 8-7, will need a Minnesota Vikings’ loss, or the Seattle Seahawks to loss their final two games against the Kansas City Chiefs (possible) or the Arizona Cardinals (highly improbable) to make the NFC playoffs as a wild card team.
In the meantime, the Eagles have to continue what they’ve been doing and that’s winning.
Foles, filling in for the injured Carson Wentz, was once again solid, completed 35 of 49 for an Eagles’ single-game record 471 yards and four TDs, including two third-down conversions for 39 yards on the game-winning drive.
Foles broke Donovan McNabb’s old mark of 464 yards, which was previously set on Dec. 5, 2004, in a 47-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field.
Darren Sproles played a huge part, rushing for 32 yards on nine carries, including a 16-yard run on the game-winning drive.
Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney had just put his helmet through Foles’ chest with the Eagles trailing 30-29, after Foles completed a 19-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery. Foles looked seriously hurt and was replaced for one play by Nate Sudfield. One play later, Foles came back on to the field to the roaring crowd, and set up Elliott for the game-winning field goal.
The second quarter was frustrating for the Eagles. First, Clowney seemed to pull down Foles by his facemask on the Eagles’ two-point conversion attempt after the Foles-to-Ertz one-yard TD pass with 3:08 left in the half.
Foles showed a rare display of high agitation by the no-call, trying to plead his case to the refs, with the huge screen on the west end of Lincoln Financial Field replaying the fact that Foles had a case.
On the ensuing drive, Brandon Graham was flagged for a roughing-the-passer penalty at the Eagles’ 32, when it appeared to show Graham running into Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson and nothing more. Still, a 2nd-and-10 was converted into a first down at the Eagles’ 17 with 1:39 left in the half.
Of course, the call drew the ire — and justifiably — by the Linc crowd. Three plays later, Watson scrambled free for his second TD of the game and a 16-13 Houston lead.
The Eagles’ first drive, going 77 yards over 13 plays and ending with Darren Sproles’ 37-yard TD reception on a swing pass. The Eagles converted three third downs and one fourth down, which Sproles’ took for a TD on 4th-and-2.
Foles going 7 of 9 for 68 yards and a TD on the Eagles’ first series.
Ertz caught four passes, on five targets, on the Eagles’ first drive. Ertz entered the game with 101 receptions this season, nine shy of the NFL single-season record for receptions by a tight end of 110 set by former Dallas Cowboy Jason Witten in 2012. Ertz finished with the record with 11 catches for 90 yards and two TDs.
Sproles’ 37-yard TD reception, then coming through with three receptions for 78 yards in the half.
Cornerback Rasul Douglas has been playing very well of late. Another came example came when he pulled down D’Onta Foreman for a three-yard loss at the Eagles’ 14 with 1:02 left in the first quarter.
Elliott’s 47-yard field with 5:31 left in the third quarter, which tied the game at 16-16. Elliott’s 35-yarder as time expired was a season-saver.
Receiver Nelson Agholor hauling in an 83-yard TD pass from Foles with 2:18 left in the third quarter, which gave the Eagles a 23-16 lead. Agholor finished with five catches on five targets for a team-high 116 yards, the bulk of which came on a third-quarter 83-yard touchdown.
Defensive end Chris Long’s strip sack for minus-19 yards, which resulted in Fletcher Cox’s fumble recovery at the Houston 44, which led to Ertz’s second TD.
Cox recovering a Houston fumble in the fourth quarter, which led to Ertz’s second TD and a 29-16 Eagles’ lead with 10:21 left to play.
Running back Josh Adams’ fumble at the Houston 45 with 4:51 left to play. It led to Houston’s 20-yard TD pass from Deshaun Watson to D’Onta Foreman with 4:41 to play, pulling the Texans to within 29-23.
Eagles’ delay of game penalty with 13:43 left in the game. It wasn’t a good way to start a drive after the Eagles just strip-sacked Watson and recovered a fumble at the Houston 44.
Elliott missing the extra point after the Ertz fourth-quarter, 23-yard touchdown with 10:21 to play.
Long and Michael Bennett (twice) failing to yank down Watson on a 3rd-and-11 at the Houston 44, only to have Watson complete a 22-yard pass to Jordan Akins downfield for a first down. The play led to Watson hitting Vyncint Smith for a 35-yard TD with 2:04 left-giving Houston a 30-29 lead. The TD pass came on a 3rd-and-11.
Tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai getting called for holding, which nullified the Adams one-yard TD with 4:51 left in the first half. The hold pushed the Eagles back to the 11, but it didn’t matter. Foles went to Ertz for a one-yard TD reception four plays later. Vaitai was called for another hold on 2nd-and-3 at the Eagles’ 43, wiping out a 17-yard Agholor reception at the outset of the second quarter.
Tight end Dallas Goedert missing Clowney on a 2nd-and-6 at the Eagles’ 14, which led to Clowney strip-sacking Foles and recovering the fumble at the Eagles’ five. The next play, Houston scored to go up, 9-7, with 10:23 left in the first half. Goedert was later hit with a holding penalty at 6:39 left in the third quarter at the Eagles’ 31.
Foles’ interception toss to Bernardrick McKinney at the Eagles’ 46 with 11:21 left in the third quarter. Foles seemed to force the pass to Ertz and threw behind him and right into McKinney’s arms.