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NFL news - Eagles rally past Texans to keep play-off hopes alive

Eagles rally past Texans to keep play-off hopes alive
By Reuters

24/12/2018 at 06:49Updated 24/12/2018 at 06:59

Jake Elliott hit a 35-yard field goal as time expired to deliver the Philadelphia Eagles a 32-30 win over the visiting Houston Texans and preserve their play-off hopes on Sunday.

Nick Foles completed 35 of 49 attempts for a team-record 471 yards and four touchdowns, winning a second consecutive start subbing for the injured Carson Wentz (back). He was the steward of the Eagles' daring offense, which finished 9 for 16 on third downs, converted a pair of fourth downs into touchdown passes to Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz in the first half, and engineered the game-winning, 72-yard drive.

The excursion came after Houston's Deshaun Watson led the Texans on two four-quarter scoring marches to take a 30-29 lead with 2:04 to play.

Watson helped the Texans cover 55 yards in five plays following an Eagles turnover and hit D'Onta Foreman on a 20-yard scoring strike that cut the deficit to six with 4:41 left. Watson was especially brilliant on the ensuing Texans possession, spinning out of one sack before later finding Vyncint Smith in the back of the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown and the lead with 2:04 to play.

Watson finished 29 of 40 for 339 yards and four total touchdowns, including two rushing.

Ertz recorded 12 receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns and set an NFL single-season record in the process. His 113 catches this season are the most ever by a tight end, eclipsing the 110 receptions by Jason Witten with the Dallas Cowboys in 2012.

Foles found Sproles on a wheel route for a 37-yard scoring pass that capped a 13-play, 77-yard march midway through the first quarter. The Texans responded with a field goal before taking advantage of a short field when linebacker Jadeveon Clowney recorded a strip-sack on Foles at the Philadelphia 5-yard line.

On the snap after Clowney recovered the fumble he forced, Watson produced the first of his two touchdown runs, lifting the Texans to a 9-7 lead. The subsequent point-after attempt was missed.

Ertz followed with the first of his two scoring grabs, a 1-yard catch on fourth-and-goal. Houston reclaimed the lead with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that Watson capped with a 6-yard run with 1:17 before halftime.

With the game tied at 16 late in the third quarter, Foles delivered a perfect pass over the outstretched arm of Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu, hitting Nelson Agholor in stride for an 83-yard touchdown. That play represented the biggest gain of the season for the Eagles.

By that juncture, Houston had lost cornerbacks Kayvon Webster (thigh), Kareem Jackson (knee), and Johnathan Joseph (neck) to injuries. Joseph returned after the Texans reclaimed the lead.

Donovan McNabb (464 in 2004) held the Eagles' previous single-game, passing-yardage mark.