- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Observations from the Texans' 34-24 loss to the Eagles on Thursday:
What it means: The Texans fell to 5-7 and sit alone in last place in the AFC South, awaiting the results of Sunday’s Jaguars-Titans game. The seven losses assure they cannot top last season’s 9-7 record.
The Vick factor: The Texans got quality pressure on Michael Vick at times, delivering some shots in the first half that served to slow him. But ultimately he was more than capable of making the plays the Eagles needed to win, throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns and running for another score.
Crucial spot: Tight end Brent Celek was able to spin and stretch for the first-down marker to convert a third-and-19 on the touchdown drive that put the Eagles up by the final 10-point margin. He was initially marked short, but a replay challenge by Eagles coach Andy Reid was upheld. Celek landed on top of Kevin Bentley as he made the lunge, and safety Troy Nolan, the second player with a chance to stop him short, flew past the play as he tried for a hard shot rather than worrying about Celek’s location.
What I liked: The Texans’ ability to come back -- down 17-3 early, they were ahead 24-20 in the third quarter… Some good life out of Amobi Okoye (for the second week in a row) and Antonio Smith up front… Big third-and-long conversion catches by Joel Dreessen, David Anderson and Andre Johnson.
What I didn’t like: There were a lot of failures beyond Matt Schaub for the Texans, but he had at three especially bad moments. First was a brutal interception late in the first half on a short throw intended for Arian Foster. Then there was the bounce pass toward Kevin Walter on a third-and-7 when Schaub had room to run for a conversion (on the possession after Philadelphia retook the lead). And what about the play-call and/or Schaub decision on fourth-and-5 on Houston’s last best chance, a back shoulder throw intended for Walter up the right sideline?
What I couldn’t tell: If Schaub actually got hit in the helmet by Joselio Hanson on that fourth-down play, which would have warranted a flag and produced a first down. Schaub and Gary Kubiak certainly thought there was a missed call.
What’s next: The Texans host Baltimore on "Monday Night Football" on Dec. 13.
3dEric D. Williams
3dEric D. Williams