With the season on the line, the Eagles return home to face the Texans in a Week 16 matchup. The Texans have won 10 out of their last 11 games after starting 0-3 while the Eagles are fighting for a playoff berth. Here are the crew’s predictions for the game:
ALEX WHITNEY (9-5)
Week 16, the Eagles sit at 7-7 and will host the 10-4 Texans in a must-win game. If the Eagles win out and the Vikings lose one of their last two games, the Eagles will make the playoffs. Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins have been unreal this year, as well as JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. The Eagles will need to protect Nick Foles from those potent rushers as well as keep Watson contained. If Watson escapes the pocket frequently, it could be a long day for the Eagles defense. Hopkins will need to be double teamed and will need to be kept out of the end zone. There is no doubt he will get his touches due to the depleted Eagles secondary, but if Jim Schwartz’s squad can keep the big plays to a minimum like they did last week against the Rams, the Eagles could be in business. In a big game, at home, I think the Eagles will secure the win.
Final Prediction: Eagles 28, Texans 20
ERIC FENSTERMAKER (6-8)
The Eagles and Texans both enter week 16 needing victories badly. The Eagles need to win out to greatly help their chances to make the playoffs, while the Texans are looking to lock up their division. The Texans feature a talented and dynamic offense led by mobile quarterback Deshaun Watson. Lamar Miller is close to 1,000 yards rushing on the season and if healthy will look to pound the rock as a strong running back and DeAndre Hopkins poses a dangerous threat to a banged-up Eagles secondary with his speed, agility, and leap. The Eagles will also have to deal with a vicious Texans defense who will be looking to hit Nick Foles early and often. The Eagles look like a completely new unit under Foles though. He connected with Alshon Jeffrey early and often and even the running game was involved in a major way with three combined touchdowns from Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams. This Eagles team has a fire inside of them and I would not want to play them right now. I’m taking the Eagles to win a close one but make a statement win.
Final Prediction: Eagles 23, Texans 17
TYLER EDGERTON (5-9)
In order to win this game, the plan is simple – Slow down DeAndre Hopkins and do not let Deshaun Watson extend plays. Having Jordan Hicks back for the first time since week 10 is a great asset to have in order to not let the latter happen. The Eagles will need to rely on, and establish the running game early against the fourth-ranked rushing defense. Foles has a solid game last week but did not throw a passing TD. However, he was able to spread the ball around and get Alshon going. In such a heightened game, with the Eagles crowd behind them, they sneak out of this one with a victory and keep everybody happy for the holidays.
Final Prediction: Eagles 27, Texans 24
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