Houston Texans (+2.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles

by Brady

Image result for deshaun watson

Houston @ Philadelphia
Vegas: PHI -2.5 
DomModel: PHI +2.796
Recommendation: HOU +2.5

Key injuries:
Houston Texans:
-WR Will Fuller (torn ACL) was injured week 8 and is out for the season.
-WR Keke Coutee (hamstring) was INACTIVE weeks 13 – 15. He was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
-RB Lamar Miller (ankle) was injured week 15.
He was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
-RT Seantrel Henderson left his week 1 game with an ankle injury and has been placed on IR.
-CB Kevin Johnson suffered a concussion week 1. He has since been placed on IR.

Philadelphia Eagles:
-QB Carson Wentz (back) was INACTIVE week 15. He is OUT for week 16.
-RB Jay Ajayi (torn ACL) is out for the season.
-WR Mike Wallace suffered a lower leg fracture during the week 2 game and has been placed on IR.
-LG Isaac Seumalo (pectoral) was INACTIVE week 15. He is OUT week 16.
-DE Derek Barnett (shoulder) is on IR effective 10/23.
-LB Jordan Hicks (calf) was INACTIVE weeks 12 – 15. He will return week 16.
-CB Ronald Darby (torn ACL) was injured week 10 and is on IR.
-CB Jalen Mills (foot) was injured week 8. He was placed on IR 12/8.
-CB Sidney Jones (hamstring) was INACTIVE week 15. He is OUT week 16.
-S Rodney McLeod tore his MCL week 3 and is out for the year.

Breakdown:
When Houston has the ball:
The Texans feature an above average passing attack. QB Desean Watson has been on fire lately, his last 4 games he’s gone 90/121 (74%) for 995 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs. The scary part with the Texans offense has always been their line, and the Eagles have an excellent pass rush. The key to the Texans has been Watson playing well enough to overcome it, as well as pure domination from DeAndre Hopkins. He’s already over 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns with 2 games left to play. This sets up to be a plus matchup against an Eagles secondary that is playing guys off the street and ranks 20th in pass defense DVOA. Behind Hopkins is Demaryius Thomas, Bruce Ellington, and the potential return of slot man Keke Coutee.

The Texans do tend to struggle on the ground, which is mainly due to their bad line. Lamar Miller is also in danger of missing this one after injuring his ankle. If Miller can’t go, the Texans will turn to Alfred Blue to handle the carries.

TL;DR Conclusion: To win, the Eagles pass rush will need to get to Watson. They shouldn’t have a problem doing that against the Texans offensive line that is straight up bad, but Watson can extend plays and the Texans receivers should have zero issue gaining separation from the Eagles banged up secondary.

When Philadelphia has the ball:
QB Carson Wentz will miss this one (the model accounts for this), as the Eagles will turn to super bowl MVP Nick Foles. The dumb fans in Philadelphia are so obsessed with Foles that they’re calling for the Eagles to trade Carson Wentz and put Foles permanently in the starting role. Did I mention that these people are dumb?

Because they’re dumb.

Foles has consistently been an inconsistent quarterback. People are obsessed with him because he happened to have two of his best games during the two most important games of his career. That’s hats off to Foles, but let’s please stop acting like his median projection is his ceiling. It isn’t, and your recency bias stinks.

Foles started the season off against two of the worst pass defenses in the league (Falcons and Bucs), where he put together PFF grades of 55 and 65. Now he comes back against the Rams and crushes, and all of the sudden the first two games don’t count. Please, go look at this man’s history before thinking he’s anything but remarkably inconsistent.

As for the Eagles offense as a whole, they have been bottom tier (19th in DVOA). Their offensive line has been a massive disappointment and they have virtually zero running game. Their receiving options actually are solid: TE Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Golden Tate can all play.

The Texans defense is similar to the Eagles: they feature a plus pass rush – JJ Watt has shown zero signs of slowing down and teams up well with Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus. They also struggle in the secondary – they aren’t quite playing guys off the street corner, but they’re getting close.

TL:DR Conclusion: Nick Foles sucks, and you’re all stupid for liking him.

That’s it for now, bitches.

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