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(Thursday, December 2nd)
Final Score: Philadelphia 34, Houston 24
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Michael Vick rushed for a go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter and extended the lead with his second touchdown pass a little later, as the Philadelphia Eagles pulled out a 34-24 victory over the Houston Texans at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Texans erased a 10-point halftime deficit and led 24-20 heading to the fourth, but Philadelphia answered behind Vick, who connected on 22-of-33 passes for 302 yards with an interception while adding 48 yards on the ground.
LeSean McCoy amassed 130 yards from scrimmage and scored twice for the Eagles (8-4), who had a short week to recover from a loss at Chicago that dropped them into a tie for first place in the NFC East with the New York Giants.
Houston (5-7) lost for the fifth time in the last six weeks, failing to gain ground on the AFC South-leading Jaguars and Colts.
Arian Foster carried the load for the Texans with 109 total yards and two scores, while Matt Schaub completed 22-of-36 passes for 337 with two touchdowns, an interception and a lost fumble in defeat.
Andre Johnson, hobbled by an ankle injury suffered early in the game, finished with 149 yards on six receptions just four days after getting involved in an in-game brawl with Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan.
Houston showed it had some fight left in the third quarter, as Foster capped an 11-play, 79-yard drive with a 13-yard TD reception that ended with him running over rookie safety Nate Allen at the goal line six minutes in.
Jason Allen, acquired off waivers from the Miami Dolphins three weeks ago, intercepted Vick's deep pass at Houston's 14-yard line on the ensuing Eagles possession, and the Texans converted the turnover into a go-ahead score.
On 3rd-and-17 from the Houston 39, Johnson hauled in Schaub's underthrown ball for a 31-yard gain to move the chains. On the 13th play of the time-consuming drive, Foster went in for a three-yard TD in the final minute of the quarter.
The Texans' first -- and only -- lead was short-lived, as DeSean Jackson's 33- yard reception got the Eagles into the red zone before Vick took it in himself from two yards out, re-gaining the lead, 27-24, less than two minutes into the final frame.
"Just putting that drive together after going down [was satisfying]. We just did a great job of battling back," Vick said. "I told the guys now is the time to put it together and win this football game."
Houston punted from its own 36 with just over 10 minutes to play, and McCoy took a screen pass 40 yards to the opposing 29-yard line, jump-starting a drive that lasted nearly six minutes.
An offensive holding penalty resulted in 3rd-and-19 from the 24 for the hosts, but Vick found Brent Celek along the right sideline for a big gain. Celek looked as if he was stopped just short of the marker but rolled over Texans linebacker Kevin Bentley and stretched the ball to the five.
The ruling was originally spotted short, but Eagles head coach Andy Reid challenged the call and it was reversed, leading to Owen Schmitt's five-yard TD catch in the left flat for a 34-24 cushion with 4:18 remaining.
The Texans turned the ball over on downs in their own territory, and even though the Eagles went three-and-out, Allen stripped Schaub with 2 1/2 minutes to go, and Philadelphia recovered to seal the much-needed win.
"We got ourselves down early...Finally, we made some plays against a very good defense and a very good team...But it just wasn't enough during crunch time in the fourth quarter," Schaub admitted.
A holding penalty negated Jorrick Calvin's 102-yard return on the opening kickoff, but Vick guided the Eagles to a score nonetheless, hitting 7-for-8 passes for 89 yards, including a one-yard TD to McCoy in the flat on 3rd-and- goal near the eight-minute mark.
The Texans moved the ball quickly into enemy territory before eventually settling for a 48-yard Neil Rackers field goal, and Philadelphia countered with another lengthy drive that ended in a 14-3 game.
McCoy again concluded the 11-play, 72-yard march, this time taking a draw four yards to paydirt on the second play of the second quarter.
After the Eagles added a 36-yard field goal from David Akers a little later, the visitors went 80 yards in eight plays to cut into the deficit.
Johnson's 42-yard grab on a double move highlighted the trek, and Jacoby Jones' eight-yard catch in the end zone came with 5:38 to go before halftime.
Houston got the ball back before the break, but Eagles defensive tackle Trevor Laws stepped in front of a screen pass intended for Foster and intercepted the ball at the Houston 31.
Schaub's first interception in four weeks led to Akers' 22-yard field goal after Jason Avant and Celek each dropped catchable passes in the end zone, making it 20-10 heading to the intermission.
Jackson ended with 84 yards on three receptions for the Eagles, who committed 11 penalties to Houston's four...It was Vick's fifth career 300-yard passing game and third in the past four weeks...The Eagles have put up 26 points or more in all seven games in which Vick has started and finished this season, going 6-1 in those outings...Akers set a franchise record by playing in his 184th game, passing safety Brian Dawkins...Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel did not play for the second straight week because of a knee injury...Houston- based NFL teams are 0-5 in Philadelphia all-time, including an 0-3 mark by the Oilers...Schaub, who went to high school in nearby West Chester, Pennsylvania, became the second Texans quarterback to reach 13,000 career yards with the team, joining David Carr...The Eagles next head to Dallas for a game against the Cowboys on December 12, a day before the Texans host the Ravens in a Monday night tilt.
12/03 02:46:25 ET
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