Heading into their Week 16 matchup with the Houston Texans, the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves right in the middle of the NFC playoff race, with both the NFC East and a wild card spot up for grabs.
This season has been full of tough matchups for the defending Super Bowl champs, and they will be tested yet again on Sunday against a physical Houston team. Houston has a good chance of earning the No. 2 seed in the AFC by the end of the season, so Zach Ertz and the rest of the Eagles will need to come ready for a battle.
“It’s a tough group,” Pederson said. “I think the strength of the defense is obviously up front with [Watt and Clowney], but I think structurally this is a pressure team.”
Both Pederson and offensive coordinator Mike Groh touched on the Texans’ strong and quick defensive line and linebackers. Pederson said that the team’s success will be backed by solid blocking from the offensive line and tight ends. No. 86 will once again be a crucial part of the game plan both in the run game and pass game against a stout defense.
Last week, with Nick Foles under center for an injured Carson Wentz, the Eagles didn’t miss a beat offensively against the Los Angeles Rams, and they will look to carry over that success to Sunday.
Zach knows what a luxury it is to have two high quality quarterbacks on the roster, and it helps make his life easier on Sundays knowing the team can rely on whoever is under center to execute the offense.
“Obviously playing with Carson makes my job a lot easier,” Ertz said. “Playing with Nick makes my job a lot easier.”
Houston has been vulnerable to tight ends in the last six weeks. They have allowed 65 yards in five of their last six games. Ertz has eight games this season over 65 yards and is averaging 10.3 yards-per-catch this season.
The Eagles need to win out these next two games to earn a spot in the playoffs whether that be through the NFC East or in the wild card. The next two weeks won’t be easy for Philly, but if this season has taught the team anything, but they’ve proved doubters wrong before and will look to do it again.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field.