On Your Mark: Sanchez helps Eagles claim win against Texans

The losses at the end of the day included the starting quarterback, the defensive captain and another member of the offensive line. But the scoreboard showed another Eagles victory regardless.

Mark Sanchez entered the game in relief in the second quarter and led the Eagles to two touchdowns in the Eagles 31-21 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium.

The Eagles took the early lead as Nick Foles connected with Jeremy Maclin for a 59-yard touchdown. Maclin beat his defender, a backup cornerback for Houston, before accepting the pass.

The Eagles next drive lasted one play, an interception by Foles to A.J. Bouye returned 51 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.

The next drive for the Eagles ended with Foles limping off the field. His injury was to his shoulder as the Texans continued to get pressure on the Eagles quarterback. Foles did not return to the game.

That brought Sanchez into the game. On his first play, he connected with Maclin for a 67-yard pass. 15 yards were removed for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to Maclin. The drive would conclude five plays later on an 11-yard pass from Sanchez to Jordan Matthews for a touchdown.

But Sanchez' game wouldn't come without a few mistakes. Sanchez was charged with an interception after a ball tipped off the hands of Josh Huff landed into the waiting hands of Jumal Rolle.

The Texans turned the ensuing drive into a touchdown, capped with a 56-yard catch and run from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Arian Foster.

The Eagles added a field goal at the close of the first half, a 45-yard kick by Cody Parkey.

Houston had a chance to tie the game on a 39-yard field goal, but Randy Bullock missed wide left.

The Eagles turned the missed field goal into a touchdown on a four-play drive. LeSean McCoy rushed for 40 yards on two plays and Chris Polk netted the other 30 yards on two runs, the latter being an eight-yard touchdown run.

Houston answered after a rare double turnover. DeMeco Ryans intercepted a redzone pass but fumbled as he fell to the ground with an injury. The Texans recovered and Ryans was carted off the field with a right ankle injury.

Two plays later, Fitzpatrick connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a seven-yard touchdown.

The Eagles answered with their most impressive drive of the season. On 15 plays, the Eagles used 8:01 of game time before scoring on an eight-yard pass from Sanchez to Maclin. 

The Texans could not make anything happen on the following drive, turning the ball over on downs and allowing the Eagles to run the final two minutes off the clock to seal the win.

Foles was 10-for-13 for 124 yards with one touchdown and one interception before exiting with injury. Sanchez was 15-for-22 for 202 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Fitzpatrick was 13-for-27 for 203 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

McCoy rushed for 117 yards on 23 carries, moving into second place all-time on the Eagles rushing list. Polk had 50 yards on three carries and one touchdown.

The Eagles defense did a nice job holding Foster quiet. Foster, who also exited the game with an injury, rushed for 56 yards on 15 carries.

Maclin again turned in a monster game, making six catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Darren Sproles was the Eagles next best receiver with four catches for 46 yards. 

Hopkins led all Texans receivers with 115 yards on six catches and one touchdown.

Mychal Kendricks led the Eagles with 12 tackles, including one sack. Ryans had six tackles and one interception before leaving with injury.

The Eagles reclaimed first place in the NFC East with the win coupled with a loss for the Dallas Cowboys at home against Arizona. The Eagles also improved to 6-2 with the win. The Eagles return home for their next game on Monday night against the Carolina Panthers.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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