EAGLES 32, TEXANS 30

The Watson-Foles show was a treat, but in the end the Texans fell short

Nick Foles is back and so are the Eagles. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

It was not a stretch to say Sunday's game against the Eagles was the most important regular season game in the Houston Texans franchise's history. Win, and they would remain in position to get a top 2 seed and a first-round bye.

Lose, and the AFC South remains in doubt, a tough first-round playoff matchup is assured, and the team has a near-impossible path to the Super Bowl.

The result was and old-fashioned gunfight. Nick Foles, the Super Bowl hero, brought his A game. Deshaun Watson, NCAA champion, rallied his team from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to take a late lead.

In the end, the Texans left too much time on the clock, and Foles led his team down the field for the game winning field goal in a 32-30 Eagles victory.

Watson was outstanding in the loss. With no running game to speak of except for himself, he came up clutch when it mattered. Watson completed 29 of 40 for 339 yards, two touchdowns and carried eight times for 49 yards and two more scores. In the fourth quarter, he pulled off remarkable play after remarkable play to give his team a chance.

Foles was also amazing. He was 35 of 48 for 471 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He took a big hit from Jadeveon Clowney in the fourth quarter, but returned to lead his team to the game-winning field goal.

It was simply two great players firing back and forth.

The win keeps the Eagles faint playoff hopes alive. The loss pretty much ruins the Texans hope at a first round bye and assures they must beat Jacksonville next week to win the AFC South.

The Texans were outplayed all day, but Watson's magical fourth quarter gave them a chance. The defense, however, was unable to stop Foles and the Eagles. Injuries in the secondary did not help, and an inability to cover tight ends (Zach Ertz had 12 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns) ruined Watson's magic. The Texans forced three turnovers, but could not get a stop on the last drive when it mattered.

Watson's brilliance might have proven costly. He scored so quickly, the Eagles had plenty of time left on the clock to march to the game winner.

There were other stars. Ertz was terrific for Philadelphia, as was Nelson Agholor (five catches, 116 yards). Chris Long had two of the Texans four sacks.

For the Texans, DeAndre Hopkins was once again magnificent, with nine catches for 104 yards. Demaryius Thomas had three catches before what appeared to be a season-ending injury. Jadeveon Clowney forced a fumble on a strip sack, but also had several costly penalties.

But this show was all about the quarterbacks.

In truth, there was no shame in losing to the Super Bowl champs in their own building, especially as well as they have played of late. There is a reason teams starting 0-3 rarely make the playoffs let alone get a bye. Those early losses to the Titans with Blaine Gabbert and the Giants when they were playing terrible football will prove just as damaging as this loss, which was not unexpected.

In the end, it came down to Watson and Foles, and whoever got the ball last was going to win.

This one went to Foles. And the Texans now find there is still work to do just to make the playoffs, and their path to the Super Bowl is almost impossible.

But what a show they treated us to on Sunday. Foles and Watson both came up clutch and made huge plays.

Foles got the last shot off. And that was the difference.

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McCullers Jr. had nine strikeouts over four

McCullers Jr. looks sharp in tune-up before Rangers overpower Houston's bullpen

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite watching their chance to clinch their playoff spot on the field slip away in the walk-off loss on Friday, the Astros benefited from a loss by the Angels later in the night, securing their playoff berth. That meant they could play conservatively in the final two games of the season against the Rangers in Arlington. Here's a quick rundown of Saturday's matchup:

Final Score: Rangers 6, Astros 1.

Record: 29-30, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jimmy Herget (1-0, 3.20 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Bielak (3-3, 6.75 ERA).

McCullers Jr. looks playoff-ready 

With nothing substantial to play for, the Astros did not expect to ask Lance McCullers Jr. to go deep into Saturday's game, instead giving him a few innings for a tune-up before assuming whatever role he would play in the post-season. He looked impressive, a promising sign after his injury stint and struggles on the road at points this season.

He finished four innings, during which he racked up a season-high nine strikeouts while giving up no runs on just two hits, both singles, and two walks. His final line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 0 HR, 61 P.

Both teams trade runs as  they go to their bullpens

Meanwhile, neither team was getting much going at the plate in the early goings, keeping it a scoreless game through the first five. Brandon Bielak took over for McCullers Jr. starting in the fifth but would allow the first run of the night in the bottom of the sixth as the Rangers would get three singles to take a 1-0 lead.

After Kyle Gibson held the Astros at bay for six innings, Houston would get on the board against Texas' bullpen, getting a leadoff double by Aledmyz Diaz in the top of the seventh. Diaz moved to third on a sac bunt, then scored on a sac fly by Jack Mayfield, making it 1-1.

Rangers blow it open in the seventh

The tie didn't last long, as Bielak would put two on base in the bottom of the seventh before giving up a three-run homer to make it a 4-1 Rangers lead. Andre Scrubb was next out of Houston's bullpen and allowed a solo home run on his first pitch. Scrubb would complete the inning, but not before allowing another run on three singles to push Texas' lead to 6-1.

Cy Sneed was next out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Houston would not make the unlikely comeback in the top of the ninth, with the Rangers taking the game 6-1.

Up Next: The last game of the Astros' 2020 regular season will be Sunday at 2:05 PM Central, as are most other games on the MLB slate on the league's final regular-season day. Houston's starter is TBD as they will continue to preserve their arms for the best-of-three first round that starts on Tuesday, while Texas will send Jordan Lyles (1-6, 7.08 ERA) to the mound.

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