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.

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Often times, sports can be a copycat forum. Whether it's trying to replicate an offense, defense, philosophy, or outright style biting, we rarely see anything original. Sports sometimes take their cues from Hollywood. How many remakes of old movies and ideas have we seen? Or, how many different iterations of a successful movie franchise will we continue to get shoved down our throats? (I'm looking at you Fast And Furious. But I'm going to see the new one anyway.)

Every so often, we'll get the pleasure of a trailblazer. Someone who stands out against the crowd and prefers to do something so out of the box, we may choose to fully embrace the different approach, or, we may choose to mock the out of the box ideas. The Texans have chosen to blaze their own trail and go with a general manager by committee for the upcoming season. They came to this conclusion (forced into it) after a failed attempt to woo Nick Caserio away from the Patriots amidst tampering charges. Bill O'Brien, Jack Easterby, Chris Olsen, and Jamey Rootes will all play a part in fulfilling the role of GM. I go back and forth as to whether they've made the right decision and whether or not it'll work. Let's take a look at a few reasons to support both sides of the argument:

Will Work: Three or four heads better than one

Texans Chairman and CEO D. Cal McNair

houstontexans.com

Think back to when you were in school. I know that may be difficult for some of us that are long removed from those days. What was one of your favorite type of assignments? Typically, group assignments were fun because you got to collaborate with others on a project. It worked best if you chose your own group because you knew everyone would pull their weight. This may be the case here, as long as there are clear cut lines in which each person will operate and how tough decisions will be made.

Won't Work: Too many sheriffs, not enough cops

Texans EVP of Team Development Jack Easterby

houstontexans.com

Those same group projects have also been known to cause division, friction, and make getting a good grade nearly impossible. All of the guys on this committee have primary responsibilities. Now they have to take on extra duties. This can lead to some lacking in areas of each of their jobs. We've all experienced a collaborative effort gone wrong. Whether someone didn't pull their weight, or someone was a control freak, there's always a chance of something going awry when multiple people have to come together for a common goal, especially when you're dealing with a bunch of alpha males used to being the in charge of their own lane but forced to cooperate and collaborate with others.

Will Work: Everyone's seats are hot

Texans President Jamey Rootes

houstontexans.com

I grew up respecting the knowledge older people could pass along. I may not have always listened to what they said, but I most definitely absorbed those lessons. One saying I remember and still hold onto is "pressure can make a diamond or crack a pipe." The former is why I think this setup will work. When former GM Brian Gaine was fired late into this offseason, it put everyone on notice that their jobs are also on the line. If this group can feel that heat and use it to fuel them positively, this GM by committee thing can work.

Won't Work: No blueprint or copycat source

Texans Senior VP of Football Operations Chris Olsen

houstontexans.com

Like I said previously, sports are a copycat forum. Usually, there's someone somewhere that's done it before that you can get a few pointers from. Hell, the Texans organization has been trying to replicate what the Patriots have done for almost their whole existence! However, there hasn't been an example that I can think of in which any sports franchise has had a committee of people fill the role of GM instead of a single person. When you have an example to follow, it's similar to having directions on assembling a toy you've bought for your kid. Next time you try putting something together, do it without the instructions and see how easy/difficult it could be.

While the draft and the bulk of free agency has come and gone, there's always work a GM is doing that will help his team. There are always players on other teams to watch in case they're cut. There's also college players to keep an eye on for the upcoming draft, as well as a multitude of other duties an NFL GM has on a daily basis. Information funneled through one person and sent out to others is much more concise than being funneled through several and sent out to many.

Signals can get crossed. Critical steps or info can get missed and/or overlooked. However, we don't know if this will or won't work because we have nothing to base it off of. We will have to wait and see how this plays out. Who knows? We may be on the verge of something new and innovative in sports. We could also be seeing a disaster the likes of which we've never seen. Let's wait and see what happens before we pass judgement.

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