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Vick and Eagles rally past Texans with 4th quarter comeback…

Per Mcall:

Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy passed and ran the Eagles out of a potential catastrophic result Thursday night, keying a fourth-quarter comeback that enabled them to escape with a 34-24 victory over the visiting Houston Texans at Lincoln Financial Field.

Vick completed 22 of 32 passes for 302 yards and McCoy turned 20 total touches into 130 yards as the Eagles overcame 337 passing yards and a pair of TDs by Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in a contest where defense proved to be just a myth.

The teams combined for 847 yards in what turned into a wild contest for a good portion of the second half.

Vick scored on a 2-yard sneak early in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles ahead for good. Then he all but sealed it with 4:18 remaining by hitting fullback Owen Schmitt with a 5-yard touchdown pass to cap a 72-yard drive.

The win completes a stretch of four games, three of them wins, in 18 days and spiked their NFC East-leading record to 8-4 heading into a game at division rival Dallas on Dec. 12.

Right from the start, there were was a major clue as to what was about to unfold.

A holding call on Eagles backup tight end Clay Harbor that took a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown off the board on the game’s opening play only delayed the inevitable by seven minutes, because the Eagles responded by going 88 yards on 11 plays for a 7-0 lead anyway.

The score came on a 1-yard pass from Vick to McCoy, five plays after Vick calmly stood in a stable pocket and delivered a 20-yard strike to tight end Brent Celek over the middle on third-and-9.

Also featured prominently on that series was wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the object of coach Andy Reid’s scorn following last Sunday’s 31-26 loss at Chicago, who broke wide open over the middle for a 30-yard reception on the first play from scrimmage.

Jackson provided a key play on the Eagles’ next series as well, catching a 21-yard pass to convert a third down that kept an 11-play touchdown drive going.

McCoy finished that one off with a 4-yard run straight up the gut, and the Eagles had a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter.

They’d extend that to 17-3 on their next possession, thanks to a 36-yard field goal by David Akers on a drive that fizzled, in part, because of a drop by Jeremy Maclin.

The Texans would not roll over, however, responding with a touchdown drive to close to within seven. A double-move by Andre Johnson that completely burned cornerback Dimitri Patterson and safety Nate Allen was the key play. It enabled him to get open for a 42-yard bomb to set up the score two plays later.

Schaub made it happen by scramblng to hit Jacoby Jones from 8 yards out.

But defensive tackle Trevor Laws helped turned the momentum back to the Eagles heading into halftime. His point-blank interception of a Schaub pass and 13-yard return before fumbling — teammate Trevard Lindley recovered — set the Eagles up for another Akers field goal that made it 20-10 at halftime.

As expected, the Eagles’ offense dominated, going to the break with 250 yards, 14 first downs and 180 passing yards by Vick, who was 15-for-22.

Schaub, by contrast, had his share of problems, going only 6-for-13 for 117 yards before being knocked out of the game with a possible concussion near the end of the first half.

The Texans, who handed the ball to Arian Foster for a meaningless 29-yard gain on the last play of the half, struggled to run the ball the way they needed to, gaining only 37 yards on 12 attempts before that.

Despite also being shut down on the ground on the opening series of the third quarter, the Texans still managed to take it down the field and close to within three points. An offsides penalty by Laws on a third-down stop that would have forced a field-goal attempt from 44 yards helped keep that drive going, as Schaub found tight end James Casey for an 8-yard gain and a first down with a second chance.

Two plays later, he hit Foster with a 13-yard scoring strike.

Laws was the least of the defense’s problems.

Patterson proved to be the weakest link, and he was targeted by a Houston coaching staff that had to feel like it was stealing at times.

On third-and-17 from the Houston 39, Schaub hit Johnson for a 31-yard completion down the left sideline, exploiting Patterson’s flat-out inability to stay with the explosive receiver in single coverage.

That play set up a go-ahead score, which came when Foster took it up the middle and Neil Rackers kicked the extra point to make it 24-20.

Vick and Jackson hooked up again to help the Eagles jump back on top for good, connecting on a 33-yard pass to key a 60-yard TD drive. Vick took it over the top from the 2 to finish off the series, which began at the Eagles’ 40 due to a short kickoff by Rackers.

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