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Eagles-Texans: Key stats to know for Sunday’s game | Paul Domowitch

Alshon Jeffery is averaging nearly 19 yards per catch in his last 4 games with Nick Foles. Fletcher Cox has 17 QB pressures in the last two games. Eagles have scored just four times on their first possession. Just some of the statistical nuggets in @pdomo's Eagles-Texans pre-game stat package.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles hugs defensive tackle Fletcher Cox after the Eagles beat the Los Angeles Rams 30-23 on Sunday, December 16, 2018 in Los Angeles.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles hugs defensive tackle Fletcher Cox after the Eagles beat the Los Angeles Rams 30-23 on Sunday, December 16, 2018 in Los Angeles.Read moreYONG KIM

Some stats to help you get ready for today’s Eagles-Texans game:

Turnover Tale

The Eagles, who had just nine takeaways in their first 12 games, have had six in their last two. They have a plus-5 turnover differential in their last four games. They were minus-9 in their first 10 games. They currently are 22nd in the league in turnover differential (minus-4). They were fourth last year (plus-11).

— The Eagles have lost 10 fumbles this season, but just one of them has been on a rushing attempt. That was by Jay Ajayi against Minnesota. Six of the Eagles’ 10 lost fumbles are on Carson Wentz’s tab, and Nick Foles has one. Safety Tre Sullivan had one in Week 1 on a muffed punt. And running back Wendell Smallwood had one on a lateral off of a pass play on the final play of the game in the Eagles’ Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay.

— The Eagles’ 15 takeaways are the 10th

fewest in the league through 14 games. Last year, their 31 takeaways were the fourth most.

— The Eagles defense has five interceptions in the last four games. They had just four in the first 10 games. Just two of their nine interceptions this season have come on third down. Last year, they picked off nine third-down passes, which was the second most in the league (Baltimore had 10).

— The Eagles’ recent surge of takeaways has had a big effect on field position and the length of their scoring drives. In their first 10 games, the Eagles’ average drive start was the 26.5-yard line. In their last four games, it’s been the 34.2. They have a plus-9.9-yard field position differential in their last four games. In their first 10 games, it was minus-1.9. The Eagles have 11 touchdown drives in the last four games. They’ve averaged 55.1 yards per drive on those 11 TDs. Their 23 TD drives in the first 10 games averaged 71.0 yards.

St. Nick

— Nick Foles averaged just 2.19 seconds from snap to throw last week, according to Pro Football Focus. In his two starts earlier this season, he averaged 2.76 seconds. In his three playoff starts last season, he averaged 2.51 seconds.

— Foles was under pressure on just six of his 31 dropbacks against the Rams. He was 4-for-6 for 74 yards on throws under pressure.

— Foles targeted Alshon Jeffery eight times last week. Jeffery had eight catches for 160 yards. In his last four games with Foles — last week and in last year’s playoffs — Jeffery has 20 catches for 379 yards, an average of 18.9 yards per catch.

— Foles has thrown just one touchdown pass in 113 attempts this season.

— Foles wasn’t sacked against the Rams. It was the second time in three games that the Eagles’ offensive line didn’t give up a sack.

— Foles completed eight of nine passes on third down against the Rams for 99 yards. In his three starts this season, he’s 21-for-28 for 216 yards with no TDs or interceptions on third down.

— Foles was 3-for-5 for 112 yards last week on throws that traveled 20 or more yards from the line of scrimmage.

Breaking down the front four

— A snap breakdown of the Eagles’ primary four defensive linemen in the last two games: Brandon Graham, 140 of 175 snaps (80.0 percent); Fletcher Cox, 136 (77.7); Michael Bennett, 135 (77.1); and Chris Long, 109 (62.3). According to Pro Football Focus, Cox had 17 quarterback pressures in the two games, and Bennett 10. Graham and Long each had four.

— In the Eagles’ last four games, three of which they’ve won, Cox has 28 quarterback pressures, Bennett 17, Long 13 and Graham eight.

— Since registering a season-high nine quarterback pressures in the Eagles’ Week 8 win over Jacksonville, Graham has had just 15 pressures in the last six games. For the season, he has 53.

— Cox has 83 QB pressures, which is the second most in the league behind only Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who has 89. The major difference: Donald has a league-high 16 1/2 sacks. Cox has 7 1/2 (3 1/2 in the last three games).

— Bennett has 57 total pressures, including eight sacks, this season, which is tied for fifth among edge-rushers, behind the Chiefs’ Dee Ford (71), the Bills’ Jerry Hughes (67), the Vikings’ Danielle Hunter (64) and the Browns’ Myles Garrett (60). Khalil Mack (Bears), Von Miller (Broncos) and DeMarcus Lawrence (Cowboys) also have 57.

— Five of the Eagles’ last six sacks have been on third down. Just seven of their first 30 were on third down.

— Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been sacked an NFL-high 52 times this season. While his offensive line has been at fault for a good portion of them, Watson also deserves blame. He is averaging 2.86 seconds from snap to throw. No quarterback the Eagles have faced this season hangs on to the ball longer than Watson.

Defending the air

— In the last two games, 41 of the 76 pass completions (53.9 percent) against the Eagles have been to tight ends (17) or running backs (24). Of their opponents’ 794 passing yards in the last two games, 324 (40.8 percent) came on passes to tight ends and running backs. Through 14 games, tight ends have been targeted 84 times against the Eagles and have 56 catches for 605 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs have been targeted 122 times and have 100 receptions for 780 yards and three TDs.

— The Eagles have given up more than one touchdown pass in a game only five times this season. They are tied for 10th in touchdown passes allowed with 20.

— The Eagles are third in red zone defense with a 43.4 opponent touchdown percentage. Opposing quarterbacks have completed just 39.8 percent of their pass attempts in the red zone. Last week, the Rams’ Jared Goff completed just two of 10 passes inside the 20.

— Opposing QBs have an 88.8 passer rating against the Eagles on third down, which isn’t bad, but not nearly as good as last year (65.7). Just 37.9 percent of the third-down pass attempts against the Eagles have produced first downs. Last year, it was 30.0.

This and that

— Sixty-one of the Eagles’ 109 offensive plays in the last two games (56.0 percent) have been with 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR). In their first 12 games, they used 12 personnel on 33.9 percent of their plays. Nick Foles was 9-for-12 for 112 yards with 12 personnel against the Rams, and 15-for-19 for 158 yards with one interception with 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs). Twenty-four of the Eagles’ 30 rushing attempts against the Rams were with 12 personnel.

— Wide receiver Nelson Agholor has played 87.3 percent of the offensive snaps in the last five games, but has just eight catches — three for first downs and two third-down receptions — in those five games.

— The Eagles have scored on their first possession just four times in 14 games, and on their second possession only once (a field goal last week). Opponents have scored five times on their first possession and nine times on their second possession.