HTX Texans
Nick Foles Gone

Mark Sanchez is suddenly no joke, but the anti-Jadeveon Clowney is stepping up, wreaking QB terror

Mark Sanchez suddenly no joke, but the anti-Jadeveon Clowney steps up

Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Texans 59 sacking Nick Foles
Whitney Mercilus took out Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles with a spree of two sacks in three plays. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Nick Foles escorted off field
Nick Foles headed to the locker room with a shoulder injury. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Nick Foles down
With Nick Foles in serious pain, the Houston Texans suddenly found themselves playing against Mark Sanchez. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Mark Sanchez warming up
Yes, it's Sanchize time. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Nick Foles
Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Nick Foles with other Eagles player.
Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Mark Sanchez warming up 2
Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 coaches with Nick Foles on sideline
Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Texans 59 sacking Nick Foles
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Nick Foles escorted off field
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Nick Foles down
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Mark Sanchez warming up
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Nick Foles
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Nick Foles with other Eagles player.
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 Mark Sanchez warming up 2
Texans vs. Eagles Eagles quarterback injury with replacement November 2014 coaches with Nick Foles on sideline

Things looked bleak enough for the Houston Texans to be handing out blindfolds and cigarettes.

Both of the Texans' starting cornerbacks were sidelined, dealing with injuries that made any return doubtful. Chip Kelly's ultra fast-paced, quick strike offense stood poised to unleash a flood of big plays. After all, Jeremy Maclin had already roasted seventh-round rookie Andre Hal on a 59-yard touchdown catch that involved little besides running right by Hal.

There was little reason to be optimistic about the Texans chances.

Only nobody told A.J. Bouye and Whitney Mercilus that.

Houston found two unlikely defensive saviors in Bouye and Mercilus Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium. And Kelly suddenly found himself needing to rely on The Sanchize.

 The former University of Illinois terror now has four sacks in the last three games, the most productive stretch of his young career. 

That last one came courtesy of Mercilus who knocked Nick Foles, the Austin kid, out of the game on his second sack in the span of three plays. Before Mercilus' reign of quarterback terror though, Bouye changed the tenor of the game (at least briefly) and gave Bill O'Brien's team new life.

Bouye, a second-year undrafted cornerback, stepped in front of a questionably thrown Foles pass for Riley Cooper and turned into a patient, weaving 51-yard Pick-6. That interception touchdown return tied the game 7-7 and cast more doubt on Foles, whose gone from never turning over the ball last season to piling up the picks this season.

Then, Foles was gone.

Mercilus — who will never be mistaken for an elite superstar level talent like the sick rookie Jadeveon Clowney he is replacing — buried Foles on back-to-back plays. On the first one, Foles saw J.J. Watt bearing in on him, but he didn't register Mercilus' own burst. On the second, Jared Crick provided a nice push. Mercilus is finally taking advantage of his defensive line's work, hunting quarterbacks with a fury.

The former University of Illinois terror now has four sacks in the last three games, the most productive stretch of his young career.

While Mercilus is establishing himself, former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is trying to revive his career. With Foles in the locker room getting x-rays on an injured shoulder, Chip Kelly's vaunted offense is in Sanchez's oft ridiculed hands.

So what does Kelly do? He has Sanchez go deep on his first play and gets another long bomb to Maclin out of it. Moments later, Sanchez throws a touchdown pass on third-and-goal from the 11.

It turns out Mercilus still has some work to do.