The Lions will try to shake off last week’s bad loss to the Packers when they play host to the Texans today at Ford Field at 12:30 p.m. The Texans and Falcons (both 9-1) are the only one-loss teams left in the NFL, and the Texans enjoy a large lead over the Colts in the AFC South.
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Lions kicker Jason Hanson missed a 47-yard field goal attempt in overtime that would’ve given the Lions a win.
So far in overtime, both teams have missed a field goal, and the Lions had an interception by Chris Houston.
The Texans are at midfield with 3:46 remaining.
The Lions defense just couldn’t get off the field.
They allowed a 15-play, 97-yard touchdown drive at the worst possible time.
The Texans tied it at 31-31 on a one-yard rushing touchdown by Arian Foster.
Houston picked up a fourth and 7 on the drive at the Detroit 41 on a 16-yard pass to Andre Johnson, who had four catches for 64 yards on the drive.
The Lions have 1:55 to take a lead.
With 7:38 remaining in regulation, the Lions lead Houston 31-24.
But the Texans aren’t going to make it easy for the Lions to score again.
Defensive end J.J. Watt picked up his third sack of the game on the Lions’ last drive that forced a punt.
The Lions downed the punt on the 3, but clearly they want to score again to put this out of reach.
The Lions have been waiting all year for this.
After not having a single run of 20 yards this year, Joique Bell had two on the last drive, including a 23-yard touchdown.
A few plays earlier, Bell had a 26-yard run where he ran for several extra yards with multiple defenders on him.
The Lions lead 31-24 with 13:31 remaining.
That call rivals the Seahawks’ touchdown to beat the Packers earlier this year.
Texans running back Justin Forsett ran for an 81-yard touchdown, but was without a doubt down by contact after fewer than 10 yards.
None of the refs blew the whistle despite Forsett’s elbow and knee hitting the turf.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz threw the challenge flag, but earned a penalty for challenging a scoring play.
And, according to a Lions spokesman, Schwartz throwing the flag negated the automatic review, costing the Lions seven points.
The play stands, and the Lions lead 24-21 with 6:35 left in the third quarter.
The Lions have drawn first blood in the second half.
Jason Hanson’s 43-yard field goal gave the Lions a 24-14 lead with 7:03 left in the third quarter.
The Lions continued their air assault and rookie receiver Ryan Broyles had two catches for 20 yards on the drive.
The Lions forced a three-and-out by the Texans to start the half and responded with a 3-point drive. Let’s see if they can keep the momentum.
Lions defensive end Cliff Avril ended the first half on a high note with a sack-fumble that ran out the clock.
The Lions head into the break with a 21-14 over a 9-1 Texans team.
Here are some halftime stats to chew on while that turkey’s roasting:
Matthew Stafford: 14 of 26 for 246 and two touchdowns
Mikel Leshoure: eight carries for 17 yards and one touchdown
Calvin Johnson: five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown
Ryan Broyles: two catches for 62 yards
Matt Schaub: 13 of 17 for 143 yards and one touchdown
Arian Foster: seven carries for 25 yards and one touchdown
Andre Johnson: three catches for 87 yards
Owen Daniels: four catches for 20 yards and one touchdown
That was too easy.
The Lions scored on a two-play, 59-yard drive to grab a 21-14 lead with 1:49 left in the second quarter.
Stefan Logan took the kickoff to the 41, and Matthew Stafford hit rookie receiver Ryan Broyles for a 37-yard gain.
Then, Stafford lofted one for Calvin Johnson, who came down with a 22-yard touchdown catch.
Andre Johnson caught a 43-yard pass that bounced off Lions cornerback Chris Houston, and the Texans tied the score shortly after.
The scoring play was a 9-yard reception by tight end Owen Daniels that made it 14-14 with 2:11 left in the second quarter.
The Lions are moving on this drive and are already in Houston territory thanks to a 37-yard reception by rookie Ryan Broyles.
With Titus Young inactive for insubordination, the Lions other receivers needed to step up.
It looks like recently acquired Mike Thomas is answering the call.
Thomas caught a 6-yard touchdown pass to give the Lions a 14-7 lead.
The Lions traded for Thomas in Week 9, but he didn’t have a reception in his first three games. So far today, he has two catches for 17 yards and his first touchdown with the Lions.
Calvin Johnson is also stepping up, though that’s not much of a surprise. On the Lions’ 83-yard scoring drive, Johnson had catches of 14, 35 and 12 yards. He already has four catches for 81 yards.
The Texans finally figured out the Lions’ defense.
After being held to three three-and-outs in the first quarter, the Texans drove down the field for an easy touchdown to start the second quarter.
The drive started with a play-action pass to Andre Johnson that picked up 37 yards. Then the Texans stuck mostly with the run game, and Arian Foster scored from six yards out.
With 10:57 left in the second quarter, it’s tied at 7.
After downing Nick Harris’ 32-yard punt, Lions players ran off the field signaling that it should’ve been their ball.
They thought the punt bounced off a Texans player before they downed it, prompting coach Jim Schwartz to throw the challenge flag.
The refs reviewed it, but there must not have been conclusive evidence to overturn it.
Regardless, the Lions held the Texans to a third-straight three-and-out on the ensuing possession.
The raucous crowd deserves credit for causing a false start by the Texans, but after that, the Lions defense made three great plays to force three-and-out.
On first and 15, cornerback Chris Houston batted down a pass attempt to Andre Johnson.
On the next play, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub threw a screen to tight end Garrett Graham, and defensive tackle Nick Fairley chased him down from behind for no gain.
The Texans ran with Arian Foster on third down, but linebacker Justin Durant made a strong tackle to bring him down after a three-yard gain.
That sure looked easy.
The Lions marched 12 plays on the opening drive and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run by Mikel Leshoure.
It was their first opening-drive touchdown of the season and only their second first-quarter touchdown.
Along the drive that lasted 5:02, the Lions converted two third-and-longs with a 25-yard pass to Ryan Broyles and a 10-yard pass to Tony Scheffler that put them on the Houston 2.
Recently acquired wide receiver Mike Thomas also caught his first pass, a screen that went for 12 yards.
The Lions lead 7-0 early, but the Texans will have their first crack on offense.
The Texans are one of few run-first teams remaining in the NFL and have been able to run to victories this year behind workhorse Arian Foster.
For the Lions (4-6) to have a chance in their Thanksgiving matchup with Houston (9-1), they must contain Foster.
Yes, the Texans have weapons in the passing game with efficient quarterback Matt Schaub (96.8 passer rating) throwing to wide receiver Andre Johnson and tight end Owen Daniels.
But Foster is fourth in the NFL with 962 rushing yards and tops with 10 rushing touchdowns. He has five games with 100-plus rushing yards and has at least 90 yards in his last four.
Even if the Lions contain him early, Foster has the potential to break a big run at any point. He also excels at running outside the numbers, which has given the Lions trouble this year (remember Adrian Peterson’s 61-yard touchdown two weeks ago?).
The Lions should be able to move the ball effectively with the Texans missing two starters, cornerback Johnathan Joseph and inside linebacker Tim Dobbins. Joseph’s absence could mean a big day for Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
But in order for Matthew Stafford to find a rhythm, the offensive line will have to protect a stout Texans defensive front led by defensive end J.J. Watt (11.5 sacks).
The Lions haven’t won a Thanksgiving game since quarterback Joey Harrington led a win over the Packers in 2003. They’ve proven they can hang with any team this year, and if they execute for all four quarters (early for the offense, late for the defense), they could give fans a Thanksgiving treat.