Ford Field (Detroit Lions)
Ford Field (Image courtesy of Dave Hogg under CC license)
Ford Field (Detroit Lions)
Ford Field (Image courtesy of Dave Hogg under CC license)

By RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Reporter

When the 4-6 Detroit Lions welcomed the 9-1 Houston Texans to Detroit for the annual Thanksgiving Day game, most viewers around the country expected a blowout victory by Houston.

However, this wasn’t the case, as the Lions managed to contend against the Texans for most of the game before losing 34-31 in overtime.

The Lions focused on a passing offense against the Texans’ strong run defense. Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 31 passes on 61 attempts for 441 yards and two touchdowns.

Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub was impressive after his 527 passing yard performance the previous Sunday. Schaub completed 29 passes on 48 attempts for 315 yards while also throwing a touchdown and an interception.

The Lions’ running game wasn’t much of a factor against the Texans’ strong run defense. Joique Bell rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown on five carries, while Mikel Leshoure rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

The Texans’ running game torched the Lions’ defense, accounting for 205 total yards and three touchdowns. Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries, including two touchdowns and Justin Forsett rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown on five carries.

The duo of Calvin Johnson and Ryan Broyles dominated the Texans’ secondary Thanksgiving Day. Johnson had eight receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown, while Broyles had six receptions for 126 yards. With his performance Thursday, Johnson became the seventh player in NFL history to reach 7,000 receiving yards in his first sixth season.

Texans’ wide receiver Andre Johnson was a key player in his team’s late game comeback. Johnson had nine receptions for 188 yards. Johnson recorded 461 receiving yards in back to back games, the most in NFL history during that span.

The Lions accounted for three drives in overtime, failing to score points during each series, most notably being a missed Jason Hanson field goal for the win. The Texans managed to kick the game winning, a 32 yarder on their third and final drive in overtime.

Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was involved in controversy in his second consecutive Thanksgiving Day game, apparently “kicking” Schaub in the groin during the first quarter. The NFL will review the play to decide if punishment is necessary, whether it be a fine or suspension.

With their loss Thursday, the Lions drop to 4-7 on the year. Any hopes of a return playoff appearance in a deep NFC conference seem bleak with seven losses through 11 games.

The Lions return to action next Sunday as they welcome the 6-4 Indianapolis Colts to town. The game can be seen at 1:00 PM on CBS.

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