Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/24/12
The Lions have proudly hosted a home game on Thanksgiving Day since 1934.It is as reliable of a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey, stuffing, and a tryptophan induced nap. This year’s match-up of the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions was a Thanksgiving Day overtime brawl that turned out to be one of the most exciting and controversial games that the NFL has ever seen. The Lions lost on Thanksgiving for the 9th consecutive year. But their loss and the Texans’ win was suspenseful from beginning to end.The Texans had a league best 9-1 record coming into this battle, while the Lions at 4-6 were trying to rectify their pre-season hopes of making the playoffs, which had significantly dissipated during the first 10 weeks of the 2012 season. With the loss on Thursday, the Lions are out of legitimate playoff contention in the incredibly strong NFC, while the Texans continue to lead in the battle for AFC home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.The Hero of the Game was Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt, who had a monstrous game with three sacks, five tackles, and two passes deflected on the day. No. 99 recorded a sack on the 1st play of the game, and is one of the leading candidates for defensive player of the year. He finished the game with 14.5 sacks on the season, only one-half sack back from the NFL-leading Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers. Watt has an astounding 13 passes deflected on the season, which makes any quarterback looking down-field vs. the Texans as nervous as a politician on election night.An honorable mention for the Hero of the Game goes to the Lions’ star wide receiver Calvin Johnson.  Johnson ended the game with 140 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions, despite being double-teamed on almost every play. Johnson lived up to his alias “Megatron” by playing in this match-up despite nursing dual knee and thumb injuries.The Zero of the Game goes to Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz. It is extremely rare that the head coach of an NFL team is primarily responsible for a loss, outside of a predictable or poorly timed play call. Most of the time, player execution, or lack thereof, is the actual culprit of NFL wins and losses. In the 3rd quarter, with 6 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the period, Texans’ running back Justin Forsett was credited with an 81-yard touchdown, which is the longest run in Texans’ franchise history. In actuality however, Forsett was stopped and tackled down at the 26 yard line for a gain of seven when his left elbow touched the turf, after Forsett absorbed some defensive contact.To his credit, Forsett kept his feet and continued running, as the referees did not blow their whistles to stop the play. As a reminder, all scoring plays must be automatically reviewed now without any action on the part of the opposing head coach. However, Schwartz emotionally threw the red challenge flag onto the field, in an immediate visceral reaction to the incorrect touchdown call.As soon as Schwartz threw the challenge flag, he sealed the fate of his team by denying them the benefit of automatic review. It can be reasonably assumed that head referee Walt Coleman would have reversed the call, but instead Schwartz’s action resulted in a 15-yard penalty and upheld the phony Forsett touchdown.A dishonorable mention for the Zero of the Game goes to the petulant Titus Young Sr., who continued his established pattern of bad behavior in his short career. Prior to the Thanksgiving Day game, he was deactivated for disciplinary reasons resulting from conduct detrimental to the team. He was a literal zero for the Lions, as Young Sr. prevented himself from being able to help his team in a game that they desperately needed and lost by the smallest of margins.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

Potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz looks positively jacked in recent photo

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker