HOUSTON (34) d DETROIT (31)
The Headline: Texans hold onto top spot in the AFC with a little luck and a bit of help
Houston must be so glad they get a mini-bye now, they played essentially their tenth quarter of football in the last four days. They moved to 10-1 with a lucky overtime win over the Detroit Lions who have now lost their ninth straight Thanksgiving Day clash. These games have been much more entertaining the last few years now that the Lions are more than a national punch line as we get treated to good games where there is a real contest. Here the two teams played a see-sawing, offensive show that it seemed like neither team wanted to win as both teams made potentially fatal mistakes in overtime. It was not without controversy however, as the officials blew a call on Justin Forsett’s 81 yard touchdown run. He was hit after eight yards and went to the ground, with his elbow hitting the ground and his knee also brushing the turf. Despite what certain DB’s in the media like Florio on PFT will claim, that is a damn hard call to make live and at speed. Forsett was allowed to keep running all the way to the end zone allowing for the play to be reviewed, except for the fact that Jim Schwartz made a monumental ****-up by throwing out his challenge flag, removing the chance for a replay. Whether or not you agree with the rule, it’s in place for a reason, to stop coaches screwing around after a score and they should know better than to try and circumvent it.
Key Stat: Total Yards on Offense: 1026 (Houston 501, Detroit 525)
Not a good day for the defenses here, both teams were able to move the ball at will and, despite some big hits, stay in rhythm. Houston got their yardage from their usual sources, Matt Schaub threw for 315 yards, 188 of which were caught by Andre Johnson while Arian Foster pitched in with 102 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Detroit meanwhile did it pretty much all through the air as he got minimal support from his ground game throwing for 441 yards with his favourite targets being Calvin Johnson and Ryan Broyles who went for 140 and 126 yards respectively. Having both offenses moving the ball at will made the game a lot more entertaining because as we all know, chicks dig the long ball.
Key Play: Jason Hanson missed overtime field goal
Anything over 40 yards in overtime can’t be considered a certainty for a kicker to hit. Aside from the distance, I loved everything about the decision to take the field goal attempt on third down. Unfortunately the kick hit the upright and bounced back into the end zone meaning that Houston was able to take over and, thanks to a couple of big plays, move the ball into range for Graham’s game winning kick.
Man of the Match: Andre Johnson
9 catches, 188 yards
I’ll keep this short and sweet, just four days after a career day against Jacksonville, Johnson comes up big again. It looks like he is finally healthy and is back to being one of the biggest receiving threats in the NFL.