The Houston Texans (10-1) beat the Detroit Lions (4-7) by a score of 34-31 in overtime to cap off one of the wildest Thanksgiving Day games in recent memory.
Both teams performed well throughout this Week 12 matchup, but it was a game-changing play in the third quarter that gave the Texans the advantage.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz tossed the challenge flag after a long touchdown run by Texans running back Justin Forsett, costing his team dearly under a strange NFL rule.
Apparently, the referees will not review a scoring play after a challenge, as the challenge of an automatically reviewed play makes the play ineligible for a review altogether.
Post-Game Recap and Analysis
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford amassed an amazing 441 yards with two touchdowns, while Matt Schaub had a not-too-shabby 304 yards with one touchdown. Fans that were hoping for a shootout certainly got just that.
As for key offensive players, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson had eight receptions for 140 yards and one touchdown, while Texans running back Arian Foster had 20 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
One of the most interesting notes to come out of this game surrounds Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The defensive standout was involved in an ugly incident that has already caused ripples in the NFL community.
After falling over an offensive lineman towards Schaub, Suh's leg swings wildly and strikes the quarterback in the groin. The talk of intent has spread like wildfire, and it's not hard to see why.
For the Lions, yet another strong showing by the offensive unit proves that they have once again found their rhythm. While the season started slow, Stafford and Johnson have found the rapport that made them stars in 2011.
As for the Texans, this marks the second straight game they were demolished in the secondary. The loss of Jonathan Joseph to injury is really killing the team's defensive makeup. If Joseph doesn’t return to the lineup soon, they are going to be in serious trouble.
That said, Houston did come out on top, proving once again that they are one of the best teams in the AFC. On the other side, any hope of making the playoffs has been shattered for the Lions.
ESPN’s Amanda Rykoff brings us into this matchup with a realization that really should make all NFL fans thankful:
We get to watch Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson in the same game. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.— Amanda Rykoff (@amandarykoff) November 22, 2012
As ugly as it tends to be, Albert Breer of the NFL Network breaks down why Matthew Stafford’s style is hard to comprehend:
Inconsistency can be maddening, mechanics can be sloppy, but Matt Stafford's ability to flick his wrist and get the ball there is incredible— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 22, 2012
Detroit Lions writer for the team’s official website, Tim Twenyman, talks about just how stellar Stafford’s first half of Thanksgiving football really was:
Stafford has 246 yards passing. That's the fourth most for a first half in his career. Johnson's 28th 100-yard game and his fourth straight— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) November 22, 2012
Bleacher Report brings a definitive look of the play that cost the Lions in the third quarter:
Forsett was clearly down but Schwartz threw the challenge flag, which is illegal, so they cannot review the play. twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 22, 2012
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press is reporting that almost a full quarter after the poor call, Ford Field is still not happy:
Boos are still reigning down at Ford Field. Got some mad people here.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) November 22, 2012
With some overtime Thanksgiving football, Pro Football Weekly shares the knowledge about the last time this happened:
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports just how bad the Lions have it on Thanksgiving:
No Thanks, Just Giving: Lions lose 9th straight Thanksgiving game, an NFL record.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) November 22, 2012