Recap: Lions trounced on Thanksgiving Day again in 41-25 loss to Texans

Detroit News

Nolan Bianchi
| The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions host the Houston Texans in their annual Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field. You can follow the action here throughout the game with live updates by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.

Game summary

This one might seal Matt Patricia’s fate.

The Detroit Lions were dragged all over the field by Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans offense, allowing 318 yards and four touchdowns through the air as the Lions fell on Thanksgiving day for the fourth year in a row, 41-25.

Final leaders


DET – Matthew Stafford: 28/42, 295 yds., TD, Int.

HOU – Deshaun Watson: 17/25, 318 yds., 4 TD


DET – Adrian Peterson: 15 att., 55 yds., 2 TD

HOU – Duke Johnson: 9 att., 37 yds.


DET – T.J. Hockenson: 5 rec., 89 yds.

HOU – Will Fuller: 6 rec., 171 yds., 2 TD

Lions turn ball over on downs to seal another Thanksgiving Day loss

Detroit takes over at the 27, trailing by 16 with 3:53 to go in the fourth quarter.

Matthew Stafford completes to Marvin Jones for 7 yards on first down. Marvin Hall drops the second-down throw. A 7-yard completion to Mohamed Sanu keeps the drive alive.

Back to Sanu on the next play, this time for a gain of 6. Matt Patricia currently running out the ‘we only need one touchdown to make the score respectable and possibly save my job’ strategy, as there’s not the greatest sense of urgency coming from his offense.

Stafford goes to Sanu for 6 yards and Jonathan Williams for 5, bringing up first-and-10 at the Houston 48.

Stafford misses to Hockenson on first down.

**Two-minute warning**

Stafford is strip-sacked on second down, but the Lions recover.

Timeout #2 Detroit (1:51 4th)

Stafford gets regular-sacked on third down.

Timeout #3 Detroit (1:43 4th)

Stafford’s fourth-down pass is incomplete.

The Texans will get in victory formation and run this thing out.

FINAL: Texans 41, Lions 25 

Lions get quick stop, look to make it a game late in fourth

Houston takes over at its own 28. The Texans lead 41-25 with 6:29 to go in the fourth.

C.J. Prosise rushes for 7 on first down. He’s stopped for a yard on second down. The Lions get the stop on third-and-2, as Amani Oruwariye brings down Watson after a gain of 1. 

Texans 41, Lions 25 (3:53 4th)

Lions cut deficit to 16 near midway point of fourth

Detroit opens at the 25. The Lions trail by 24 in the fourth.

Matthew Stafford throws complete to T.J. Hockenson for a pickup of 4 on first down. Jonathan Williams hauls in a 2-yard pass on second down. After a third-down incompletion, Mohamed Sanu comes up with a reception to keep the chains moving.

The Lions continue to move the ball downfield, crossing into Houston territory with a 9-yard completion to Marvin Hall after an 11-yard throw to Williams.

Stafford throws incomplete to Marvin Hall on second-and-1 but completes to Marvin Jones on third down for a gain of 4.

Stafford misses Jones with a deep ball on first down. He hits Quintez Cephus for a pickup of 11 on second down, then makes it first-and-10 at the 14 with a 16-yard completion to Jones.

Sanu catches his first touchdown pass as a Lion, and Detroit has new life! (Not really. But it’d be pretty cool if they did.)

The Lions convert the two-point play, making it a 16-point game.

Texans 41, Lions 25 (6:32 4th)

Texans sign Matt Patricia’s pink slip with trick-play touchdown

The Texans start at the 34, and one play later, they’re back in the end zone. 

A double pass leaves Will Fuller wide open for Deshaun Watson, and his receiver could have played a game of hopscotch on his way to the end zone. Texans lead by a bunch.

Texans 41, Lions 17 (10:07 4th)

Lions stuffed on fourth down in last-gasp effort

Detroit takes over at the 25. The Lions trail Houston 34-17 with 12:09 to go in the game.

Matthew Stafford’s first-down attempt to T.J. Hockenson falls incomplete, but the second-down throw to the tight end is caught for a gain of 8. Mohamed Sanu then makes his first catch as a Lion, but the 21-yard completion is called back for offensive pass interference on Hockenson.

It’s third-and-11: Jesse James catches a 10-yard pass, and the Lions will go for it on fourth-and-1.

Jason Cabinda is stopped for no gain on fourth down. Texans ball.

Texans 34, Lions 17 (10:17 4th)

Texans take commanding lead to start fourth quarter

Houston takes over at its own 15 to start the fourth quarter. The Texans lead 26-17 and can make it a three-score game with a touchdown on this drive.

Deshaun Watson throws three easy completions to start the drive for passes worth 19, 18 and 9 yards, respectively. It’s second-and-1 at the 39: Watson is nearly sacked for a massive loss, but he’s just able to throw it away. Jordan Akins moves the chains with a 4-yard run on third down.

A false start makes it first-and-15 at the 40. 

Watson throws a bomb to Fuller that’s caught easily for another Houston touchdown. 

Timeout #1 Houston (12:09 4th)

The Texans convert a two-point attempt to go up 17.

Texans 34, Lions 17 (12:09 4th)

Lions punt on final play of third quarter

Detroit takes over at its own 28. The Lions trail 26-17 with 3:05 to go in the third quarter.

Marvin Jones hauls in a 3-yard pass on first down. Offsetting penalties on second down erase another solid gain on the ground from Adrian Peterson. The second-down throw to Jones will suffice though, as it’s good for 7 yards and a new set of downs at the 38.

Peterson rushes for 4 yards on the next play. Matthew Stafford is sacked on second down for a loss of 8.

Stafford throws it up to Marvin Jones on the next play, and it somehow falls incomplete despite looking like a clear interception. Nevertheless, the Lions will punt to end the third quarter.

END 3RD: Texans 26, Lions 17 

Texans match field goal, regain 9-point lead

Houston takes over at the 25 with 7:24 to go in the third quarter. The Texans lead 23-17 and can put the Lions in a serious hole with a touchdown drive here.

Watson finds Brandin Cooks on first down for a gain of 10 yards.

Duke Johnson on the next first-down play rushes for a gain of 4. Will Fuller gets wide open on second down and hauls in an easy completion before running to Detroit’s 22, a gain of 38 yards.

Johnson rushes for 6 yards on first down. Watson’s second-down pass to Keke Coutee is caught for 7 yards, bringing up first-and-goal at the 9.

C.J. Prosise goes up the middle for a gain of 1. The Texans are flagged for holding on second down, but the Lions decline, bringing up third-and-goal at the 8: Watson’s pass hits the fingertips of Jordan Akins and falls incomplete.

Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 26-yard field-goal attempt is good.

Texans 26, Lions 17 (3:10 3rd)

Lions ground game picks finds rhythm, helps pick up field goal

The Lions take over at the 21 to start the second half. They trail 23-14.

Adrian Peterson explodes for runs of 19 and 10 yards to start the half, moving Detroit to the 50 in a hurry.

He gets it again on the next play, this time for a gain of 5, and then carries on second down for a 4-yard pickup. Peterson moves the chains with his fifth consecutive carry, a gain of 2 on third-and-1.

It appears the Lions have magically solved their issues in the ground game, as now it’s Kerryon Johnson rushing for a gain of 8 on first down. Johnson keeps things moving with a 3-yard run. 

It’s first-and-10 at the Houston 28.

Back to Johnson for a gain of 2 on first down, then to Peterson on second down for a pickup of 6. It’s third-and-2. Matthew Stafford finally gets the ball in his hands, and even he decides to run. Stafford picks up the first down with a 3-yard carry, bringing up first-and-10 at the 17.

The Lions run the Philly special, and the throw from Jamal Agnew to Stafford — into double coverage — is caught, but the Lions quarterback can’t survive the ground. The pass is ruled incomplete, but the Lions challenge. The play is upheld. Bummer for Stafford, who made a heck of an effort.

Stafford throws complete to Jones on second down for a gain of 6. Stafford is decked while letting go of a third-down throw, resulting in an incompletion.

Matt Prater puts home a field goal that makes it a one-score game.

Texans 23, Lions 17 (7:24 3rd)

Halftime leaders


DET – Matthew Stafford: 10/15, 160 yds., Int.

HOU – Deshaun Watson: 9/14, 141 yds., 2 TD


DET – Kerryon Johnson: 8 att., 32 yds.

HOU – Duke Johnson: 7 att., 27 yds.


DET – T.J. Hockenson: 4 rec., 80 yds.

HOU – Will Fuller: 3 rec., 59 yds.

Lions forced to punt on final drive before half

Detroit takes over at the 25 with 1:44 left in the first half. The Lions trail 23-14 and have all three timeouts in their back pocket. 

Kerryon Johnson rushes for 4 yards on first down. Matthew Stafford’s second-down pass for Marvin Jones is overthrown, incomplete.

Stafford chucks it deep for Marvin Hall, who can’t locate the ball. There was a defensive holding penalty on Houston, though, which’ll give the Lions a first down at the 34.

Johnson catches a screen pass and runs all the way to Houston’s 46-yard-line for a gain of 20.

Stafford overthrows Jones near the sideline on first down. 46 seconds remain in the half, the Lions still with all three timeouts. Stafford’s completion to Hockenson on second down is for only 2 yards. Stafford is sacked for a loss of 4. 

Timeout #1 Houston (0:15 2nd)

Houston receives the punt and takes a knee to end the half.

END 2ND: Texans 23, Lions 14

Texans extend lead to 23-14 with 1:44 left in half

Houston takes over at its own 20 with 6:15 to go in the half. The Texans lead, 20-14.

Deshaun Watson hits Will Fuller on first down for a gain of 12.

Duke Johnson carries for 5 yards on the next play. Fuller gets open over the middle again, and Watson stays on the money with a strike that results in a 37-yard gain to the Detroit 26.

Nick Williams and John Penisini get to the quarterback on first down to force a loss of 9. A delay-of-game penalty before the next snap makes it second-and-24.

Watson escapes from pressure yet again and fires complete to Brandin Cooks for a 27-yard completion to the Detroit 13. First down, Texans.

Watson keeps, scrambles for a gain of 4 on first down. The Texans are flagged for offensive pass interference on the next play, bringing up second-and-16 at the 19.

**Two-minute warning**

Watson’s second-down pass to Duke Johnson is caught, but for a loss of 5. It’s third-and-21: Watson again tries to attack Jamie Collins in coverage, but this pass falls incomplete.

Ka’imi Fairbairn connects for a 42-yard field goal.

Texans 23, Lions 14 (1:44 2nd)

Lions punt from Texans territory 

Detroit takes over at the 25, trailing 20-14 with 10:18 to go in the half.

Adrian Peterson is stopped for no gain *gasp* on first down. Marvin Jones reels in a 12-yard pass on the next play to move the chains.

Nobody’s open on first down, and Matthew Stafford throws it away. Peterson is stopped for a loss of 2 on second down. Kerryon Johnson make a great move to avoid a tackler near the line of scrimmage on third-and-12, and sprints to the marker for a gain of exactly 12 to keep the drive alive.

Johnson rushes up the middle for 3 yards on first down. Second-and-7 at the 50: Johnson carries again, this time going down at the 49 for a gain of 1. Stafford’s third-down pass to Jamal Agnew misses the mark and falls incomplete. 

Jack Fox’s punt goes for a touchback.

Texans 20, Lions 14 (6:15 2nd)

Texans regain lead on Johnson’s touchdown reception

Houston takes over at the 40 after an unusual error from punter/kicker Jack Fox.

Deshaun Watson’s first-down pass draws a pass interference flag, which moves the Texans into Lions territory at the 45.

Watson scrambles for 11 on the next play, bringing up first-and-10 at the Detroit 34.

Duke Johnson rushes for 5 yards on first down and 4 on second down.

Injury alert: Lions DT Danny Shelton was hurt on the play and is being tended to by the training staff.

Johnson moves the chains on third-and-1 with a 2-yard run up the middle. 

Watson escapes from pressure and throws a touchdown pass to Will Fuller, but it’s called back for a holding penalty. Now first-and-20 at the 33.

Watson finds the mismatch with linebacker Jamie Collins covering the running back Johnson, and lobs it up on a wheel route that’s caught for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Houston back in front.

Texans 20, Lions 14 (10:18 2nd)

Lions punch ball in after roller-coaster drive swings momentum in Detroit’s favor

The Lions take over at their own 22, and will try to complete the first play of its drive without turning the ball over.

Kerryon Johnson rushes up the middle for a gain of 8 on first down, then moves the chains with a 3-yard run on second down.

Matthew Stafford throws complete to T.J. Hockenson on a screen, and the sophomore tight end runs for a gain of 17 to midfield.

Stafford comes up firing on the next play, this time hitting Quintez Cephus over the middle for a gain of 16. 

Kerryon Johnson rushes up the middle for a gain of 7 to the 27 of Houston, bringing the first quarter to a close.

END 1ST: Texans 13, Lions 7 

Johnson gets enough yards for a first down on the next play, but after review, officials say that he fumbled the ball before hitting the turf. Houston recovered at the 21, where it’ll be Texans ball.

Texans 13, Lions 7 (14:32 2nd)

On the very next play, Houston fumbles. The ball is recovered by Jahlani Tavai at the Houston 26.

Kerryon Johnson makes a nice catch on first down to give Detroit a new set of downs at the 12. 

Johnson rushes for 2 yards on the next play. The Texans are flagged for illegal contact on second down, which gives the Lions 5 yards and an automatic first down.

First-and-goal at the 5 coming up.

Adrian Peterson runs to the 1-yard-line on first down, and gets in on the second-down handoff for a Lions touchdown.

Lions 14, Texans 13 (12:56 2nd)

Texans take 13-7 lead after Lions turn ball over on consecutive plays

The Lions take over at their own 23 with 4:24 left in the first. They’ll look to bounce back from a pick-6 by J.J. Watt on the previous play from scrimmage.

And they do not, in fact, bounce back. Jonathan Williams fumbles on the first play of the drive, and the Texans have it again at the 30.

Lions 7, Texans 6 (4:24 1st)

Houston takes over at the 30. Deshaun Watson fires to Duke Johnson on first down for a gain of 16, and the Texans are already in the red zone.

Watson throws to the end zone on the next play, drawing a pass interference flag. It’ll be first-and-goal at the 1.

C.J. Prosise is dropped for a loss of 1 on first down, but he catches a 2-yard pass from Watson on second down to give Houston its first lead of the game.

Texans 13, Lions 7 (2:58 1st)

Texans even score on J.J. Watt’s pick-6

The Lions will take over at their own 25 with a 7-0 lead and 4:45 left in the first quarter.

Matthew Stafford attempts a screen pass (or something like that), and it’s picked off by J.J. Watt and returned to the end zone. Touchdown, Texans.

The extra point attempt is missed.

Lions 7, Texans 6 (4:38 1st)

Lions defense forces two straight punts to open game

Houston will take over at its own 25 after the Lions touchdown.

Deshaun Watson jukes a linebacker behind the line of scrimmage, takes off, makes another man miss, and gets to the 37 for a gain of 12. 

Duke Johnson rushes for 8 yards on first down. He has enough to move the chains on second down, but it’s brought back because of a hold. On second-and-12, Watson’s pass misses the mark and falls incomplete. The Lions force another incompletion on third down, and will get the ball back again.

Lions 7, Texans 0 (4:45 1st)

Trick play helps Lions take 7-0 lead vs. Texans

Detroit takes over at its own 16 with 11:10 left in the opening quarter after forcing the punt. The Lions are looking to break a scoreless tie.

Adrian Peterson gets the ball on first down, and the run goes for no gain. Peterson again gets the ball on second down, and this time he gains maybe a half-yard. A third-down throw to T.J. Hockenson is complete for a gain of 10 to the 26, which’ll keep the drive alive.

Kerryon Johnson hauls in a pass on first down that’s good for 5 yards. The Lions run a trick play that involves two laterals, the second going back to Matthew Stafford, who winds up and hits Hockenson for a monster gain of 51 yards.

It’ll be first-and-10 at the Houston 17.

Houston takes a pass interference penalty on the 2-yard-line on the next play, and that’ll make it first-and-goal at the 2 for Detroit.

Peterson is stopped short of the goal line, a gain of 1. He punches it in on the next play to give the Lions an early lead.

Lions 7, Texans 0 (6:54 1st)

In progress: Texans take field first in Thanksgiving Day clash

Detroit wins the toss and defers to the second half. Houston takes over at the 22.

Duke Johnson rushes for 3 yards on first down. Deshaun Watson loads up and throws deep to Keke Coutee on second down, but the throw just catches the fingertips, incomplete. Will Fuller grabs a 10-yard pass on third down to move the chains.

Then it’s Brandin Cooks with a reception, a gain of 11 to the Houston 46.

Watson’s next pass is dropped. Johnson is stuffed for no gain on second down, bringing up third-and-10. Watson nearly gets away from a collapsing pocket, but is eventually crushed from behind by Jarrad Davis with Everson Griffen hanging on his leg. Loss of 2.

Jamal Agnew waves for a fair catch at the 16.

Lions 0, Texans 0 (11:10 1st) 

Lions vs. Texans

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Ford Field, Detroit

TV/radio: CBS/760

Records: Texans 3-7, Lions 4-6

Line: Texans by 3

More coverage

Lions’ C.J. Moore, twin A.J. have plenty to be thankful for as Thanksgiving showdown looms

Matt Patricia no stranger to ‘amazing’ Deshaun Watson as Lions prep for Texans

Detroit News scouting report: Texans at Lions

Detroit News predictions: Texans at Lions

Five things to watch: Texans at Lions

Aaron Rodgers: Lions’ Matthew Stafford deserves more credit for throws he makes

Articles You May Like

The Detroit Lions seem to be all in on a cornerback based off all the due diligence they’re doing
Detroit Lions Could Add Dynamic Playmaker In Shocking Move
POD Community Mock: With the 19th pick the Rams select…
Erik Schlitt’s Detroit Lions 7-round mock draft, 2.0
Offseason Workouts: Day 1 ✅ #detroitlions #onepride #nfl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *