Sat, 16 Jan 2021

RECAP: Lions vs. Texans

Detroit Lions
27 Nov 2020, 19:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

It wasn't a Happy Thanksgiving at Ford Field for the Detroit Lions Thursday.

Detroit dropped their fourth straight Thanksgiving game, falling to Houston, 41-25. The loss drops Detroit's record to 4-7 on the season.

A Matthew Stafford pick-six, a Jonathan Williams fumble and a Kerryon Johnson fumble, all in the first 16 minutes of the game, led to 13 early Houston points, and Deshaun Watson and the Texans' offense did the rest from there.

Watson threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns for a passer rating of 150.4, as the Texans built an early lead and never gave it up. His favorite target on the day was wide receiver Will Fuller, who finished with six receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

The Lions got two 1-yard rushing touchdowns from Adrian Peterson, a 14-yard Mohamed Sanu touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter, and a 29-yard Matt Prater field goal to round out their scoring, but it wasn't enough to keep pace with Watson and the Texans on the afternoon.

QB comparison: It was a dominating performance for Watson, who finished completing 17 of his 25 pass attempts for 318 yards and four touchdowns. A perfect passer rating in the NFL is 158.3, and Watson finished with a rating of 150.4. He added 27 rushing yards on five attempts.

Stafford threw that late touchdown pass to Sanu and finished 28-of-42 passing for 295 yards with an interception and a passer rating of 84.9.

Promising trend: Detroit was able to run the ball with some efficiency, despite missing D'Andre Swift, who was inactive due to a concussion. Peterson rushed for 55 yards and those two scores. Johnson chipped in 46 yards, and the Lions rushed for 109 yards as a team, which was above their season average of 95.4 yards per game.

Worrisome trend: The Lions' defense is down some players in the secondary and they're struggling right now defending the pass. Detroit gave up 258 passing yards and a touchdown to Carolina's P.J. Walker last week in a 20-0 loss. Walker was making his first career start after playing in the XFL.

Watson, one of the best in the business, carved up Detroit's secondary to the tune of four touchdowns and a nearly perfect passer rating (150.4). There were too many open receivers and an overall lack of speed in the secondary, which has plagued Detroit all season and really the last two weeks in particular.

Injury report: Defensive tackle Danny Shelton left the game in the first half with a knee injury. Shelton returned to the game in the second half with a brace on his right knee.

Veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant has battled hamstring injuries all season. He left Thursday's game with a left hamstring injury and did not return.

Key stat: There's no bigger statistic in football than turnovers. Detroit turned the ball over three times in the first half, which led to 13 Houston points. Detroit lost the turnover battle 3-1 in the game.

Next week: at Chicago (5-5)

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