Preview: Texans at Lions

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The Detroit Lions have hosted a Thanksgiving Day game for 73 years. It has not gone their way recently. The Lions will be looking to snap an eight-game losing streak on Thanksgiving when they host the Houston Texans on Thursday. The Texans needed overtime to squeeze past lowly Jacksonville on Sunday but own the best record in the AFC at 9-1. Detroit has dropped two straight and sits in a familiar position - last in the NFC North.

The Lions lost to the Green Bay Packers last Thanksgiving - a game most notable for Ndamukong Suh’s stomp of an offensive lineman that ended up earning him a two-game suspension. Suh and company rank in the top 10 in the league defensively as far as yardage is concerned but sit in the bottom third in scoring defense, thanks in part to an offense that has left it in bad position with turnovers. The Lions can’t afford to do that against the Texans, who broke out for 43 points on Sunday and have yet to lose on the road.

TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Texans -3.5, O/U 49

ABOUT THE TEXANS (9-1): After winning two straight ugly games with its defense, Houston lit it up offensively on Sunday, totaling 640 yards. Matt Schaub passed for a career-high 527 yards and five touchdowns and Andre Johnson broke out of a slump in a big way with 273 yards and a TD on 14 receptions. The Texans had held their previous three opponents to 13 points or less and are entering the most difficult stretch of the schedule. Houston will play its next three games on the road, with trips to Tennessee and New England coming after Detroit. The Texans struggled in pass coverage against Jaguars backup Chad Henne on Sunday and will have to get that fixed before facing the Lions, who lead the league in passing offense.

ABOUT THE LIONS (4-6): Passing is the one thing the offense has done consistently well this season, though quarterback Matt Stafford has only 12 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Stafford and Calvin Johnson have been able to pile up the yardage but have struggled in the red zone. The Lions had to settle for two field goals inside the 10-yard line and Stafford had a pass intercepted in the end zone in Sunday’s 24-20 home loss to the Packers. Johnson caught the lone touchdown pass in that contest but, like Stafford, he also lost a fumble. Detroit might have to run the table to make the playoffs for a second straight season, and a schedule that includes Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Green Bay over the last six games makes that a difficult proposition


1. Lions OT Jeff Backus left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and is questionable for Thursday. He has started 186 straight games.

2. Schaub’s 527-yard performance tied for the second-biggest passing day in NFL history. Norm Van Brocklin has held the record of 554 yards since Sept. 28, 1951.

3. Texans RB Arian Foster lost a fumble for the first time this season against the Jaguars.

PREDICTION: Texans 35, Lions 24

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Ford Field
Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Capacity: 65,000

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Houston Texans at Detroit Lions

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Last Injuries

Detroit Lions

  • C.J. Moore

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Moore was held out of the last game due to a calf injury, and it is uncertain if he will be active Sunday versus the Saints.

  • Desmond Trufant

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Trufant has sat out the previous two games with a hamstring injury, and it is unknown if he will draw back into the lineup Sunday against the Saints.

  • Hunter Bryant

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Bryant has missed the past three game due to a hamstring injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut against the Saints on Sunday.

  • Nick Williams

    Prob Sun | probable

    Williams was held out of the last game due to a shoulder injury, but he is projected to be in the lineup Sunday versus the Cardinals.

  • Halapoulivaati Vaitai

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Vaitai has missed the past two games with a foot injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be on the field against the Cardinals on Sunday.

  • Kenny Golladay

    Prob Sun | probable

    Golladay has been unavailable for the previous two games due to a hamstring injury, but he is expected to make his season debut Sunday against the Cardinals.

  • Joe Dahl

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Dahl has wound up on the injured reserve list due to a groin injury, and there is no indication when he will return to the fold.

  • Jason Cabinda

    Prob Sun | probable

    Cabinda is dealing with an ankle injury, but he is likely to be available against the Packers on Sunday.

Houston Texans

  • A.J. Moore Jr.

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Moore has been placed on the injured reserve list with a left hamstring injury, and it is uncertain when he will be activated.

  • Peter Kalambayi

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Kalambayi has been held out of the previous two games due to a hamstring injury, and it is uncertain if he will take the field Sunday versus the Vikings.

  • Duke Johnson

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Johnson has missed the last two games with a sprained ankle, and he it is unclear if he will be ready for Sunday's matchup against the Vikings.

  • Jonathan Greenard

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Greenard has sat out the past three games due to an ankle injury, and it is unknown if he will suit up against the Vikings on Sunday.

  • Zach Cunningham

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Cunningham exited the last game due to a leg injury, and it is unclear if he will play Sunday against the Vikings.

  • Laremy Tunsil

    Prob Sun | probable

    Tunsil is dealing with an elbow injury, but he is projected to line up against the Steelers on Sunday.

  • J.J. Watt

    Prob Sun | probable

    Watt has a groin injury, but he is likely to face the Steelers on Sunday.

  • Kenny Stills

    Prob Sun | probable

    Stills is suffering from an unspecified illness, but he is expected to take the field against the Steelers on Sunday.