The Houston Texans improved to 10-1 on the heels of a second straight week playing, and winning, a game in overtime. Fans once again saw the Texans climb back from a late deficit to force the overtime. Both teams played excellent football and gave fans an exciting back and forth contest. But in the end, this Thanksgiving Day game will always be remembered for the challenge play that wasn’t.
RB Justin Forsett’s 81-yard touchdown run in the third quarter shouldn’t have counted. On replay, his knee and elbow were clearly down. The refs automatically review all scoring plays, so a change in the call on the field was inevitable. That was until Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz threw his red challenge flag, a clear violation in league rules that results not only in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty, but also negates the ability to challenge the play at all.
Forsett’s TD would stand and the Texans would pull to within three points. It was a critical moment in the game because the Texans were down ten and had lost all momentum. The play was unequivocally the turning point in the game, reenergizing the Texans while deflating the Lions.
Detroit would bounce back in the fourth, scoring a touchdown that carried a seven point lead down to the two-minute warning. But RB Arian Foster’s 1 yard TD run, his second of the game, tied the score and sent the game to overtime following a Jason Hanson missed field goal at the end of regulation.
After a back and forth overtime period, Shayne Graham eventually kicked the game winning 32-yard field goal with 2:21 seconds left in the overtime, sealing the Texans victory.
Offensively, WR Andre Johnson was once again brilliant, hauling in nine catches for 188 yards. His back-to-back week total receiving yardage reached 461, a new NFL record. QB Matt Schaub was efficient, particularly on third downs, finishing the game 29 of 48 for 315 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Foster paced the Texans ground game, finishing with 102 yards and a pair of scores to go with Forsett’s 87 yards and one touchdown.
There weren’t as many bright spots on a Texans defense that gave up 31 points and 525 yards of total offense, but once again DE J.J. Watt stood out. Watt finished with a career high 3.0 sacks to go along with another two pass deflections. Otherwise, it was a fairly quiet day defensively as the unit did not force any turnovers and nobody other than Watt recorded a sack.
Now at 10-1, the Texans will get some extra time off to rest and prepare to visit Tennessee to take on the Titans a week from Sunday.
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