Week 12 Preview: Houston Texans vs. Detroit Lions

Week 12 Preview: Houston Texans vs. Detroit Lions

by November 26, 2020 0 comments

The Houston Texans will spend their holiday in Detroit, MI as they face the Lions in the latter’s traditional Thanksgiving Day game, kicking off Week 12 of the NFL. The Lions’ tradition dates back to 1934 when the owner decided to play on the holiday to attract more fans, and it was an immediate success.

Detroit’s record on Thanksgiving Day games is 37-41-2 and they enter this week with a 4-6 record on the season after being shutout by the Carolina Panthers last week.

The Texans won their third game of the season last week against the New England Patriots and come into this week with a 3-7 record. Houston leads the all-time series against the Lions 3-1, including the last three in a row. The teams have not met since 2016 and the last time they faced off in Detroit was on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. The visitors defeated the Lions 34-31 in overtime.

Houston Texans

Offense

Thus far in 2020, Deshaun Watson has completed 233 of 338 passes for 2,883 yards, 20 touchdowns, and five interceptions (a 108.6 rating). In addition, he has 54 carries for 269 yards and two rushing touchdowns. During last week’s game against the Patriots, Watson completed 28 of 37 passes for 344 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 121.9 rating and put a rushing touchdown on the books, as well. In his last five games, Watson has tossed 12 touchdowns versus no interceptions and has seven touchdowns with zero interceptions in his last three games on the road. In two career games against an NFC North opponent, the quarterback has accounted for 609 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions for a 112.6 rating.

Duke Johnson leads his team in rushing even though he has missed the last two games. He has 103 carries for 408 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson has played against the Lions once in his career while with the Cleveland Browns. In that game, he posted 88 scrimmage yards and has five or more catches in two of his last three games against NFC North opponents.

Will Fuller put six catches for 80 yards on the books in Week 11 and is going for his fourth game in a row with five or more receptions, while Brandin Cooks had four receptions for 85 yards last week and has posted a touchdown catch in two of his last three road games.

With Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills sidelined by injury this week, the Texans will lean on Keke Coutee who had his first touchdown catch of the season against the Patriots, and Jordan Akins who put 5 catches for his season-high 83 yards on the books last week.

Defense

Zach Cunningham leads the Texans with 101 total tackles and has also recorded three sacks, four-and-a-half tackles for loss, and one pass deflection on the season. He recorded nine tackles last week and leads the NFL in that category.

J.J. Watt had a career-high four pass deflections against the Patriots in addition to a tackle for loss. He has posted a sack in the last two of three games and leads his team with four sacks. During the last Thanksgiving Day game between the teams, Watt posted three sacks and two pass deflections.

Jonathan Greenard had his first career sack in Week 11 and Justin Reid recorded nine tackles, three tackles for loss, and his first sack of the season. Bradley Roby put up five tackles including a tackle for loss and a pass deflection last week. Roby and Vernon Hargreaves each have one interception on the books so far this season.

Detroit Lions

Offense

Starting quarterback Matthew Stafford has 2,705 passing yards in nine career games on Thanksgiving, the most in NFL history. He has put up 17 touchdown passes on Thanksgiving and only needs two more to pass Tony Romo for the most touchdowns on the holiday. In the last six of seven games at home Stafford has three or more touchdowns passes and is going for his fourth in a row at home with 3 or more touchdown passes and a 90-plus rating.

D’Andre Swift is one of two rookies (James Robinson) with four or more rushing touchdowns and two or more receiving touchdowns this season. In three of his last four home games, Swift has put a touchdown on the books. Adrian Peterson leads the team with 104 rushes for 389 yards and has two touchdowns on the ground this season. In his last game versus the Lions (with Washington) he had two rushing touchdowns.

Kenny Golladay has 100-plus receiving yards in two of his last three games and recorded four catches for 158 yards and a receiving touchdown on Thanksgiving Day in 2019, but will miss another game for Detroit this week. Marvin Jones has four receiving touchdowns in the last four games he played in and is going for his third year in a row with a receiving touchdown on Thanksgiving.

T.J. Hockenson had four catches for a team-high 68 receiving yards last week against Carolina and is the only tight end in the NFC with 40 or more receptions and 400 or more receiving yards this season.

Defense

Jamie Collins leads his team with 77 total tackles in addition to also posting one sack, four-and-a-half tackles for loss, an interception, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery. Collins led the Lions against the Panthers with nine tackles and added a pass deflection. He is aiming for his fifth game in a row with eight or more tackles.

Romeo Okwara has four sacks in his last five games and leads the Lions with six sacks for the season. He is looking for his fourth home game in a row with at least one sack recorded. John Penisini had his first career sack last week and has two tackles for loss this season.

Desmond Trufant put two pass deflections and his first interception of the year (the 14th of his career) in the books last week against Carolina. In two career games against Houston, Trufant has four pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, returning one for a touchdown.

Game Info

Date: November 26, 2020

Start Time: 12:30 P.M. EST

Location: Detroit, MI

Stadium: Ford Field

TV Info: CBS

Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook

Point Spread: HOU -3 (-110) | DET +3 (-110)

Moneyline: HOU -180 | DET +145

Over/Under: O 51 (-110) | U 51 (-110)

These teams have had trouble with consistency from week to week this season and neither is predictable. If anything, it is the exact opposite. There are several scenarios in which the over could occur, but the under is the safe play for your money if you are betting this one. 

Prediction

This will probably be a close game, but not a high-scoring affair. The Texans’ offensive line is battered. However, if Cunningham and Watt can stifle the Lions offensive line they can definitely pull off the win. This week, Houston will need to bring their A-game on both sides of the ball in order to secure the victory. Both teams should have equal motivation to secure the victory since each have losing seasons to this point, but it will be the Texans who improve their record on Thursday.

Final Score:  Houston Texans 17, Detroit Lions 10

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Main Image Credit: 

Embed from Getty Images

 

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