Fri, 22 Jan 2021

Mike OHara

Lions-Texans Burning Questions: The Texans pulling away from the Lions' early lead, the Lions' offense getting stuck in neutral while losing trends continue in a 41-25 loss in the annual Thanksgiving Day game:

Question: In spite of everything - including an interception return for a touchdown by Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt - the Lions had a 14-13 lead in the second quarter when the Texans took over. What changed the game so much in Houston's favor?

Answer: It was like the warmups were over and the real game had begun. And there was nothing new to it. We've seen it all season. The Texans did what other teams have done to the Lions. They got on a roll, and the Lions could not stop them.

The Texans had a 24-13 lead before the first half ended, and they continued to extend it until the lead got to 41-17 in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.

That represented a 28-3 rally for the Texans.

The bottom line: It was no fluke. The Texans played better than the Lions.

Question: How much did the offense contribute to the loss?

Answer: The defense obviously wasn't blameless. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson threw four touchdown passes. But the offense was a bigger part of the problem than a part of the solution.

The Lions committed three turnovers in eight plays on three straight possessions in the first half. The Texans had a fumble of their own in that series of misplays, but they managed to convert two of the turnovers into 10 points - the touchdown return by Watt and a field goal.

"We turned the football over three straight possessions," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "We put the defense in a bad position."

There wasn't much else to say.

Question: What stood out in the loss that has been part of the trends that have sunk the Lions' won-loss record to 4-7?

Answer: One is not being able to win home games. The Lions are 1-4 at home this year.

They've lost to teams with losing records - like last week's loss to a Panthers team that had lost five straight games.

The Texans looked great Thursday, but they were 3-7 going into the game and two of their wins were over a Jacksonville team that is 1-9.

And add to that the fact that the Lions have lost four straight games on Thanksgiving Day.

There isn't any holiday cheer in any of those stats.

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