DETROIT – The Texans played almost 10 quarters of football in a five-day span. They emerged with two victories and a 10-1 record.
Less than 96 hours after beating the Jacksonville Jaguars in overtime at Reliant Stadium, the Texans outlasted the Detroit Lions in a Thanksgiving Day thriller at Ford Field. Kicker
“It looked a lot like last week, but this group refuses to go down,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “I’m very proud of their effort. I don’t know that I’ve ever been a part of playing that much football in such a short period of time, so tremendous job.
“This football team just believes, it keeps battling, and good things tend to happen to it.”
Both teams turned the ball over once and missed field goals in overtime after the game had gone to sudden death. Graham missed wide left from 51 yards with 9:43 remaining in the extra period. Lions kicker Jason Hanson was no good off the right upright from 47 yards with 4:35 remaining. Two minutes later, Graham rebounded with the fifth game-winner of his career.
“When you have about 15 monkeys on your back and you get ‘em all off at once, it’s a pretty good feeling,” said Graham, who missed a 47-yarder at the end of regulation against Jacksonville. “No matter what happened earlier in the overtime period or anything, all I wanted was another chance. It felt good to get it, and then it felt really good to convert it.”
Texans wide receiver
The Texans sent the game to overtime with a 15-play, 97-yard scoring drive in the closing minutes.
It was the second consecutive game in which the Texans scored a touchdown in the final two minutes to force overtime.
“We’ve been doing it all year,” said Foster, who had 102 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. “We believe. We keep fighting. We have great leadership, and when players keep showing resiliency, man, good things happen… There’s something special about this team.”
“A rule’s a rule,” Kubiak said. “I know one thing, you’ve got to keep your flag tucked in your pocket. That’s all I know.”
Playing without Pro Bowl cornerback
Just like on Sunday against Jacksonville, the Texans’ defense struggled early but stepped up in crunch time. They allowed just 10 points on nine possessions after halftime. The Lions crossed midfield on each of their final six drives and came away with zero points.
“Ten quarters in five days is draining, physically and mentally, but our team persevered,” Watt said. “There were a lot of obstacles, a lot of times teams when people could’ve counted us out, (when) people could’ve said, ‘Hey, it’s just not their day.’ But we found a way to make it work… (I) couldn’t be prouder of our team. Couldn’t be more thankful to be on this squad.”
On the first play of overtime, Stafford completed a 40-yard pass to Ryan Broyles to the Houston 40-yard line. The Lions then gained eight yards on a catch by tight end Brandon Pettigrew, which would have put Hanson comfortably in field goal range, but safety
Graham missed his 51-yard attempt on the next drive, giving the Lions the ball at their own 41-yard line. Stafford completed a 14-yard pass to tight end Tony Scheffler two plays later to the Houston 45, but the Texans did not allow another yard from there before forcing a punt.
Five plays later, Schaub was picked off at the Houston 43 by cornerback Chris Houston, who returned the ball to the 41. Scheffler caught a 14-yard pass to the 28. From there, nose tackle
Hanson’s miss kept the Texans alive, and they won the game six plays later. Schaub completed passes of 15 yards to fullback
The Texans played without Joseph, nose tackle
Watt said Kubiak gave everyone on the team a game ball in the postgame locker room.
“It took everybody,” Watt said. “All the scout team guys preparing us in the short week, all the coaches, all the players. Every single person on this team contributed to these two victories.”