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Texans players excited for team's Thanksgiving debut


The Houston Texans face off against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field this week in the franchise's first-ever Thanksgiving Day game.

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson views the matchup as another chance to show the world what Texans football is all about.

"It's something you probably dream about as a kid, playing in a game on Thanksgiving," Johnson said. "It will be a great opportunity for us, and we're going to try to make the best of it."

For most Texans players, showcasing their skills in the national spotlight on Turkey Day will be a first.

"I'm really excited about it," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "Every Thanksgiving back home, I eat with my family, my extended family. We watch the game together, go out on the front yard and play Turkey Bowl, so really excited to be actually playing in the game and knowing that all my family back home is going to be watching. It's going to be really cool. I'm really excited about it and looking forward to the chance."

Left tackle Duane Brown is also relishing the chance to make his Thanksgiving debut.

"Growing up, we always sit with the family, eat food and watch some games," Brown said. "It's my first chance to do that. Being from Virginia, our game is going to be televised out there, so a lot of my family and friends will be able to tune in."

The Texans (9-1) are coming off a 43-37 overtime victory over Jacksonville where Johnson and quarterback Matt Schaub set franchise records in receiving yards and passing yards, respectively.

"To go out and play on Thanksgiving Day, that's a pretty cool deal," said Schaub, the Week 11 AFC Offensive Player of the Week. "Everyone growing up on Thanksgiving, that's what you did. You watched football and you ate turkey. That's kind of what it was all about."

The matchup, which will be broadcast on CBS at 11:30 a.m., is one of five nationally televised Texans games for the 2012 season. The attention and hype around this year's squad is apparent, as only one game was televised on a national stage last season.

"It's fun," Johnson said. "A lot of people, this year, they get a chance to see what we're about and what type of team we have, and we just try to make the best of those opportunities when we play on primetime."

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