NFL Thanksgiving Day: Shayne Graham gives Houston Texans overtime win over Detroit Lions
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 22/11/12 11:04pm
The Houston Texans won their second overtime game inside a week as they spoilt Detroit's Thanksgiving Day party with an incredible 34-31 victory at Ford Field.
A breathtaking game saw over 1,000 yards of offence and eight touchdowns between the teams, but there was also a controversial touchdown run and two missed field goals in overtime as the drama just kept coming.
After missing from 51 yards, Shayne Graham connected with a 32-yard field goal to move the Texans onto 10-1, but only after Jason Hanson had hit the post with a field goal attempt that would have given Detroit a fine victory.
Having not won their traditional Thanksgiving Day game in eight years, Detroit came out firing and capped an 80-yard opening drive with a two-yard run from Kiel Leshoure - as Houston conceded their first rushing touchdown of the season.
The Texans got back into it though with Arian Foster running in for his 13th touchdown of the season, but the Lions were not to be subdued that easily and new recruit Mike Thomas caught his first TD pass for them halfway through the second quarter.
Calvin Johnson looked unplayable at times
Tight end Owen Daniels levelled at 14-14 for Houston but again Detroit edged in front as Andre Johnson and Matt Stafford started to get into a groove as they connected for a 22-yard score for a seven-point half-time lead.
Hanson booted Detroit into a ten-point lead in the third quarter and suddenly Houston's hard overtime game against Jacksonville looked like taking its toll, until they received a huge stroke of luck to get back into the game.
Justin Forsett looked like he was down before scampering 81 yards for a touchdown, with several players stopping and Lions coach Schwartz instantly throwing the red challenge flag and replays clearly showing the runner was indeed down.
However, Schwartz's challenge itself was illegal and meant by a quirk of the rules that the play could not be reviewed, as it would have been anyway without the challenge, and Forsett's Houston team record TD run stood.
Joique Bell produced two defiant runs though, looking spurred on by the injustice, to scamper over from 22 yards, and after regaining the lead Detroit then backed Houston up to their own three yard line late in the game.
After a few struggling series, Matt Schaub the Texans showed their mettle with a season's best 97-yard drive capped with Foster's second score of the game and that ensured it went to overtime.
Even then the drama was not over, as Graham missed from 51 yards with Houston's first chance to win the game - and in fact their first attempt at going ahead in the game after always being behind.
The Lions punted before the aptly-named Chris Houston picked off Schaub to give Detroit superb field position, but this time Hanson's kick just drifted to the right and smashed into the right-hand upright.
Arian Foster moved beyond the 100-yard rushing mark for the sixth straight road game in a row, and a superb catch from Johnson set-up a much more manageable 32-yarder for Hanson - who made amends for his earlier miss by finally ending a pulsating game.
The punch-drunk Texans staggered over the line to back-to-back overtime wins coming in the space of just five days, and they will be feeling the effects of those two games after moving to 5-0 away from home and 10-1 for the season.
Schaub passed for 315 yards, one touchdown and one interception, with Houston's offence balanced out with 205 rushing yards - 102 of them from Foster and 87 from Forsett including that controversial score.
Stafford had another great stat line with 441 yards and two TDs while Calvin Johnson looked almost unplayable at times with 140 yards and a score - although again it was not enough to get the win from a close game as Detroit's faint play-off hopes looked to have been extinguished.