Detroit Lions plagued by mistakes vs. Houston Texans

Jason Hanson stepped up for a 47-yard field-goal attempt that would have ended the Detroit Lions' near-decade-long run of Thanksgiving Day futility.

It would have been one of the signature moments of Hanson's 21-year NFL career, and for a moment, it looked like he gave Lions fans one great memory from this disappointing season. Then the ball hit the right upright and careened left. For a moment, no one in America or Detroit was sure if the Lions had won the game. The ball bounced forward and hit the turf. No good.

Sadly, that's what it's like to be a Lions fan.

The Lions' 34-31 loss to the Houston Texans was memorable for so many reasons. Lions coach Jim Schwartz essentially gave away seven points because he doesn't know the rules, challenging Justin Forsett's 81-yard touchdown run and ultimately preventing the play from being reviewed.

"I overreacted, and it cost us," Schwartz said afterward. 

That wasn't the only misstep by the Lions. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had another controversial, potentially dirty play. Both Schwartz and Texans coach Gary Kubiak played far too conservatively in overtime, trying to set up long field-goal attempts instead of going for the win.

Ultimately, we'll remember this as the game that killed any tiny hope the Lions, now 4-7, had left for this season. It was such a fitting loss because Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and defensive tackle Nick Fairley all showed Detroit's massive potential. The Lions crossed the 50-yard line on their last six possessions and didn't score a point. But bad luck, poor discipline and a weak running game didn't allow Detroit to hold on to a lead.

On NFL Network
Watch an encore of the Houston Texans' 34-31 Thanksgiving win over the Detroit Lions on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. ET.

The Texans are 10-1 and continue to live a charmed life. That's two consecutive overtime wins against sub-standard competition.

The Texans might have big problems on defense right now, but they're getting all sorts of breaks. That mojo just might be enough to make Houston the No. 1 seed in the AFC tournament.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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