NFL Thursday Preview: Houston Texans at Detroit Lions

NFL Nov 25, 2020

The Detroit Lions take on the Houston Texans in what's likely to be an exciting early Thanksgiving Day match-up.  Currently, the Texans lead the all-time series by a 3-1 margin.  In their last game, Houston beat Detroit 20-13, played on October 30, 2016.

Texans stun Patriots in last time out

In their last game, the Texans beat the Patriots a 27-20. Deshaun Watson tore up the Patriots’ defence, going 28-of-37 on the afternoon, throwing for 344 yards and two touchdowns. He also proved to be extremely effective on the ground, carrying the ball six times for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Through the air, Texans had a plethora of weapons. Brandin Cooks led all Houston receivers with four catches for 85 yards. Tight end Jordan Akins also recorded five catches for 83 yards. It was a very complete afternoon for a Texans team looking to  pull off the upset.

Lions fail to roar in shutout by Carolina Panthers

In the meantime, the Detroit Lions were shut out by the Carolina Panthers 20-0. There was not a lot of good news for the Lions in this one, as Matt Stafford struggled. He went 18-of-33 on the afternoon, throwing for 178 yards. In the meantime, Adrian Peterson did not get much done on the ground, carrying the ball seven times for 18 yards.

Tight end TJ Hockenson  managed to offer some production through the air, as he recorded four catches for 68 yards.

Detroit will win this game if….

Detroit will win this game if they can contain Deshaun Watson. Watson has been on fire as of late, recording 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last five games. He can do it all,  as he can scramble out of the pocket, make defenders miss, and also use his arm to get the ball downfield quickly. He is a matchup nightmare defensively. The Lions can win this game if they can contain him, but it will not be an easy task.

Houston will win this game if….

Houston will win this game if they get the ball their playmakers. On Sunday, it was Cooks and Akins who got the job done. They need to continue to spread the ball around.

Again, it comes down to Watson making the proper throws to his receivers. If they can balance the passing attack with their run game, that will be too much for the Lions handle. For reference, Houston has a competent rusher in Duke Johnson. Although he recorded only 15 yards against New England last week, I could see that changing and him making a big impact

Decision Time:

As for the spread, Houston is the favourite at -2.5. I feel comfortable taking Houston in this game.  Although their record may not indicate it, they have been playing better football as of late.  The Lions in the meantime have been struggling.
Those two factors allow for Houston to be able to win this game.  Houston does have a ton of weapons at their disposal, and it should be too much for the Lions to handle.  Feel comfortable betting Houston in this one.

Pick:  Houston -2.5

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