Lions lose to Texans: 10 Observations from Thanksgiving

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions
Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

4. Another positive: A.D. and Kerryon Johnson both played well for the first time in a while

With 55 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, Adrian Peterson had his best game since Week One. With 98 yards from scrimmage, Kerryon Johnson played probably his best game since the end of September 2019 (if you take out his fumble during the tsunami of turnovers in the first half).

Houston’s defense was perhaps the league’s worst going into the game, and both backs made solid contributions as D’Andre Swift was sidelined for the second straight game. The opening drive of the second half, with ten consecutive runs, was one of the best sustained drives we’ve seen from the Lions in a long time, and it was a big momentum killer that it only led to three points (more on that below).

5. Darrell Bevell showed an extremely poor sense of the moment with the 3rd quarter trick play call

Here’s a joke so bad that it belongs on the bottom of a Popsicle stick:

Q- What call did Darrell Bevell make to finish a dominating drive of ten straight runs between the tackles for six yards a pop?

A- A reverse around the end, developing into a deep bomb across the field, with Jamal Agnew trying to throw and Matthew Stafford trying to catch.

6. Same goes for the run calls to Jonathan Williams and Jason Cabinda

With Peterson and Johnson producing for most of the day, why exactly was Thursday’s game the proper time to get the ball to some new faces? Both Williams and Cabinda got one carry, and each ended in disaster.

Williams fumbled while hurdling a defender on his first carry of the season. Cabinda was stuffed for no gain on a fourth and one, also his first carry of the season. I’m normally a supporter of Bevell and felt that he made the most of what he had a year ago, but again this speaks to a poor sense in terms of play calling yesterday.

And just so we’re clear…

7. Any trick play that involves two defenders getting a free shot to rock Matthew Stafford is not a good trick play

Neither was the desperate move to throw the challenge flag on what was obviously a dropped pass, both in real time and slow motion. In case you didn’t notice, the Texans’ trick play, which was ran more out of mockery than anything, got a slightly different result and kept their franchise QB out of harm’s way.