Two overtime turnovers, two missed field goals, and what is likely to be the most controversial ruling of the year defined the 34 – 31 overtime win of the Houston Texans over the Detroit Lions.
The game started on the right foot for the Lions when they managed to get a Leshoure rushing touchdown on the opening drive. It gave the Lions an early lead that helped set the pace of the game. In fact the Lions were leading or tied until the very last play of the game.
After the opening touchdown, the pace of the game slowed considerably. Both team went 3 and out multiple drives in a row until the Texans picked up the pace in the second quarter. Arian Foster was able to run the ball in for a 6-yard touchdown after an early period drive. Detroit and Houston proceeded to trade touchdowns until the end of the first half.
The second half is when the game started to get really exciting. Jason Hanson kicked a 46-yard field goal to give Detroit a 10 point lead. That didn’t last long though, as Houston scored a touchdown less than a minute later. That touchdown, an 81-yard run by Justin Forsett proved to be the most controversial play of the game.
Forsett, after running the ball approximately 7 yards, was downed by contact. Replays of the play clearly show both his knee and elbow touching the turf. The referees never whistled the play dead, and Forsett, despite the fact that he certainly knew he was down, continued running the ball. He proceeded to run nearly untouched to the end zone as the confused Detroit players obviously assumed the play was dead.
Since it was a scoring play, the entire play was required to be reviewed. But Detroit coach Jim Schwartz was so upset that he threw his challenge flag. Throwing the challenge flag on a scoring play is illegal and that mistake caused the miscalled play to stand.
That controversy was just enough to swing the momentum of the game. The Texans tied the game up and then each team scored a touchdown in the 4th quarter.
If the game wasn’t already one for the history books, overtime made sure it will never be forgotten. The sure handed Brandon Pettigrew, one of the stars of the game up to that point, fumbled after a reception in Houston territory. That fumble let Houston drive the ball into field goal range. And just when the game seemed over, Shayne Graham missed a 51-yard field goal.
Then, two drives later, Matt Schaub threw his only interception of the game. That interception let the Lions move the ball into field goal range. Then, unbelievably, Jason Hanson missed a 47-yard field goal.
That proved to be opportunity the Texans needed to seal the deal. After three completions, the Texans brought Graham out on second down and let him kick a 32-yard field goal to end one of the tightest games in Thanksgiving football history.