Nine times? Well, if Detroit wants to avoid their ninth straight Thanksgiving Day home defeat, they will have to do it by pulling the upset of the nine win Houston Texans, who make their first ever Turkey Day appearance.
It’s really hard to lose eight home games in a row at any point, and the fact that Detroit has done it on Thanksgiving is remarkable. I know they weren’t the ideal franchise during much of that stretch, but most teams luck into a win somewhere. Instead, they have been dominated, with the average score being 36-14 over that span.
If Detroit hopes to win today, it will be dependent on the defense slowing down the Texans. Houston has one of the best ground games in the league with Arian Foster, and last week, they showcased a passing game with Andre Johnson coming to life to rally to beat Jacksonville.
Ndamukong Suh is now a year removed from the infamous stomp incident. Last week, first round pick Nick Fairley stepped up with a huge game where he was a constant disruption. Those two and the rest of the defensive line will need a similar result this week.
The other key will be keeping Matt Stafford upright, and then him delivering passes on target. Calvin Johnson will have opportunities to make plays if Stafford has time, but against Houston, that’s always a concern. That is made doubly difficult with long time left tackle Jeff Backus potentially missing the game with a hamstring injury.
Titus Young (Sr.) is out today for his less than mature play. Detroit needs someone else to emerge, perhaps Ryan Broyles, to provide another option to Johnson. Pettigrew may also be a key, as last week the Jaguars were able to utilize Marcedes Lewis down the middle in the red zone.
[photo via US Presswire]