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Three and Out: Texans-Lions Thanksgiving Predictions

The BRB staff gathers to predict the Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions.

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Houston Texans v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Buckle up (unless you’re Whitney Mercilus, in which case you’re not going fast enough to necessitate this step) and prepare your bodies for football and a massive food intake. Enjoy the game, enjoy time with your families, and enjoy easily being able to run down Whitney Mercilus even after you’ve eaten an entire turkey on your own. Try not to forget what’s important right now. Treat Thanksgiving like Whitney Mercilus treats running sideline to sideline: Take your time, take as many breaks as you need, pace yourself, and you’ll get to the end when you get there - or maybe not! If you need a nap, take one. It’s all good!

Oh, and yeah, your 3-7 Houston Texans will take on the 4-6 Detroit Lions in the NFL’s first game of a tripleheader on Thanksgiving Day. The last time these two met on Thanksgiving, of course, we were given the joy of Justin Forsett’s 81-yard touchdown run that should not have been, but gloriously was.

Go eat everything, Whitney-waddle to your favorite chair, and watch the carnage! Let’s see how the BRB staff sees this one shaping up...

Matt Weston: Texans 27, Lions 26.

There can’t be a person living in Detroit who likes Thanksgiving. It’s cold. It’s gray. I saw “True Romance.” I know what life is like up there. The only break from bleakness are Sunday Lions games, which ruin every week, but Sunday isn’t enough for them. It has to continue to Turkey Day as well because of a decision made back during the Great Depression to make sure the 1930s are remembered in a metaphorical sense by watching a bad football team play with silver helmets missing decals.

The Lions aren’t good at anything. They can throw the ball when Kenny Golladay is healthy. Their run game is upsetting because there’s way too much Adrian Peterson despite the fact that he’s the third best back on the team. They spent this past offseason going all in to get BIG and STRONG to stop the run this offseason, yet they have one of the worst run defenses in the league. Jeff Okudah can tackle, but he can’t cover. It’s all just a mess, man. Behind it all is that great trashcan grouch, the rocket man, another jet of goop that ran down Bill Belichick’s leg.

This would be a good game to run the ball if Houston could run the ball, but they can’t. If they let Deshaun Watson be Deshaun Watson and throw the ball 40 times, they’ll beat the Lions. As bad as Houston’s defense is, that efficiency alone can carry them. Texans-Lions is going to be bad, dumb, and hilarious. It may even rise above the Justin Forsett’s leg down, challenge flag failure/Alan Ball versus Calvin Johnson game.

Chris: Texans 30, Lions 27.

I don’t know anymore. The Texans stopped the Patriots’ vaunted rushing attack, and Houston had success when they just let Deshaun sling it (what a shock; who could have seen that coming other than EVERYONE OUTSIDE NRG STADIUM?? Oh, and Keke Coutee played and had success?? YOU DON’T SAY?? WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT???).

Will the Texans go back to being their typical dumb selves, with dumb coaching, dumb game-planning, dumb decisions that hold some players out and play others, etc.? Who knows? I just think the Lions are slightly more bad than the Texans, but I’ve been accused of being slow.

Not as slow as Whitney Mercilus, but slow.

l4blitzer: Texans 31, Lions 27.

This is a hard one to figure. The Texans’ defense, in spite of their second-half performance against New England, is far too porous and inconsistent to be even close to reliable. The Texans’ running game consists of whatever Deshaun Watson can get on scrambles and the lucky one or two runs a game the Texans get from their running backs (“lucky” = greater than 2.5 yards). If the Texans were even close to mediocre in the running game or on defense, I would not hesitate to pick the Texans.

However, while the Lions should be able to move the ball against our defense, they come into this game almost as bad on defense and in the running game as the Texans. Additionally, the coach for the Lions is all but a dead man walking. Say what you will about BO’B and his coaching (and we have), but coming into this season, if BO’B was still on the sidelines, Matt Patricia is perhaps the one peer O’Brien could actually outcoach. In the battle of ex-Patriot-DCs-as-HCs, give me Romeo Crennel any time, any place. While there are reports that Patricia has tried to modify his style, the on-field results have not panned out. Barring some sort of Wayne Fontes-style late season surge, Patricia might want to update his resume. Like, really soon.

In a game that may not be quality, but compelling, I will take Watson over Matt Stafford in a passing duel where somehow, the Texans will make just one more defensive play, just one better run, and just one less derp than the Lions.

bfMFd: Texans 34, Lions 31.

Now that the Cleveland Browns are playoff bound, this game pits two of the three worst franchises in the NFL against each other (the Jets being the other). This seems totally apropos for 2020, and being televised at lunch time makes it that much worse. I sincerely hope your Thanksgiving meal doesn’t go all “Stand By Me,” but you should probably keep some garbage cans and towels around just in case.

As for the game? I mean, who really cares at this point, aside from marveling about the wizardry and sheer beauty of Deshaun Watson? The rest of the game, especially when we’re on defense, should be completely ignored like pumpkin pie.

The only thing that will be worse than watching this game is seeing yet another picture of Big Matt’s burned turkey queso abomination.

Ugh, I’m gonna hurl.

Carlos: Texans 31, Lions 24.

Deshaun Watson will account for 100 percent of our yards this week. Not really, but it’ll feel like it. I think that Houston’s offense will struggle on early downs, mainly due to our inability to stop CHUMing. Watson will then have to play hero ball, which will at least provide us some entertainment.

The defense will struggle, but hopefully Anthony Weaver will keep up the pressure that we saw late in the Patriots game. Jonathan Greenard and Jacob Martin should hopefully continue to make their case for more playing time.

Get Philip Gaines off the field. Please.

This one should be back and forth, but we’ll be seeing a lot of ineptitude. The difference is that with nothing to lose, these goofs should be more funny than painful.

Mike: Texans 34, Lions 27.

Finally Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans’ travelling road show of fleet-footed receivers will face a pass defense worse than their own. The Detroit Lions are currently surrendering 258.4 yards per game through the air, while Justin Reid’s Houston defense is six yards better at 252.4. In a game of inches, I’ll take six yards for the win.

If Matthew Stafford’s Lions manage to get up on Houston early, it might be a tough go of it for the Texans, as they have no real run game, either offensively or defensively, with their run D showing up much worse than Detroit’s. The aging warrior, Adrian Peterson, might have a bone to pick with the Texans since he wanted to be one years ago when he first hit the free agent market.

In the end, Matthew Stafford is no Deshaun Watson, who currently ranks sixth among active QBs on ProFootballFocus, with Stafford landing at #18. Expect Watson to do Watson things and the Lions to do Detroit on Thanksgiving things (i.e., they lose more often than not). Watson gives Houston fans something to be thankful for, while Dolphin fans watch their Top 10 draft pick slide once again.

Tim: Texans 27, Lions 24.

The Lions’ defense is as bad as Houston’s, which is really saying something. The Texans and Lions should agree just to take their defenses off the field and see how quickly each offense can score against air.

I know, that’s mean. The Texans are coming off back-to-back, dare I say it, relatively good defensive performances against the Patriots and Browns. They should be able to make it a third respectable showing against a nicked-up Detroit offense.

On the other side of the ball, Houston’s offense boasts Deshaun Watson, who would be a legitimate MVP candidate if the Texans weren’t 3-7. DW4’s necromancy should be the difference tomorrow as the Texans emerge with their fourth victory of the campaign and I consume an unhealthy amount of whiskey before 3 p.m. Happy Thanksgiving!

Feel free to use the comments to predict the game. Above all else, enjoy this time with family, friends, and your beloved Houston Texans.