Aided by bogus TD, Texans defeat Lions

Houston Texans running back Justin Forsett breaks for

Houston Texans running back Justin Forsett breaks for an 81-yard touchdown run. (Nov. 22, 2012) (Credit: AP)

DETROIT -- Jim Schwartz held the challenge flag, certain Houston's touchdown wouldn't count. Running back Justin Forsett clearly was down near his own 25-yard line, and that's where the ball would be spotted once the play was reviewed.

Then Schwartz threw his red flag onto the field -- which ensured that the Texans' questionable scoring play would count.

"I know that we can't challenge a turnover or a scoring play, and I overreacted," the Lions' coach said. "That's all my fault. I cost us a touchdown."

Schwartz's mistake was only the beginning. Detroit let a 10-point third-quarter lead slip away and lost, 34-31, in overtime to the Texans (10-1) Thursday. It was the Lions' ninth consecutive Thanksgiving loss, all at home.

The Lions (4-7) led 24-14 before Forsett's 81-yard run. Replays clearly showed his knee touching the ground around his own 25. Detroit players slowed up, assuming the play was over. "I know now that I was down,'' Forsett said, "but I didn't think my knee hit, and there was no whistle, so I kept going."

Scoring plays are reviewed automatically -- but if a coach throws a challenge flag, the review is negated and an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty is assessed. So the touchdown stood despite obvious evidence it should never have happened.

Texans kicker Shayne Graham missed from 51 yards in overtime and Detroit's Jason Hanson hit the right upright from 47. Graham connected from 32 to win it.

Matthew Stafford, who threw for 441 yards, said: "We got what we deserved. We didn't capitalize on our chances."

As if the Lions don't have enough problems, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh could be in trouble with the league again after his left cleat connected with Matt Schaub's groin area in the first quarter. Suh was on his chest when he extended his left foot below Schaub's belt. It wasn't clear on replays whether the kick was intentional.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NFL video

Vote

Which of these teams is the Super Bowl favorite entering the 2014 season?

Seattle Seahawks Denver Broncos San Francisco 49ers New England Patriots Someone else

advertisement | advertise on newsday