On the first play from scrimmage on Thanksgiving, Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt burst through the line and sacked Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford for a seven-yard loss. But that didn’t set the tone.
After that play, the Lions’ offense methodically marched down the field, with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took five minutes off the clock and culminated in a two-yard touchdown run by Mikel Leshoure. It was the first time all season that the Lions have scored a touchdown on their opening possession.
The Lions got big catches on the drive from receivers Calvin Johnson, Mike Thomas and Ryan Broyles (although Broyles also dropped what could have been a touchdown pass), and tight end Tony Scheffler lowered his shoulders to pick up some tough yardage and convert a third down.
Johnson’s 20-yard catch put him over 7,000 yards for his career, in his 87th career game. Only Lance Alworth, Torry Holt, Jerry Rice and Randy Moss have reached 7,000 yards faster.
Thanksgiving couldn’t have started much better for the home team.