Historically, players who are featured on the cover of the “Madden NFL” franchise experience significant drops in their offensive production. NFL.com is tracking the performance of Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions over the course of the 2012 season because we believe Johnson will debunk the Madden curse.
Happy Thanksgiving! Welcome to the Detroit Lions’ 73rd Thanksgiving Game.
The Lions played host to AFC South division leader Houston Texans. The Texans are closing in on a playoff spot and the Lions just needed a win.
Megatron‘s ready. Are you?
Matt Stafford is sacked on the first play of the game. Hello, J.J. Watt.
Stafford shakes it off and puts together this drive:
Big throw to Ryan Broyles on 3rd and 12.
Looking good, rookie.
On the next play, Calvin Johnson gives the Lions another 20 yards with this diving catch.
Tony Scheffler takes the ball to 2 yard line and the Lions are the first to score.
Mikel Leshoure. Touchdown.
Matt Stafford came into this game 0-2 on Thanksgiving Day, but no sign of a Thanksgiving curse in the first quarter.
The Texans offense finds its groove on its first possession of the 2nd quarter.
Arian Foster scores on a 6-yard touchdown run.
Tie game, ladies and gents.
The Detroit Lions keep the momentum on their side with two big catches by Megatron.
On third down, Matt Stafford finds Mike Thomas for a 5-yard touchdown.
Next Texans’ possession: Matt Schaub throws deep on third down to Andre Johnson for 43 yards and a new set of downs.
Owen Daniels scores on the next third down with this 9-yard touchdown pass.
With plenty of time left on the clock for Detroit to take the lead, Stefan Logan returns the ball for 38 yards.
Stafford then connects with Ryan Broyles for a 37-yard catch and run.
#81 hauls in a 22-yard touchdown pass and the Lions go into the locker room up by 7.
Megatron‘s first half stats: 5 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Jason Hanson, playing in his 20th Thanksgiving game, extends the Lions’ lead by 3 points.
On the following Texans’ possesion, Justin Forsett runs the ball up the middle and appears to be down by contact, but no whistle is blown and he runs 81 yards for the touchdown.
All scoring plays are reviewed by the officials and the replay shows Forsett is down, but Coach Jim Schwartz throws the challenge flag, an illegal move that cancels out a booth review.
Texans keep the touchdown. Tie game. 24-24.
Joique Bell scores on a 23-yard run up the middle.
With under two minutes to go in regulation Arian Foster scores on a 1-yard run.
Tie game once again. Namaste.
Detroit is unable to score on its last possession of the quarter and the first NFL game of the day goes to overtime.
The Lions receive the ball in overtime. A touchdown or safety wins the game.
On the third play of overtime, Texans safety Danieal Manning strips the ball from tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The turnover allows the first score to win the game.
The Texans bring out the field-goal team for a 51-yard attempt. Kicker Shayne Graham misses his chance to win it all by inches.
Next possesion. The Lions are forced to punt, but the Texans’ second chance is short lived. Matt Schaub throws an interception and the Lions get the ball back.
With Detroit set up to win the game, Jason Hanson‘s winning field-goal attempt hits the post.
Overtime is winding down, but the Texans once again drive down the field. With 2:25 left, Shayne Graham narrowly makes a 32-yard field goal. Game over.
Final score: 34-31, Texans
Calvin Johnson finishes the game with 8 catches for 120 yards and 1 touchdown. Another solid performance by Megatron overshadowed by another loss by the Lions.