The Houston Texans can certainly make a claim to be the best team in the NFL.
At 9-1, they’re tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the best record in the league, and have been as dominant as anyone. They’ve beaten the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos, all of whom have at least seven wins.
On Thanksgiving, the Texans will face one of their toughest tasks of the 2012 season. They’ll open up the Week 12 schedule as they visit the Detroit Lions for a 12:30 p.m. ET start. Houston will look to pick up the road win on just three days rest.
The Lions are accustomed to playing on Thanksgiving. They’ve done so for 73 years. It’ll be the first time ever that the Texans play on the holiday.
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Detroit has struggled, coming off their best season in over a decade. They sit in last place in the NFC North, losing six of their 10 games.
Even though they’ve had their troubles, it doesn’t mean the Lions aren’t talented. They might have the most explosive offensive weapon in football. Calvin Johnson leads the league with 1,117 receiving yards, over 1000 more than second-place Reggie Wayne.
The combination of Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford has given Detroit the top passing offense in the NFL. However, the Lions 302 passing yards haven’t always translated into points. Detroit is 15th in points per game.
One of Stafford’s top targets will be on the bench. Titus Young won’t play because of “unacceptable behavior.”
Houston has used a balanced attack to become a dominant offensive team. They are third, scoring 29.3 points per contest.
The game will air on CBS at Ford Field. You can watch the contest online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Line: Houston-3.5, 49
Prediction: The Lions have been competitive in almost all of their games this season, but mistakes in key moments have hurt them. If Detroit makes similar mistakes on Thursday, Houston will certainly capitalize. Matt Schaub should be able to throw for a few touchdowns and give the Texans the win.
Predicted Score: Houston 27, Detroit 21