By Danny Cox
The Houston Texans traveled to Detroit to take on the Lions on Thursday, and probably didn’t expect the battle they ended up with. No one could have expected the strange plays, horrible officiating, or the significance of Ndamukong Suh‘s foot yet again during a Thanksgiving Day game. The Texans won by a small margin––34–31 in overtime.
Last year on Thanksgiving, Suh was ejected from the game against the Green Bay Packers for stomping on the right arm of Evan Dietrich-Smith. He was then suspended for two games.
This year, Suh ended up hitting Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin area with his left cleat during the game. Coincidence?
Replays aren’t clear as to whether or not it was intentional. Suh was on his chest after being taken to the ground by a Texans’ lineman when he extended his left foot out below Schaub’s waist. Schaub’s comment about the incident shows what he thinks of the intention.
“I really don’t have anything to say about that play or that person,” said Schaub.
Suh’s actions will surely be looked at by the league sometime next week once the holiday weekend is over. The play didn’t look nearly as intentional as last year’s stomp against the Packers, but it sure didn’t look accidental, either.
The rest of the game itself was just a weird one entirely. At one point, Texans running back Justin Forsett ran for a decent gain before being tackled. He instantly got up and ran the rest of the way for what was called on the field as an 81-yard touchdown.
Replays clearly showed that Forsett’s arm, knee, and wrist all touched the ground but he wasn’t called down by the referees. It was then that he got up and ran for the score, but a review was coming since all scoring plays are automatically looked at. This is one that surely would have been overturned.
Well, that is if Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz hadn’t thrown a challenge flag.
NFL rules officially state that throwing a challenge flag on a scoring play automatically negates the review. On top of that, an unsportsmanlike penalty is tacked on to make it even that much bigger of a deal.
“It’s on me,” Schwartz could be seen saying to assistants and players on the sideline as he tapped his chest. “It’s on me.”
The review was negated, the play stood, the penalty was enforced, and momentum had swayed. It was that touchdown which got the Texans back within three points of Detroit and allowed them to truly get back in the game.
Forsett blatantly came out and acknowledged that he shouldn’t have been allowed to score, but as is always taught in football…you play until the whistle blows.
“I know now that I was down, but I didn’t think I was during the play,” he said. “I didn’t think my knee hit, and there was no whistle, so I kept going. I wasn’t giving the touchdown back.”
No, he wasn’t going to give the touchdown back and by NFL rule, he didn’t have to anyway.
Thanksgiving Day games can be exciting, but this match-up between the Lions and Texans ended up being just downright weird. When all was said and done though, the Lions saw their playoff hopes fade away as the Texans continued to be one of the best in the entire NFL.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.