Every season since 1945, the Detroit Lions have hosted a game on Thanksgiving Day -- one of the NFL's longest-standing traditions. With a season unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lions are still set to host a Thanksgiving game in 2020 in the traditional early afternoon slot. The Houston Texans will be making their second appearance on Thanksgiving, playing on the holiday for the first time since 2012 -- the last time Houston faced the Lions in Detroit.
Deshaun Watson will be making his Thanksgiving debut while Matthew Stafford is set to start his 10th career game on the holiday. The Texans are coming off an upset win over the New England Patriots while the Lions were shut out by the Carolina Panthers.
Can the Lions win on Thanksgiving for the first time in four years? Will the Texans stay unbeaten on Thanksgiving? We'll find out soon, but here's everything you need to know for this holiday treat.
How to watch
The Texans actually have turned the corner on their season over the past few weeks, in spite of the disastrous start that resulted in the firing of head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien after the first four games. Houston has gone 3-3 in the six games Romeo Crennel has served as interim head coach, as Deshaun Watson continues to play well despite quarterbacking an offense that ranks in the bottom three in the league in rushing. Watson is second in the NFL in passing yards per attempt (8.53) while ranking sixth in passer rating (108.6). He's tied for third in completions of 20-or-more yards (40), fifth in passing yards (2,883) and tied for ninth in passing touchdowns (20). Houston still has one of the league's worst defenses, ranking second-to-last in yards allowed per game, but have allowed just 18.3 points per game over the past three contests.
The Lions had an excellent opportunity to advance to .500 last week, but were shut out by the Panthers. Matthew Stafford battled a thumb injury that limited the offense, but he's expected to start on Thanksgiving. Detroit has a bottom-10 offense in yards per game and a bottom-10 defense in the same category, which makes Stafford throwing 17 touchdowns to just seven interceptions even more impressive. Detroit is another team that struggles to run the football, ranking fourth-to-last in yards per game -- and is averaging just 73.4 yards per game on the ground over the last five games. This game is lining up to be an aerial attack between Stafford and Watson.
Picking the Lions to win any game is difficult. Detroit does seem to play well on Thanksgiving -- losing a one-score contest in each of their last three Thanksgiving games -- but this game is going to come down to the team that converts its red zone opportunities into touchdowns, which Houston does better than Detroit (62.1% to 58.3%). Stafford and Watson will provide a good show in the Thanksgiving matinee, one Detroit will certainly keep close.
Pick: Texans 30, Lions 27
Check out CBSSports.com for even more expert predictions on this game and the rest of Week 13.