If you watched the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day game against the Houston Texans, you probably noticed that the Lions are an angry bunch of grown men. From angry coaches to hostile players, the Lions were out to fight. Head coach Jim Schwartz, who has a history of getting heated, threw a challenge flag on a questionable scoring play before it could be reviewed, ultimately giving the Texans six free points and eventually going on to lose the game. Then there was round two of Ndamukong Suh’s annual Thanksgiving Day face off.
During 2011’s Thanksgiving Day game against the Green Bay Packers, Suh pushed Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith’s head to the ground three times and then stomped on his arm, all after the whistle had been blown. Suh was penalized for unsportsman like conduct and was ejected from the game. Though he was not fined, he was suspended for two games without pay. A day that was supposed to be peaceful turned ugly for Suh and the Lions as the penalty basically led to the Lions downhill slide and loss of the game.
This year, Suh claims he was “dragged to the ground” which resulted in him kicking Texans QB Matt Schaub in the groin. This incident didn’t seem nearly (if at all) as intentional as 2011’s incident, but nonetheless, Suh was fined $30,000.
With all of this history in mind, the Colts will head north to the Motor City to take on the Lions.
The Colts will bring Coby Fleener and Vontae Davis with them to Detroit. Fleener and Davis have been out the last few weeks due to shoulder and knee injuries but they are expected to play. On the other hand, season ending injuries leave the Colts without defensive players Josh Chapman and Fili Moala.
After an impressive game last weekend, Colts rookie T.Y. Hilton will look to continue to make his mark as a part of the Colts team. Other players such as Donnie Avery, Dwayne Allen and Vick Ballard continue to prove themselves to be valuable players on the Colts offensive side.
Finally both members of the Colts powerhouse defensive duo are healthy which is great news for the Colts. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis took turns getting injured but are both back making contributions to the Colts defense. Colts vet Pat Angerer and experienced players Cory Redding and Tom Zbikowski are also key members to the Colts defensive game. Combined, the three have 74 tackles so far this season.
Though the Lions have a 4-7 record, the Colts can’t count them out quite yet. Lions QB Matt Stafford has had a fairly impressive season so far throwing for 3,429 yards and 14 touchdowns. Another powerful weapon that the Lions have is wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the league’s leader in receiving yards.
Defensively, the Lions seem to sometimes have a defense while other times it seems as though they don’t – there is no happy medium on the field. They’re giving up the 23rd most points this season. In this year’s Thanksgiving Day game alone, they forced six three-and-outs and allowed the Texans to have six scoring drives.
Stopping Stafford and Johnson, as well as a no-show defense will be keys to a Colts victory.