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Bad challenge helps lead to Lions' defeat

The elbow of Houston’s Justin Forsett hits the turf with help from safety Louis Delmas. But the whistle doesn’t blow, and Forcett runs for a score that counts because of an illegal challenge.

Associated Press

The elbow of Houston’s Justin Forsett hits the turf with help from safety Louis Delmas. But the whistle doesn’t blow, and Forcett runs for a score that counts because of an illegal challenge.

DETROIT — Jim Schwartz held the challenge flag, certain Houston's touchdown wouldn't count. Justin Forsett was clearly down. Then the Lions coach threw the flag — and cost his team a touchdown.

Schwartz's mistake was only the start. Detroit let a 10-point third-quarter lead slip away and lost 34-31 in overtime on Shayne Graham's 32-yard field goal with 2:21 left on Thursday.

The Lions led 24-14 in the third when Forsett took a handoff. His elbow hit the ground, meaning he should have been called down. Lions players slowed up, believing the play was over. Instead, Forsett got up and made it an 81-yard score.

All touchdowns are reviewed. But if a coach throws a challenge flag, the review is negated and a penalty assessed. So the touchdown stood.

"That's all my fault," Schwartz said. "I overreacted."

Said Forsett: "I know now that I was down, but I didn't think I was during the play. There was no whistle, so I kept going."

Detroit still led 31-24 late. But Arian Foster's 1-yard run with 1:55 left capped a 15-play, 97-yard drive that included a conversion on fourth and 7.

"There should be no blame on Schwartz or the coaches," Detroit defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. "There's enough plays left out there."

One play was Jason Hanson's 47-yard field goal that hit the upright with 4:32 left in OT.

The Texans have won five straight. Sunday, they beat the Jaguars with 2:01 left in OT.

"Ten quarters in five days, it's draining physically and mentally," said defensive end J.J. Watt who had three sacks. "But our team persevered."

Suh kick: A year after he kicked a Packer on Thanksgiving, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh's cleat connected with the groin of Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. Suh, who was suspended two games, was taken down by an offensive lineman when he extended his left foot. It wasn't clear if it was intentional, and Suh didn't talk after the game. Said Schaub: "I really don't have anything to say about that play or that person."

Bad challenge helps lead to Lions' defeat 11/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 22, 2012 11:09pm]
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