Detroit Lions fall to 4-4 with loss to Houston Texans

Posted at 3:57 PM, Oct 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-30 19:09:51-04
HOUSTON (AP) -- Despite mounting criticism in recent weeks, Brock Osweiler continues to look pretty comfortable in Houston.
Osweiler bounced back from an ugly performance by throwing for 186 yards and a touchdown to help the Texans remain perfect at home this season with a 20-13 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The Texans (5-3) have lost all of their road games, including a 27-9 loss to Denver on Monday.
"He had a good day," coach Bill O'Brien said. "You're judged as a quarterback by helping your team win and I thought he did a nice job of helping us win."
Osweiler has struggled in his first season with the Texans, but has been better at home where he's thrown eight of his nine touchdown passes.
"I'm not concerned about the criticism," Osweiler said. "Getting a win at home going into the bye to really put an exclamation mark on the first half of the season means so much to me."
On Sunday, he gave the Texans a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Fiedorowicz in the second quarter. The Texans made it 14-0 when Lamar Miller bulled his way into the end zone from a yard out later in the quarter. That score was set up when DeAndre Hopkins used one hand to make a 12-yard reception.
Osweiler believes he's starting to find chemistry with his star receiver.
"Every time I break the huddle, I'm looking to see where he's at ... trying to see if I can get him the football," he said.
Hopkins finished with four receptions for 44 yards.
The Lions (4-4) cut the lead to seven when Theo Riddick connected with Matthew Stafford on a 1-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter.
Houston added a field goal after that before a 34-yard field goal by Matt Prater got Detroit back within a score. But Houston recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock to secure the victory.
"We couldn't put enough points on the board, offensively, in the first half, we were just stagnant," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "Defensively, we stopped the run until midway through the third quarter and they really took control on the ground. We just didn't play as well as we're capable of."
Stafford threw for 240 yards and a touchdown for Detroit, which had a three-game winning streak snapped as the Lions were unable to continue a string of late-game comebacks.
"I wish I could have done it earlier in the game," Stafford said. "I've got to play better and we have to play better as a team, as an offense, earlier in the game so we're not in that situation."
INJURIES: The Lions were without top cornerback Darius Slay, who missed the game because of a hamstring injury. Houston receiver Jaelen Strong injured his ankle in the second quarter and didn't return. Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork didn't return after injuring his groin in the third quarter and receiver Will Fuller left the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.
O'BRIEN'S OUTBURST: Houston coach Bill O'Brien was seen yelling at special teams coach Larry Izzo after the Texans had just 10 men on the field for the opening kickoff of the second half. O'Brien got in Izzo's face and yelled for several seconds before being pushed away by another member of the staff. He turned around for a second and started to walk away before whipping back around and screaming at him for several more seconds.
But O'Brien denied the incident.
"I don't know what you guys are talking about," he said. "No idea."
Then he was asked about being pushed away by a staff member.
"No, I don't think so," he said. "I don't remember that one bit."
A second follow-up yielded perhaps the most telling answer of the exchange.
"There's conversations that happen on the sideline," he said. "That's just kind of the nature of the game."
CLOWNEY'S CONTRIBUTIONS: Houston defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was the top overall pick in the 2014 draft, sacked Stafford for a 9-yard loss to give him three sacks this season. It was his ninth tackle for a loss this season, which is a career high.
Lions: Detroit visits Minnesota on Sunday.
Texans: Houston is off next week before visiting the Jaguars on Nov. 13.