A look back at the Houston Texans’ Thanksgiving Day games

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Houston Texans
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

First Appearance: November 22nd, 2012- The “Jim Schwarz rule” game

34. 10. 31. 50. Final/OT

In their first appearance on Thanksgiving, the Texans came in with an incredible 9-1 record with their only loss being a blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers, 42-24. This was J.J. Watt’s second season as well. Both teams scored pretty consistently in this matchup, and then came the infamous “Jim Schwartz Rule”.

Texans running back Justin Forsett was hit and ended up having his elbow hit the turf, but no whistle was blown. Forsett got up and ran all the way to the endzone, trying to take advantage of the non-whistle factor.

Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz had already thrown the challenge flag, but he didn’t need to as all scoring plays are reviewed. Somehow the act of Schwartz throwing the challenge flag rendered the booth useless, and the play became “not reviewable”- and the call stood.

What a costly gaffe by Schwartz as the Texans would go on to strip the ball out of Calvin Johnson, and drive downfield for then-kicker Shayne Graham to miss the game-winner by one yard to the left. Then, the Lions would miss on a field goal attempt of their own.

Graham hit on his second attempt in overtime for the Texans, winning 34-31. It was their second consecutive game that went to overtime and ended with a victory (a 43-37 barnburner over Jacksonville the week prior)

Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Second appearance: November 26th, 2020: The Houston Texans’ second appearance had a much different team

50. Final. 41. 10. 25

The caption above is more referencing their record rather than the exact personnel from the 2012 game. Houston came in with a 3-7 record after beating the New England Patriots. Detroit was 4-6 at the time and the Matt Patricia era was nearing its end with each loss.

This game was nowhere near as close as their previous matchup, and the Houston Texans never trailed in this game, en-route to a 41-25 victory. Deshaun Watson went 17-25 for 318 yards and four touchdowns. You can watch all the highlights from this game here.

Houston would go on to finish the season 5-11, and then screw everything up by enlisting Jack Easterby to help with more franchise decisions. That’s how we got to this point.

When will the Texans get back on for another Thanksgiving Day game? Only the NFL Scheduling Committee knows. It will most likely be at the minimum two years from now as the Texans have a lot of rebuilding to do. A young, high-profile draft pick will increase their chances of playing on Turkey day.

From all of us here at Toro Times and the FanSided network, we wish you a Happy Holidays. Enjoy your food, and whatever traditions you have. Go Texans!

Next. Five forgotten Houston Texans players. dark