Texans 41, Lions 25 - With Watson & Watt As Piping-Hot Heroes

Houston Texans 41, Detroit Lions 25 - An NFL Thanksgiving Serving Up Deshaun Watson & J.J. Watt As Piping-Hot Heroes
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They are the Houston Texans' two most recognizable players and two most accomplished players, one on offense, one on defense ... and there is almost no way for an opposite-sides-of-the-ball tandem to be any pie-in-the-oven hotter than Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt.

Houston's 41-25 Thanksgiving Day win at Detroit was keyed both by quarterback Watson, so sizzling that in the first half he tossed TD passes Nos. 91 and 92, surpassing Payton Manning to fourth on the all-time NFL list for most touchdown passes through 50 games ... and Watt, the iconic Texan and future Hall-of-Famer who recorded a pick-six touchdown, one of three first-quarter takeaways for a Houston defense that had forced just five turnovers all season.

READ MORE: Our 11 Takes On Turkey-Day Win

By the time Watson was done, he totaled the same sort of wonderful numbers that have allowed him to carry the Texans all season.

By the time Watt was done, his defense experienced the sort of step-up game that the Texans have been lacking all season.

And by the time the Texans were traveling back to Houston, hopefully in time for a late celebratory holiday dinner? They'd achieved a vault toward respectability, with an overall record of 4-7 - and a winning record of 4-3 under the inspiration of 73-year-old interim coach Romeo Crennel.

Both of Watson's early touchdown passes went to running backs, Duke Johnson and practice-squad call-up C.J. Prosise getting in on the action. Receiver Will Fuller (six for 171) was Watson's most unstoppable weapon as he continued his Pro Bowl-worthy season and ran free all over Ford Field, including on a 40-yard TD lob from Watson early in the final quarter. ...

And then another one, on a 34-yard exotic ....

Detroit's only answer was backup running back Adrian Peterson, the 35-year-old marvel who scored a pair of touchdowns. 

But that wasn't a match for Watson (17 of 25 for 318 yards), who in his last nine games has a 22/3 TD/INT ratio, is now the franchise leader in three-TD-pass games, and with 23 has recorded the most touchdown passes in the first 11 games of a season in franchise history. 

And it wasn't a match for Watt, who last week in the win over the Patriots registered an amazing four passed defense. This week, Watt didn't just slap one down - he got even hotter by catching one ... all in a manner, in tandem with Watson, that has helped Houston catch just a bit on fire.

"We still have a lot of work to do still,'' said Watt. "(But) any time you get a couple of back to back wins, it's great.''