Kings of the North: Lions Outgun Texans

After a slow and mistake-laden first half, Lions' quarterback Joey Harrington tossed two second-half touchdown passes to lift his team to a 28-16 win on Sunday over Houston. Harrington outgunned Texans' quarterback David Carr, giving the Lions sole first place in the division with a 2-0 mark.

All anyone wanted to do all week was talk about Joey Harrington and David Carr. The respective quarterback's for the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans were drafted two picks apart in the 2001 NFL draft, and Sunday's matchup was the first dual between the two.

In the end, only Harrington was left standing.

A Heisman runner-up prior to leaving Oregon for the Motor City three years ago, Harrington tossed three touchdown passes in the Lions' 28-16 home opening victory over Houston (0-2).

Harrington finished 18-for-25 for 176 yards and one interception.

"He managed the game well – (and made) good use of timeouts," said head coach Steve Mariucci afterwards. "He just ran that clock down and made third downs when we needed them. He seemed very aware on the sideline. He didn't get flustered by a couple interceptions. He's got enough arm strength and speed to make plays, and we just need to see more of it on a consistent basis."

Two of his touchdown passes went to rooke wide receiver Roy Williams, who hauled in four receptions for 73 yards. Both touchdown receptions came in the second half.

"(On the first one) Joey put it in a good spot and I jumped up and got it, I didn't know where I was and my football instincts took over," said Williams. "On the second (touchdown) Joey put it in a spot where only I could catch it. I got adjusted to the two feet inbounds rule in the NFL and I made the catch."

Harrington's first touchdown pass to Cory Schlesinger came in the 2nd quarter, putting the Lions up 7-3 at halftime. Both teams combined for 11 penalties in an unimpressive first half.

Early in the 3rd quarter, both squads exchanged turnovers. Texans' running back Dominick Davis' second fumble of the game was recovered by Lions' safety Bracy Walker.

The Lions were able to capitalize on the miscue, as Harrington engineered a seven-play, 79-yard drive, culminating in a thread-the-needle, 31-yard touchdown completion to Williams.

Carr, who finished 23-for-34 for 313 yards, answered with a 54-yard touchdown hook-up with wide receiver Andre Johnson on the following series.

Harboring a 14-10 advantage, Lions' kick-returner Eddie Drummond took the ensuing kick-off 99-yards for a score. It was the second special-teams touchdown in as many games for Detroit.

Carr, again answered with an 11-play, 81-yard drive, leading to his 27-yard touchdown pass to Corey Bradford.

Harrington completed the scoring when he found Williams from 14-yards out with just over four minutes remaining.

The 2-0 start, coupled with Green Bay's loss to Chicago gives the Lions' sole possession of first place in the NFC North. It is the first time since 2000 that the team has started a season 2-0. They finished 9-7.

The Lions also received a nice effort from rookie running back Kevin Jones, who ran 12 times for 57 yards (4.8 YPC) and also caught a pass for 13 yards. James Hall, playing with a busted thumb and small cast, led defensively for Detroit with 2.5 sacks, 6 tackles and a forced fumble.

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