Lions Rally Falls Short In Loss to Texans

The Texans were supposed to be the Lions' best chance to win. They had won one game by one point against a team, Miami, that won one game last year. But the Texans beat the Lions on Sunday, 28-21, after taking a 21-0 lead.

The Lions don't expect much of a home-field advantage Sunday when they host the Washington Redskins. They might not sell out for the first time since they moved into Ford Field in 2002.

"Fan-wise, I don't know who's going to be there, to be honest," center Dominic Raiola said. "They don't want to see 0-6."

Unless they're curious to see if the Lions can actually go 0-16.

The Lions and Cincinnati Bengals are the only winless teams left in the NFL, both at 0-6, and a winless season looks like a possibility for the Lions after a 28-21 loss to the Texans.

The Texans were supposed to be the Lions' best chance to win. They had won one game by one point against a team, Miami, that won one game last year. But the Texans beat the Lions on Sunday, 28-21, after taking a 21-0 lead.

Each team left on the Lions schedule has at least three victories.

"It's realistic when you look at it like that," defensive tackle Shaun Cody said. "But I think us as a team, we just concentrate on the next game and we try to win that one."

The Lions looked better last week at Minnesota, when they fell into only a 2-0 deficit and allowed the Vikings offense only 10 points.

But Sunday, the Lions looked like the team that fell into huge deficits the first four games -- 21-0 at Atlanta, 21-0 against Green Bay, 21-3 at San Francisco, 31-0 against Chicago.

Matt Schaub became the latest unheralded quarterback to look like a star against the Lions, going 26-for-31 for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Andre Johnson was wide open all day and caught 11 passes for 141 yards.

The Texans' first three possessions were touchdown drives of 75, 72 and 74 yards. The Lions struggled to stop the run and left receivers wide open. There were breakdowns and mistakes on things the Lions have been drilling since training camp.

"When you don't execute the details," coach Rod Marinelli said, "you pay for it."

Meanwhile, the Lions offense couldn't move. The first drive set the tone. Running back Rudi Johnson ran for no gain. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky, making his second NFL start, was sacked for a nine-yard loss, then threw the ball into the stands on third down. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson was uninvolved.

"It just looks so sloppy," center Dominic Raiola said. "It's just one little thing here and there. It had nothing to do with coaching."

The Lions fought back with some big plays. The best thing that can be said is that they didn't give up. They will need that attitude to get through their last 10 games.

"I've been places where you get to this situation, and it's done," said defensive tackle Langston Moore, who has played for Cincinnati and Arizona. "I mean, it's really done. Guys stop coaching. I mean, everything.

"That's the one thing I'm really proud about, the leadership and the guys on our team that just continue to push us. It's a situation where you try to push a cart up a hill so bad, it kind of rolls back on you a little bit. So you've just got to keep fighting."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The microscope is on us. Whatever it may be, it's more magnified for us because everybody knows our story and our situation." -- Lions DT Langston Moore, on the possibility of going 0-16.

LINEUP WATCH: The Lions started three different offensive linemen at Houston. Damion Cook started at left guard instead of Edwin Mulitalo, who was inactive. Stephen Peterman returned from a broken hand and reclaimed the right guard spot from Manny Ramirez, who was inactive. And George Foster started at right tackle instead of Gosder Cherilus, who served as a backup.

Asked if it made a difference, Rudi Johnson said: "Same old, man. We had a few changes throughout the year, we've just got to roll with the punches. Whoever's in there has to make the best of the situation and make sure we're ready to go."

Ryan Nece started at strongside linebacker instead of Alex Lewis.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

  • S Dwight Smith left Sunday's game at Houston with a foot injury. No update was available.
  • K Jason Hanson kicked two 54-yard field goals. It was the third time in his 17-year career he has hit two 50-yard field goals in a game.
  • DT Andre Fluellen was active for the first time since the Lions drafted him in the third round this year but saw little playing time.
  • DT Chuck Darby was inactive because of a calf strain, even though both the trainer and Darby said during the week he probably would be able to play.
  • LG Edwin Mulitalo was inactive because of what offensive coordinator Jim Colletto called fatigue. Mulitalo said there was nothing wrong with him.
  • RB Rudi Johnson was elected an offensive captain to replace QB Jon Kitna, who is now on injured reserve.

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