Washington pounds rival Dallas; Texans surge past Lions
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Antonio Gibson ran for three touchdowns, Alex Smith had a scoring pass and Washington at least temporarily moved into first place in the woeful NFC East with a 41-16 Thanksgiving victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.
Gibson’s second score was a 23-yard run on the first play after an ill-advised fake punt attempt by Dallas as Washington beat its division rival on Thanksgiving for just the second time in 10 tries, the most frequent visitor for the Cowboys in their annual holiday home game.
Washington (4-7) slides ahead of Philadelphia (3-6-1) in the NFC East and will stay in first place if the Eagles lose to Seattle on Monday night. It was the third win in five games since a five-game losing streak dropped Washington to 1-5.
Dallas (3-8) couldn’t build on a big win at Minnesota, losing for the fifth time in six games since star quarterback Dak Prescott’s season-ending ankle injury. The Cowboys were playing a day after strength coach Markus Paul died at a hospital following a medical emergency at the team’s facility.
The Cowboys trailed 20-16 when they faced a fourth-and-10 from their 24-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Darian Thompson took the snap in front of punter Hunter Niswander and pitched to Cedrick Wilson on a reverse that was stuffed for a 1-yard loss.
On the next play, Gibson easily beat the Dallas defense to the left pylon. After another Dallas punt, Gibson capped a clock-killing drive with a 37-yard score for a 34-16 lead.
Washington made it a blowout when Montez Sweat tipped and intercepted a pass right in the face of Andy Dalton and was free to run 15 yards for a TD.
TEXANS 41, LIONS 25
DETROIT (AP) — Deshaun Watson had a pair of go-ahead touchdown passes in the first half and threw for two more scores in the fourth quarter to help Houston pull away and beat Detroit.
Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt had an early pick-6 and Will Fuller had six receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns for the Texans (4-7), who have won two straight for the first time this season and three of their past four games with interim coach Romeo Crennel.
Detroit (4-7), which entered the game coming off a 20-0 loss at Carolina, scored first before collapsing with turnovers on two straight snaps and three consecutive possessions in the first half against a defense that entered the game with an NFL-low five forced turnovers.
Watt put his hands up on a rush just in time to pick off Matthew Stafford’s pass and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. On Detroit’s next snap, Jonathan Williams fumbled and Houston took advantage with Watson’s 2-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Prosise to go ahead 13-6.
Watson’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Duke Johnson gave the Texans a 20-14 lead early in the second quarter.
Watson hit Fuller in stride for a 40-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth, putting Houston ahead 34-17. Watson connected with Fuller, who was wide open, with a 34-yard touchdown on a trick play after handing the ball off and getting it back on a lateral.
The dynamic quarterback finished 17 of 25 for 318 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He has thrown 15 touchdown passes without getting picked off once in the past six games.
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