Schaub shook off the blow, stayed in the game, and was 29 of 48 for 315 yards with a 9-yard TD to Owen Daniels to tie the game at 14 late in the first half and an interception.
Houston's Andre Johnson had nine receptions for 188 yards. Watt had three sacks, one on Detroit's first snap and the other two that helped the Texans stay within a TD late in the game.
Detroit scored four go-ahead TDs, including on Joique Bell's 23-yard run early in the fourth quarter, and had a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter.
The Lions drove deep enough into Houston territory in the fourth to put Hanson in a position to give them another 10-point lead, but Watt forced them to punt each time with sacks on third downs.
"We got what we deserved," Matthew Stafford said. "We didn't capitalize on our chances."
Stafford was 31 of 61 for 441 yards with two TDs — tiebreaking scores to Calvin Johnson and Mike Thomas in the second quarter — for 441 yards.
Mikel Leshoure ran for 32 yards on 12 carries and gave the Lions their first TD on an opening possession that marked the first rushing score on the ground against Houston.
Those accomplishments along with providing entertainment for the nationally televised audience for a change on Thanksgiving was of little consolation for the franchise.
The Lions lost their previous eight games on the holiday by an averaging of three-plus touchdowns.
Detroit extended the longest losing streak in its annual showcase to nine in a closely contested matchup that will linger in the minds of many people, especially Vanden Bosch, one of many Lions who could've changed the outcome by picking off a pass that hit his hands in a wild OT.
"It's going to be really tough to forget that one," Vanden Bosch said.
NOTES: Lions OT Jeff Backus (right hamstring) was inactive, ending his 186-game starting streak. ... Houston LB Brooks Reed (left groin) and OT Derek Newton (knee) were injured during the game.
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