TE T.J. Hockenson: Hockenson had a huge first half before disappearing in the final 30 minutes, but accounted for the Lions' only play of 20 yards or more — a 51-yard gain on a slickly-designed flea flicker — and he made a phenomenal catch on a ball that nearly skidded off the turf. Hockenson did have a drop in the second half, but the second-year tight end continues to be an effective weapon in what, right now, is an otherwise toothless passing game.
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RB Adrian Peterson: Peterson has taken plenty of criticism in recent weeks, including here in Stock Watch. He has looked old at times, and the Lions are a better team with D'Andre Swift on the field. But with Swift inactive for the second straight week because of a brain injury, Peterson gave the Lions a jolt on the ground. He had 55 yards and two touchdowns and keyed a field goal drive that sputtered out after another trick play in the third quarter. If nothing else, Peterson is the consummate pro and that's something this team needs.
Thanksgiving trickeration: There really was not another Lion who played well enough to get a positive mention, but, hey, watching offensive coordinators get creative with trick plays is a win for fans. The Lions pulled a couple good ones out of their playbook, hitting that flea flicker to Hockenson for a big gain and nearly connecting on a Jamal Agnew dime to Matthew Stafford (who almost made a spectacular catch). Not to be outdone, the Texans ran a well-executed flea flicker in the fourth quarter, while up 17 points. It may not have been the cleanest game, but at least some of it was fun to watch.
RB Jonathan Williams: It's not fair to judge a man on one carry, but Williams' lone tote Thursday — his first as a Lion — ended in disaster as he had the ball stripped by Tyrell Adams for a fumble. I don't recall Williams playing after that mistake, and I doubt we'll see much of him going forward when Swift returns. Williams lost a fumble late in the preseason, and was then released. Maybe the Lions should have given Peterson and Kerryon Johnson, who also fumbled Thursday, more work.
CB Desmond Trufant: No one in the Lions secondary played well Thursday, and Trufant was in the locker room when Will Fuller took a match to Detroit's defense. But Trufant makes this list because he suffered a hamstring injury in-game Thursday for the third time this season. Trufant missed seven games last season with a broken forearm and he has already missed five games this year. At 30 years old, it's likely his best days are behind him.
Lions linebackers: Here's an amazing stat: Texans linebacker Tyrell Adams had a whopping 17 tackles, two forced fumbles and one pass deflection Thursday; the Lions' entire linebacker unit — Jamie Collins, Christian Jones, Reggie Ragland, Jarrad Davis and Jahlani Tavai — had 16 tackles and one forced fumble (by Collins). The Lions lack playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, especially at the linebacker position, and that was never more evident than Thursday.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions need more T.J. Hockenson; Trufant an ill-fated signing