MIKE O'HARA

O'Hara's Final Thoughts: The future has come early for Reiff; Delmas could give the defense a lift

Posted Nov 22, 2012

Left tackle Jeff Backus’ streak of 186 consecutive games ended. He has been one of the most durable players of his era.

Riley Reiff was drafted in the first round in April to be the Lions’ left tackle of the future, and the future came early.

Jeff Backus was on the inactive list for the Thanksgiving Day game against Houston because of a hamstring injury sustained last week against Green Bay.

Backus’ streak of 186 consecutive games ended. He has been one of the most durable players of his era. Since the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1970, Backus is one of only two players to start the first 180 games of their career. Peyton Manning, now with Denver, started his first 208 games with the Colts.

Reiff played the second half against Green Bay, and that should have prepared him somewhat to face the Texans. The Packers and Texans both play a 3-4 base defense.

The Texans have a strong pass rush, led by J.J. Watt, who has 11.5 sacks. Watt plays left end and will face right tackle Gosder Cherilus most of the game, but  Watt plays both sides.

The Texans rank seventh in the league in sacks per play.

Impact: Safety Louis Delmas was active for only the fourth game this year because of a knee injury. His first game this season as in a win a Philadelphia, and if Delmas plays against the Texas like he did against Eagles, he’ll give the defense a lift.

Delmas had seven tackles, two tackles for losses, an interception and a pass breakup.

Delmas played in three straight games and missed the last three because of the injury.

Air raid: Based on the Texans’ game last week—and the Lions having the highest percentage of passes per play – the ball should be in the air.

Chad Henne, who played at Michigan, torched the Texans for 354 yards and four TDs after taking over for Blaine Gabbert early in the game.

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub did even better. He passed for 527 yards and five TDs.