Matthew Stafford and Darius Slay did not have the best performances through three quarters against the Los Angeles Chargers. However, both players played critical roles in the winding minutes to help seal the victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, 13-10, on Sunday.
The difference-maker happened in the fourth quarter when Stafford threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay and Slay made the interception in the end-zone during the final minutes of regulation.
The first three-quarters of action was a struggle. Watching the Lions make big plays on both sides of the ball but had nothing to show for it was disheartening. Stafford threw two interceptions; Slay was consistently outplayed by Keenan Allen and Matt Prater missed an extra point and a field goal.
However, The Lions overcame all of those obstacles and looked like a much better team in the fourth quarter.
Keenan Allen had eight catches for 98 yards which are not numbers you like to see given up. However, Slay made a play that genuinely mattered with the interception with 1:03 remaining.
After the Austin Ekeler leaping touchdown at the goal line, all hope for a Lions victory seemed lost. But, that all changed when Kerryon Johnson bobbled the ball, secured it, and sprinted 36-yards into the endzone on the following possession.
Things got interesting in the third quarter. The Chargers were leading 10-6. Ekeler tried a diving attempt into the endzone, but rookie Jahlani Tavai had other ideas. Tavai forced a fumble at the goal line, and veteran linebacker Devon Kennard recovered it.
In the winding minutes of the fourth quarter, Phillip Rivers scrambled on a third-and-10 for a 12-yard run gain, something that Rivers has not done since 2014.
The Detroit Lions improves to 1-0-1 and travel to Philadelphia as they face the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3. The Los Angeles Chargers fall to 1-1 and will host the Houston Texans.
(DET) Matthew Stafford: 22-30, 245 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT
(DET) Kerryon Johnson: 12 CAR, 41 YDS
(DET) Kenny Golladay: 8 REC, 117 YDS, 1 TD
(LAC) Phillip Rivers: 21-36, 293 YDS, 1 INT
(LAC) Austin Ekeler: 17 CAR, 66 YDS, 1 TD
(LAC) Keenan Allen: 8 REC, 98 YDS