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Los Angeles Chargers 2019 opponent preview: Detroit Lions

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the San Diego Chargers is pursued by defensive back Josh Wilson #30 of the Detroit Lions at Qualcomm Stadium on September 13, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the San Diego Chargers is pursued by defensive back Josh Wilson #30 of the Detroit Lions at Qualcomm Stadium on September 13, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Chargers face their first road trip of the 2019 season against the Detroit Lions in Week 2.

Playing in opposite conferences, this is a team the Chargers see just once every four years and a trip to Ford Field in Detroit is one they make just once a decade. However, the Lions are a hungry team and will be looking to make an early-season statement against what many perceive as one of the AFC’s best teams.

The Lions have a winnable game to start the season and will be the first team to ever face Kyler Murray in the regular season as they open against the Arizona Cardinals. However, that game is on the road and for a team that has made the playoffs just four times since 1999, the Lions know an 0-2 start is a hole they don’t want to have to dig out of.

Chargers at Lions: September 15, 2019, at 10:00 am PST

All-time series: Chargers lead 7-4 and have won seven of the last eight meetings dating back to 1981. The lone Lions win in that stretch came back in 2011 when they handed the Chargers a 38-10 shellacking in Detroit on Christmas Eve.

The Chargers won the most recent meeting 33-28 in Week 2 of the 2015 season. The Chargers came back from a 21-3 deficit in that game. Philip Rivers threw for 403 yards and Keenan Allen caught 15 passes for 166 yards. That tied a single-game team record for most receptions, originally set by Kellen Winslow in a game against the Green Bay Packers in October 1984.

Lions key players: Matthew Stafford, Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay, Darius Slay

Stafford remains the leader of this team and though he’s never taken the Lions to great heights, many of the team’s fans still believe in him. Johnson and Golladay provide the team with one of the better young running back-wide receiver combos in the league and Slay has turned himself into a great cover corner.

The Lions lack depth at several positions, however, and just looking at the team’s roster, there isn’t a lot that is going to scare you, at least now right now.

More from Bolt Beat

Lions key additions: Trey Flowers, T.J. Hockenson, Jesse James, Danny Amendola, Jermaine Kearse, C.J. Anderson

The Lions signed one of the top free agents on the market in defensive end Trey Flowers. Head coach Matt Patricia had him when he was defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots and prioritized getting him. The other focus of the Lions’ offseason was to bring in several new weapons for Stafford to throw the ball to, starting with drafting Hockenson with a top 10 pick in the draft. Adding Amendola for an option in the slot should give the offense more options too.

Lions key losses: Ziggy Ansah, T.J. Lang, Glover Quin

After biding his time as a free agent, Ansah signed with the Seattle Seahawks. He ranks fourth on the Lions’ all-time sacks list.

Lang was forced to retire at 31 years old due to injuries sustained during his career. He played just two seasons with the Lions.

The team also decided to move on from Quin after six seasons in Detroit. The team felt its young corps of safeties, which includes third-round pick Will Harris, was best for the team.

Key to the game: The Chargers just need to get into an offensive flow in this game and dominate. Though it’s a road game, the Lions don’t have enough defense to slow the Chargers down and this is a game the Bolts could rack up 35+ points.

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