The Los Angeles Chargers suffered their first defeat of the 2019 season, losing 13-10 to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
It was a game in which the Chargers had many chances to win and let the Lions hang around by repeatedly hurting themselves with bad penalties and missed field goals. The Lions took advantage and pounced for the victory.
The Chargers struck quick in this one, going on a 9-play, 68-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard touchdown leap from Austin Ekeler. The rout is on, right? Not hardly.
From that point on, points became scarce and the Chargers went backward on many drives.
On the Chargers’ first possession of the second half, following a great interception by Casey Hayward, the team had two long touchdowns nullified by penalties. Justin Jackson had a 60-yard touchdown run brought back by a holding call against Dontrelle Inman. Two plays later, Ekeler caught a screen pass and bounced off tacklers for a 22-yard touchdown, only to watch it come back because of a blocking in the back call on Sam Tevi.
The drive ended when Ekeler tried to dive over the pile at the goal line again, but this time he fumbled the ball.
The Lions kept it close all game and took the lead for good when Matthew Stafford threaded the needle to Kenny Golladay on a terrific 31-yard touchdown pass. Down three points, the Chargers had plenty of time to at least tie the score.
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Philip Rivers took his team down the field and a theme that developed as the game progressed was Keenan Allen taking Detroit defensive back Darius Slay to school. Allen caught eight passes for 98 yards on the day and if you remember the last time these two teams played, Allen had his way with Slay that day too.
Facing a 3rd-and-19 from the Detroit 28-yard line, Rivers likely had those previous misses from Long in his mind. He decided to take a chance, throwing to Allen in double coverage in the end zone and this time, Slay made him pay, intercepting the pass.
The Lions improve to 1-0-1 on the year while the Chargers drop to 1-1. The Chargers return home next week to battle the Houston Texans.