The Los Angeles Chargers lost a fumble on the Detroit Lions’ 1-yard line, missed two field goals and had quarterback Philip Rivers throw an interception into the end zone on their final play in a 13-10 loss Sunday in Detroit.
The Lions took their only lead on Matthew Stafford’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay with seven minutes, 21 seconds to play.
The Chargers began the ensuing possession on their own 20-yard line and drove to Detroit’s 19-yard line. A 4-yard loss on a run by Justin Jackson, an incomplete pass and a 5-yard delay of game penalty pushed the Chargers back to the Lions’ 28-yard line. Rivers threw a deep pass intended for Keenan Allen, which was intercepted by Darius Slay in the end zone with 1:03 left.
Ty Long had a 39-yard field-goal attempt hit the left upright in the third quarter and missed a 41-yard attempt wide right in the fourth quarter. Usually the Chargers punter, Long was again forced into handling field goals and extra points because Michael Badgley was inactive for the second consecutive game because of a groin injury.
Long kicked a 39-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to increase the Chargers’ lead to 10-6.
Long was selected as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for making three extra-point attempts and a 40-yard field goal in last Sunday’s 30-24 season-opening overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Austin Ekeler fumbled when he was hit by linebacker Jahlani Tavai as he attempted to leap into the end zone from the Lions’ 1-yard line in the third quarter, with linebacker Devon Kennard recovering for Detroit on its 3-yard line.
The Chargers twice appeared to score on the drive. Jackson’s 60-yard touchdown run was nullified by receiver Dontrelle Inman’s holding penalty at the Lions’ 21-yard line. Two plays later, a 22-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Ekeler was nullified by an illegal block above the waist penalty against offensive tackle Sam Tevi.
The Chargers outgained Detroit, 424 yards to 339, and led 21-19 in first downs and 31:19-28:41 in time of possession. The Chargers converted six of 13 third downs before a crowd at Ford Field announced at 60,158.
The Lions converted four of 10 third downs, and the game’s only fourth-down attempt on Stafford’s 4-yard pass to Golladay on a fourth-and-1 from the Chargers’ 35-yard line, one play before what proved to be the winning touchdown.
The Chargers’ three trips into the red zone resulted in Ekeler’s 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, Ekeler’s fumble and Rivers’ interception. Detroit never reached the red zone.
The Chargers were penalized nine times for 70 yards, the Lions eight times for 71 yards.
Rivers completed 21 of 36 passes for 293 yards with the one interception and was sacked once in his 210th consecutive start, tying Eli Manning for the second-most among NFL quarterbacks behind Brett Favre, who made 297 consecutive starts from 1992-2010 with the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.
Rivers is tied for sixth on the all-time list which dates back to 1970 because data is incomplete prior to the AFL-NFL merger that went into effect that year.
Stafford completed 22 of 30 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. He was not sacked.
The Chargers (1-1) opened the scoring on their second possession, driving 68 yards on nine plays for Ekeler’s touchdown. Rivers completed three of five passes for 57 yards, including a 35-yard pass to Ekeler.
The Lions (1-0-1) responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive, with running back Kerryon Johnson turning a short pass from Stafford into a 36-yard touchdown, their longest play. Detroit remained behind 7-6 as Matt Prater’s extra-point attempt went wide left.
Prater also missed a 40-yard field-goal attempt wide right 5:57 before halftime.
The Chargers were seeking their first 2-0 start since 2012.
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