The Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Chargers were tied up in a classic shootout in LA, but it was Detroit that got the ball last and came away with the win.
The Lions offense was absolutely on fire all day, and managed to always stay one step ahead of Los Angeles, despite the fact that the Chargers scored touchdowns on five consecutive touchdowns.
It was a tough look for the Lions defense, but it also just goes to show you how electric this offense is right now. The Lions had monster games from David Montgomery (116 yards, 1 TD), Jahmyr Gibbs (77 yards, 2 TDs) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (156 yards, 1 TD). Of course, Goff was the orchestrator of it all, finishing with 333 yards and two touchdowns for a 122.4 passer rating.
With the win, the Lions move to 7-2 and stay 1.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC North lead.
Here’s how it happened.
The Lions won the toss and deferred, giving the Chargers offense a chance first. However, they wouldn’t stay on the field long as Detroit’s defense got a quick three-and-out.
Detroit wouldn’t take long to get on the board. Jared Goff found Amon-Ra St. Brown deep for 46 yards, immediately putting Detroit in the red zone.
Jameson Williams scored a 10-yard touchdown but it was nullified by a low block on Taylor Decker—a questionable call, at best. Detroit would have to settled for a short field goal and an early 3-0 Lions lead.
The Chargers struck back. A 24-yard screen to Austin Ekeler drove Los Angeles into Lions territory. But on a third-and-2, Justin Herbert couldn’t find Ekeler again and Cameron Dicker tied the game with a 48-yard field goal 3-3 tie.
Detroit got moving again. After an 8-yard pass to St. Brown the Lions went right back to him and picked up a 16-yard pass interference call. Then it was all Jahmyr Gibbs: 5 yard run, 11-yard run, 35-yard run, 1-yard touchdown run. 10-3 Lions.
The Lions offense quickly got the ball back. An Alex Anzalone blitz put Justin Herbert under pressure and the young quarterback just threw the ball away. However, Kerby Joseph somehow managed to get under it and toe-tap in bounds for the interception.
The Lions moved the ball back into the red zone with a pair of fourth down conversions, including a GUTSY draw play on fourth-and-5 that picked up just enough to keep the sticks moving. An end around to St. Brown picked up another fourth-and-short and that set up the Lions first-and-goal as the first quarter ended.
After David Montgomery was stuffed twice at the goal line, the Lions opted to go for it on fourth down a third time. Unfortunately, this time pressure got to Goff and he was forced to throw it away.
Backed up in their own zone, the Chargers couldn’t manage to move the sticks a single time. Ekeler dropped another pass after pressure from Aidan Hutchinson forced a checkdown on third-and-1. A punt would set the Lions up at their own 40-yard line.
A 24-yard screen to Gibbs moved the Lions into Chargers territory and 13 yards from Jameson Williams got near the red zone. Then Goff threw an absolute laser between three defenders to St. Brown to set Detroit up in the red zone for the fourth time. This time, the Lions wouldn’t squander the opportunity, as Gibbs plowed his way in on fourth-and-goal to make it 17-3 Lions.
On the ensuing drive, Ekeler made a nice move to make Alex Anzalone miss on a third-and-5 to avoid another Chargers three-and-out. Keenan Allen kept the chains moving with a third-and-7 catch all the way down to Detroit’s 40-yard line. A few plays later, Allen beat Jerry Jacobs on a post route for a 29-yard touchdown. 17-10 Lions.