Chargers Game Preview: Chargers at Lions, Week 2

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BROADCAST INFO

  • Sunday Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. PT
  • Detroit; Ford Field
  • TV: CBS - Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon and Jay Feely
  • To find out which games will be in your area, click here.
  • Radio (English): KFI-AM 640 - Matt “Money” Smith, Daniel Jeremiah and Shannon Farren
  • Radio (Spanish): KFWB-AM 980 - Mario Solis and Jorge Villanueva

For more information on how to watch the game including the mobile app and livestreaming, click here.

WATCH PARTY

This week, the official Chargers watch party will be at American Junkie in Hermosa Beach. There will be raffles, giveaways, a photobooth, drink specials, photo-ops with the Chargers Girls and a DJ! Doors open at 9:00 a.m. - Kickoff at 10:00 a.m. For more information, click here.

ALL-TIME SERIES

Sunday’s game will mark the 12th regular season meeting between the two teams as the Chargers hold a 7-4 advantage. The Chargers have earned all seven of their wins in their last eight contests against the Lions. The Bolts won the last meeting on Sept. 13, 2015, 33-28, at home. The last game in Detroit on Dec. 24, 2011, the Lions won, 38-10, snapping a six-game Chargers win streak.

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LIONS LAST TIME OUT

The Lions gave up an 18-point lead to end up tying the Arizona Cardinals, 27-27. The tie marked the first for Detroit since 1984 and the second on opening weekend in franchise history. Matthew Stafford threw for 385 yards and three scores while rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson led all players with 131 yards and a score.

INJURIES

To view the Lions' injury report, click here.

Key: “FP” = Full Participation, “LP” = Limited Participation, “DNP” = Did not play

STORYLINES AND MATCHUPS

Allen and Ekeler vs. Lions defense

Wide receiver Keenan Allen and running back Austin Ekeler will look to continue their hot starts to the season. Last time the Chargers played the Lions in 2015, Allen tied Kellen Winslow for the franchise record for receptions in a single game with 15.

“We watched a lot of tape from last year and they are a very physical defense,” offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. “They are aggressive, and they aren’t afraid to play man coverage to try and put pressure on them. The big thing for us is going to be up front and our guys doing a good job because they’ve got some big guys inside. They are a well-coached team, you can see that, and we are going to have to be good with our techniques and our fundamentals based off of how they play their schemes.”

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TEs stepping up

With Hunter Henry’s recent knee injury causing the tight end to be without a timetable for return, Sean Culkin and Virgil Green will see most of the action at tight end this Sunday.

“Every week I prepare as if I’m a starter (because) things happen,” Green said. “A guy can get tired and you get thrown in out of nowhere.”

Chargers look to keep rolling on the road

With a 7-1 road record last season, the Chargers will look to keep their road momentum going in their first contest as the visiting team Sunday in Detroit. Head coach Anthony Lynn mentioned that since the team changes year-to-year, it’s hard to carry that momentum between seasons.

“When we went on the road last year, it was an ‘us against the world’ mentality so hopefully we can carry that over,” Lynn said.

“We need to [replicate it],” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “We were great on the road last year. We grew to where we embraced it. There’s something about going into somebody else’s place, rallying together, playing well and finding a way to win. We were able to do that in different ways last year.”

Rivers approaching records

Quarterback Philip Rivers is close to eclipsing multiple milestones on Sunday against the Lions.

  • Will reach 210 consecutive starts on Sunday, tying QB Eli Manning for the second-most by a quarterback in NFL history.
  • Needs 11 passing yards to become the eighth player in NFL history with at least 55,000 career passing yards.
  • Needs at least 300 passing yards to reach 64 career 300-yard games, which would break the tie Rivers has with Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino for sole possession of No. 4 in NFL history.

When asked about these records, Rivers mentioned his gratitude on staying healthy.

“All of those guys that you’ve mentioned — you mentioned [Hall of Fame QB Dan] Marino — those are guys that, shoot, I had posters of them on my wall when I was little. I always dreamed of playing quarterback in this league. I’m certainly far off in many other ways, but to say it’s not special or you don’t appreciate it would be lying.”

LIONS PLAYERS TO WATCH

T.J. Hockenson

Tight end T.J. Hockenson was selected by Detroit with the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Hockenson lived up to the hype in the Lions’ opening game against the Cardinals, as he set an NFL rookie record for receiving yards by a tight end in his first career game with 131 over six catches.

“That’s why they took him [in the first round] of the draft last year,” said head coach Anthony Lynn. “He’s from Iowa. They do a good job of producing tight ends at that university…. He’s a good football player. He also is a good blocker on the line of scrimmage.”

“He jumps out,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “We knew coming out how talented he was just talking to some of our offensive coaches. Then to see him come out the way he did, we have to have really good awareness of where he is on the field because he’s that caliber.”

Matthew Stafford

The 10-year veteran threw for an impressive 385 yards against the Cardinals in Week 1. After inking a five-year, $135 million contract in 2017, the Lions have committed to Stafford as their long-term quarterback as the team tries to return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 NFC wild card game.

“He’s a franchise guy no doubt about it,” Lynn said. “I like what (offensive coordinator) Darrell (Bevell) is doing with him - he’s opening the offense up for him. Matthew kept his own read last week and went for 15 yards. He’s definitely the strength of that football team.”

Danny Amendola

Another free agent signing by the Lions this past offseason, wide receiver Danny Amendola is entering his 11th season in the NFL. Having won two Super Bowls on the same staff as Patricia in New England, Amendola brings reliability and toughness to the wide receiver position for the Lions.

“He’s a typical slot guy,” Lynn said. “He’s quick, he has good hands, he’s tough, he’ll block (and) he’ll catch. He does a nice job reading coverages

Lions Defense

The Lions added to their defensive force by signing former New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers in free agency this spring.

In Flowers’ previous three seasons in New England, he had 164 total tackles (100 solo) and 21 sacks, playing an integral role in then Patriots defensive coordinator Patricia’s system.

A key matchup to watch will be how second year offensive tackle Trent Scott handles Flowers.

“Every week, they’ve got somebody (tough up front),” Whisenhunt said. “That’s the way it is in this league and Trent just has to keep working. You know he feels good about it and I understand it's not easy, but he really wants to be a good player and he goes about it the right way.”

When asked about facing a Lions defense who, for the first three quarters of last week’s game, held Arizona to just six points and 100 total yards of offense, tight end Virgil Green mentioned the physicality of Patricia’s defensive strategy.

“They are going to try and play bully ball,” Green said. “Typically, they say the most physical team wins, and my goal is to always be the most physical tight end and to control the game the way we want to.”

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