In the battle of Powder Blue vs. Honolulu Blue, it comes to which tired, post-OT defense can rebound better. Rivers and Stafford are classic fourth-quarter gunslingers, but it’s a little easier to trust LA’s pass rush and secondary in crunch time.
Chargers are better in all areas. Lions must be writhing after being up by 18 at Arizona midway through the fourth quarter and blowing it.
The Chargers are the better team and I think Philip Rivers will light up the Lions.
How could anybody pick the Lions (0-0-1) after that disaster against the Cards on Sunday? Detroit looks like, well, Detroit. The Chargers (1-0) are dealing with their annual crush of injuries, but they prevail here.
Both teams are coming off overtime games, but the Chargers managed to survive their extra period with the Colts. Much like the Steelers overtime tie in Cleveland last year, it felt like a loss for the Lions. They blew a 24-6 lead to the Cardinals.
Let’s not complicate this too much. The Chargers are a Super Bowl contender, while the Lions are easily the worst team in their division. The Chargers finished 8-1 in games outside of Los Angeles last season, with their only loss coming against the Patriots. L.A. also continues to dominate in the yards per play differential department, having the fourth-best mark last week.
A tale of two overtimes: Los Angeles almost blew its home opener to the Colts but won in overtime. Detroit melted down in Arizona, blowing an 18-point lead to rookie quarterback Kyler Murray before settling for a tie. The Chargers' running game looked fine without Melvin Gordon. The Lions seemed to find a star in rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson.
At a certain point, you just can’t ignore the injuries for the Chargers. Derwin James and Russell Okung remain out, and now it looks like Hunter Henry will miss some time, while Mike Williams is dinged up. That’s a lot of talent.
The Lions might have a pretty good defense this season in their second year under Matt Patricia. Detroit has a chance to pull off the home upset against the Chargers, who are still missing key players after narrowly defeating the Colts in L.A.
Building a big lead is more predictive than blowing a big lead, and the Lions looked legitimate in crushing the Cardinals 24-6 before melting down and settling for a 27-27 tie. The Chargers are still somewhat of an unproven commodity given their mounting injuries and an uninspiring overtime win over a similarly enigmatic Colts team.
The Chargers graded 28th in run defense last season, per Pro Football Focus, and they didn’t fare much better to open this season, with the Colts rushing for 203 yards in Week 1, the second-highest mark across the NFL. The Lions have their flaws, no doubt, but the running back tandem of Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson is positioned to succeed in Week 2. Take the home ‘dog against a banged-up Chargers club.
There is no question that both teams can muster some offense — and their respective quarterbacks are as durable as they come — but Los Angeles should be concerned about its defensive showing in Week 1.
The Chargers will be without Melvin Gordon, Russell Okung, Hunter Henry, Derwin James and probably Mike Williams. That’s a heavy injury (and holdout) list, and they travel east for an early game. The Lions blew last week’s win, but they’re catching a beat-up Chargers team.