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Week 2 Game Recap: Los Angeles Chargers 10, Detroit Lions 13


What you need to know

Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers squandered a great opportunity to win on the road against the Lions. They outplayed the Lions, but Austin Ekeler fumbled a ball at the goal line, Michael Badgley missed two second half field goals, and Philip Rivers threw an interception in the end zone on the final drive. Rivers was inconsistent, missing on several throws, including two attempts to Keenan Allen that could have made a big fantasy day. Despite his fumble, Ekeler had a solid fantasy game on 23 touches.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions won a sloppy game against the Chargers, where the Chargers missed two fields goals and turned the ball over twice in the second half. The Lions capitalized to win with a Matthew Stafford touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay for a go-ahead touchdown. Kerryon Johnson led the backfield with twelve carries and scored a receiving touchdown on a screen pass, but only had half of the running back carries in the game.

Los Angeles Chargers

QB Philip Rivers, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 36 - 293 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0
Philip Rivers was inconsistent on the road against the Lions in week two. Rivers targeted Keenan Allen heavily throughout the game but missed overthrew him twice on plays that could have gone for big gains. He targeted Mike Williams in the end zone twice, but Williams could not catch either target before the Chargers gave the ball to Austin Ekeler to convert a touchdown. Rivers also threw a bad interception into double coverage to Allen in the end zone on the final Chargers drive of the game. Rivers was not helped by his teammates, as he had a touchdown pass called back by penalty, and had multiple drops by teammates. With Williams nursing an injury, Hunter Henry out, and Melvin Gordon continuing to hold out, Rivers is missing critical weapons in the offense and will need to elevate his play. He will look to bounce against a tough Texans defense in week three.

RB Austin Ekeler, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 66 - 1, Rec: 6 - 67 - 0 (6 targets)
Austin Ekeler was terrific in a game where he could have had a massive day. Ekeler converted a goal-line touchdown early in the game, but had a reception for a long touchdown called back by a holding and fumbled at the goal line on a point-blank opportunity. He was elusive throughout the game, consistently making life difficult for the first defender. Ekeler out-touched Justin Jackson 23 to 8, a continued sign of his lead back role in the Melvin Gordon-less Chargers offense. Ekeler projects to be the lead back against Texans in week three.

RB Justin Jackson, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 59 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets)
Justin Jackson played the lesser half of a committee against the Detroit Lions. He could have had a significantly better day but had a big gain called back by penalty, a consistent trend by the Chargers throughout the day. Jackson was out-touched 23 to 8 by Austin Ekeler and is the clear second option in the backfield without Melvin Gordon. Jackson is a serviceable player, but Ekeler is clearly the more explosive and dynamic player. Jackson will face the Texans in week three.

WR Keenan Allen, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 98 - 0 (15 targets)
Keenan Allen was a target monster against the Lions, leading the game with 15. Allen was peppered throughout the game, making catches all over the field. He could have had a bigger day but was overthrown twice by Philip Rivers. Allen got easy separation from defenders throughout the game. He was targeted in double coverage on a bad interception by Philip Rivers at the end of the game. With Mike Williams nursing an injury and the offense without Hunter Henry and Melvin Gordon, Allen should see no shortage of targets next week against the Houston Texans.

WR Mike Williams, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 83 - 0 (5 targets)
Mike Williams had an up and down day against the Detroit Lions. He drew two end zone targets and could not catch either early in the game. He made up for it making a spectacular play at the end of the half to set up a field goal attempt. He also had a good catch on a dig in a tight window across the middle of the field. Williams missed practice time during the week with an injury, so but came out of the game unscathed. His status during the week is important to monitor as the Chargers head to Houston in week three.


Detroit Lions

QB Matthew Stafford, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 30 - 245 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 4 - 13 - 0
Matthew Stafford played well in a win against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Detroit established the run early with a backfield led by Kerryon Johnson and a game plan that largely played close to the vest. Stafford threw a touchdown early on a terrifically designed screen to Kerryon Johnson, that Johnson initially bobbled, but secured and ran in for a long touchdown. Stafford closed out a comeback win with a big-time touchdown throw to Kenny Golladay on a post while covered by Casey Hayward. Stafford was sharp, exploiting the perimeter with well-placed throws to Marvin Jones and Golladay. Stafford threw two interceptions, one a deep ball to Golladay that Golladay got overpowered on, and a second on a throw into coverage to Jones. Stafford was otherwise efficient and made plays in critical spots, including a fourth down conversion to Jones in the fourth quarter. He also ran for a third down conversion where he took a big hit at the end of the play. With a history of injuries, his health is important to monitor during the week.

RB Kerryon Johnson, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 41 - 0, Rec: 2 - 47 - 1 (3 targets)
Kerryon Johnson was the focal point of the offense early in a win against the Chargers. He had back to back carries on the first two drives and was the beneficiary of a great play design on a screen pass for a long touchdown. Johnson bobbled the ball but secured the catch and had a caravan of blockers on the play. Johnson later dropped an out and up pass on third down. His hands have been shaky dating back to the preseason, so the trend is a troubling one. Johnson was less used later in the game, with a committee of C.J. Anderson, Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic employed throughout the game. While Johnson had more than twice as many carries than any other Detroit running back, he only had half of the backfield’s carries. Johnson was consistently elusive, making life hard for any first defender, but his upside continues to be capped by Detroit’s insistence in running a committee approach in the backfield. Johnson will face a tough test next week at Philadelphia.

WR Kenny Golladay, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 117 - 1 (10 targets)
Kenny Golladay had one of his better days as a pro against the Chargers in a week two win. Golladay scored the game-winning touchdown on a post against Casey Hayward late in the fourth quarter. He was targeted frequently and led the Lions in both targets and receiving yards. Golladay drew a good stylistic matchup as the Chargers frequently employed off coverage which allowed Golladay room to work without facing press coverage where he struggles. Golladay could have had a monster day, but he was outplayed on a deep pass in the end zone that resulted in an interception. He has tantalizing measurables, but this was an example of how he frequently plays smaller than his size. Golladay will travel to Philadelphia in week three.

WR Marvin Jones, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 43 - 0 (6 targets)
Marvin Jones had a quiet start to the game for a second consecutive week, before playing better later in the game. Jones had a highlight diving catch on a corner route and was targeted on an underthrow deep heave where the Chargers were drawn offsides. He also had a critical catch for a fourth down conversion on a quick out from the slot. Jones was targeted on a quizzical throw into coverage by Stafford that was intercepted. Jones has been down in volume through two games but has established himself as a go-to receiver for Matthew Stafford in high leverage situations. He will look to increase his volume in a tough matchup at Philadelphia in week three.

WR Danny Amendola, 35 offensive snaps (1 targets)
After a big week one, Danny Amendola dropped his only target on a third down pass. Amendola will look to bounce back against Philadelphia in week three.

TE T.J. Hockenson, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets)
T.J. Hockenson had a quiet week after a week one breakout. His only catch was a short route on the second series of the game. Detroit schemed Hockenson a target where he sold a block an escaped out the backside of a play, but the play was well defended by the Chargers. Hockenson will look to rebound against the Eagles in week three.