Fresh off a win in last weekend’s opening game thriller with the Colts, the Los Angeles Chargers head to Motown to take on what surely must be a dispirited Lions team. Detroit let a commanding lead evaporate in the last half of the 4th quarter in Arizona on Sunday only to settle for a tie in the desert. There are a number of matchups the Bolts must deal with on Sunday, but let’s look at three of the biggest.
3 Key Matchups For The Chargers Against The Lions On Sunday
Left Tackle Trent Scott vs. Lions Defensive End Trey Flowers.
Flowers was Detroit’s prize free-agent signing, the guy who was to help transform the Lions’ D into Matt Patricia’s dream of an attacking and menacing unit that can harass opposing quarterbacks and in the process, stuff any serious running attack. The opener against the Cardinals was not exactly a joyous coming-out party for Flowers.
His stat line featured a grand total of two tackles, no tackles for loss, no sacks, and no QB hits. Scott played fairly porous in the opener allowing Colts DE Justin Houston to collect 4 tackles, one for loss, a sack, and a QB hit.
This weekend’s matchup against the younger, more athletic Flowers should certainly be a bigger challenge for Mr. Scott, especially with Flowers coming off that disappointing day and playing Sunday for the first time in front of his new home fans.
Running Back Austin Ekeler vs. The Detroit Front Seven.
Ekeler put on a 2-dimensional show for the Chargers in last Sunday’s win over the Colts. Those wondering how the offense would survive without Melvin Gordon surely liked what they saw, at least for one game. He carried 12 times for 58 yards and a score, adding six catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lions, however, would seem to present a little more of a challenge, at least along the defensive front. Together, with the aforementioned Flowers, tackles Damon Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson form a wall that could be among the NFL’s best as this season progresses. Add run-stuffing middle backer Jarrad Davis to the mix and rushing yards may just be at a premium for Ekeler and the Chargers.
Chargers Safeties vs. Lions Tight End T.J. Hockenson.
Hockenson put on a display in his pro debut in Arizona last week, setting the NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end in his first game. Rayshawn Jenkins and Adrian Phillips have their work cut out for them in the form of Matthew Stafford already. But in the absence of Derwin James, possibly the best safety in the league at handling tight ends, the pair’s ability to deal with Hockenson could prove to be the difference in winning and losing.