DETROIT — Matthew Stafford and Darius Slay had a lot to do with the Los Angeles Chargers leading the Lions for three-plus quarters.
And, both players bounced back in the final minutes to lift Detroit to a 13-10 victory Sunday.
Stafford threw a go-ahead, 31-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay midway through the fourth quarter and Slay made an interception in the end zone with 1:03 left.
Detroit (1-0-1) overcame Stafford's two interceptions, Slay getting outplayed by Keenan Allen and Matt Prater missing an extra point and a field goal.
"I'm doing this team a disservice if I shut down after two picks," Stafford said.
The Chargers (1-1) were in a position to attempt a 45-yard field goal to tie the game, but Philip Rivers tried to force a pass to Allen and Slay picked it off.
Allen had his way with Slay for much of the day, making eight catches for 98 yards.
"I feel like I was putting on a clinic and then to come down to the last play and he makes a play," Allen said.
The Lions failed to make plays on both sides of the ball in the opener, blowing an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter and settling for a tie at Arizona. Stafford converted a third-down pass to Jesse James with just under a minute left — a week after a timeout was called just before Stafford completed a pass that could've sealed a win over the Cardinals.
During much of Detroit's home-opening game, though, it looked as though the franchise would have to wait at least another week to earn a win.
Austin Ekeler leaped over the goal line for a 1-yard TD on the Chargers' second drive.
Detroit scored a TD on the ensuing possession with a screen pass that Kerryon Johnson bobbled before securing and sprinting for a 36-yard reception, but Prater muted some of the cheers by missing an extra point to the left. Prater also missed a 40-yard field goal to the right in the second quarter.
The Chargers went from their 3 to the Detroit 21 in 1:16, setting up Ty Long's 39-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give them a 10-6 lead.
Stafford threw a long pass up for grabs in the end zone early in the third quarter and cornerback Casey Hayward came down with it. Stafford had thrown 181 passes without an interception, which was the NFL's longest active streak.
The Chargers had two TDs negated by flags on the next drive and a penalty by Detroit gave Los Angeles the ball at the 1. Ekeler tried to dive into the end zone again for a score, but rookie Jahlani Tavai forced him to fumble and linebacker Devon Kennard recovered it.
Los Angeles got in position to score again in the third, but Long missed a 39-yard field goal by hitting the left upright. The punter was filling in for kicker Michael Badgley, who missed a second straight game with a groin injury.
Stafford helped the Chargers keep their lead on the next possession, trying to force a deep pass to Marvin Jones and getting it easily picked off by safety Rayshawn Jenkins.
"I felt like that third quarter, it was right there for us to blow the doors off," Rivers said. "And then we kept letting it stay at 10-6."
Los Angeles opted to attempt a 41-yard kick instead of going for it on fourth-and-1 at the Detroit 23 and Long couldn't convert on the field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Detroit coach Matt Patricia chose to pass, instead of kick, on a fourth-and-1 on the ensuing drive and Stafford converted on a pass to Jones to set up his go-ahead throw to Golladay on the next snap.
"That was a laser," Patricia said, reflecting on Stafford's throw to Jones. "I don't know if Marvin caught it or if it just stuck in his chest."
Rivers converted a third-and-10 with a 12-yard run early in the next drive for his longest run since the 2014 season before getting picked off.
HE SAID IT
"There's a lot of bad football in September," Patricia said.
Chargers: Rivers was 21 of 36 for 293 yards and an interception. Ekeler finished with 67 yards receiving and 66 yards rushing for his second straight game with 100-plus yards from scrimmage.
Lions: Stafford was 22 of 30 for 245 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Golladay had eight receptions for 117 yards. Johnson had 88 yards from scrimmage.
Chargers: CB Michael Davis (hamstring) was inactive. S Adrian Phillips left early in the fourth quarter with a forearm injury.
Lions: OT Taylor Decker (back) and LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) were inactive.
Chargers: Host Houston on Sunday.
Lions: Play at Philadelphia on Sunday.
Too many mistakes for short-handed Chargers in loss to Lions
DETROIT — Philip Rivers rattled off a lengthy list of problems for the Los Angeles Chargers, trying to avoid using his team's health issues as an excuse.
"Nothing we did out there today, from the fumbles, the interceptions, to the two touchdowns called back, to a couple third-and-shorts we didn't convert — that had nothing to do with injuries," Rivers said. "That's all self-inflicted."
Rivers left out one important area — a struggling kicking game — but he was right that the short-handed Chargers had plenty of chances to pull away from Detroit on Sunday.
Instead, they let the Lions stay in the game until the fourth quarter, when Detroit took the lead and won 13-10.
Los Angeles is without safety Derwin James (foot), tight end Hunter Henry (knee) and cornerback Trevor Williams (quad), and on Sunday, the Chargers were also missing kicker Michael Badgley (groin). Ty Long, the punter, made a 39-yard field goal at the end of the first half, but he also missed from 39 and 41 yards in the second half.
But the Lions made mistakes of their own. Kicker Matt Prater missed a field goal and an extra point, and Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions. Rivers and the Chargers led 10-6 in the third quarter and appeared poised to increase their advantage.
Justin Jackson broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run, but that was called back for holding toward the end of the play. Then Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler, only to have that brought back for an illegal block.
It still appeared Los Angeles would reach the end zone. The Chargers had first-and-goal from the 1 — but Ekeler fumbled trying to leap toward the goal line. He'd scored in similar fashion earlier in the game.
"There's a time to leap, and there's a time to run through," coach Anthony Lynn said. "Usually in a got-to-have-it situation, you can go over the top and extend the ball, but that definitely wasn't a got-to-have-it situation. The ball should have been secured."
The Lions recovered the fumble, and the Chargers never did score again. After falling behind, they drove into field goal range, but on third-and-19 from the Detroit 28, Rivers threw deep into coverage for Keenan Allen and was intercepted by Darius Slay with 1:03 remaining.
"We were just trying to make a play at the end of the game, probably was too aggressive," Allen said. "If we could do it again, probably drop it off short and go for a field goal."
Rivers said no matter how the play looked, he didn't think it was any kind of desperation throw.
"Slay's back was turned to me, so I thought, Keenan maybe, interference maybe, or incomplete and let's go kick it," Rivers said. "I certainly didn't think interception or I wouldn't have thrown it."
It was a frustrating ending for Los Angeles on a day the Chargers rolled up 424 yards.
"We can't fumble the ball on the 1-yard line, we can't have two touchdowns called back with penalties, we've got to make our damn kicks," Lynn said.
-- By Noah Trister, AP