Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Matthew Stafford threw for 373 yards and three
touchdowns as Detroit locked up its first playoff berth in more than a decade
with a 38-10 decision over San Diego at Ford Field.
Calvin Johnson totaled 102 yards and a score on four receptions for the Lions
(10-5), who will reach the postseason for the first time since 1999.
Kevin Smith posted 49 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries with a TD reception,
as Detroit posted a double-digit win total for the first time since going 10-6
"We're excited we made the playoffs," Stafford said. "It's a team goal, a team
Philip Rivers completed 28-of-53 passes for 299 yards, one touchdown and two
interceptions for the Chargers (7-8), who saw their three-game win streak come
to an end and were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Malcom Floyd totaled 95 yards on six catches with a touchdown grab, and Ryan
Mathews gained just 58 yards on 11 carries for San Diego, which was coming off
a 34-14 win over Baltimore.
"The disappointment is how we played," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "I
expected to feed off of what we did last week and play at a high level."
Rivers found Floyd for a 11-yard score on San Diego's second touch of the
second half, then Nick Novak successfully executed an onside kick which was
recovered by Eric Weddle at the 48. Ten plays were not enough to gain the end
zone, though, and when Novak hit from 22 yards out, the Bolts were within
But Detroit came right back on Smith's six-yard TD run which finished off the
subsequent 80-yard dash. The Lions then stopped the Chargers on a fourth down
at the two early in the fourth.
The outcome was officially sealed on a 2nd-and-11 from the one-yard line, as
Rivers was picked off by Cliff Avril, who took a few steps into the end zone
with 2:28 to play.
Stafford -- who completed 29-of-36 passes on Saturday -- connected with
Brandon Pettigrew for a seven-yard score on Detroit's first drive of the
Jason Hanson was good from 50 yards away on the Lions' next touch, a 65-yard
drive executed in 13 plays.
The Lions offensive juggernaut continued on their first series of the second
quarter, when Smith hauled in a three-yard pass from Stafford. The score was
facilitated one play earlier on Nate Burleson's 30-yard catch on 3rd-and-19
from the San Diego 33.
After yet another Chargers punt, Stafford and Johnson combined on a 14-yard
score to cap a 74-yard drive to make it 24-0 with 31 seconds left in the half.
Detroit's victory snapped a six-game losing string against San Diego, dating
back to 1981...The Lions improved to 4-2 all-time at home against the
Bolts...Antonio Gates totaled four catches for 40 yards, and moved into the
all-time franchise lead for receptions in Chargers' history (588), surpassing
Charlie Joiner...Detroit hasn't won a playoff game since 1991, when it
finished atop the NFC Central with a 12-4 mark, then beat Dallas in a
divisional playoff before falling to Super Bowl champion Washington in the NFC
title contest...Johnson's TD reception was his 15th of the season, tying the
franchise record first set in 1952 by Cloyce Box.
12/24 21:31:03 ET
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