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Stafford overcomes mistakes to help Lions top Chargers 13-10

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By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matt Prater, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Marvin Jones, Keenan Allen, Ty Long, Jesse James, Kenny Golladay, Michael Badgley, Kerryon Johnson

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) walks off the field in the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Detroit won 13-10. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, left, and Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia talk after an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Detroit won 13-10. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)


Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) celebrates his interception against the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)


Los Angeles Chargers punter Ty Long (1) reacts to missing a field goal as Detroit Lions defensive back Dee Virgin (30) reacts in the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (22) runs the ball as Detroit Lions outside linebacker Christian Jones (52) defends in the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)


Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws in the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (97) and Isaac Rochell (98) celebrate in the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater (5) reacts to missing an extra point in the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Brandon Facyson (28) brings Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) down after a reception in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) scores on a one-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first half an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throws in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


DETROIT (AP) 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.''

RARE RUN

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.

THE NUMBERS

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.

INJURIES

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.

UP NEXT

Chargers: Host Houston on Sunday.

Lions: Play at Philadelphia on Sunday.

Player Notes
Courtland Sutton Oct 17 6:00pm ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton has been the biggest breakout on the Broncos roster this year, as he is continuing to solidify his role as the team's top receiver as Emmanuel Sanders starts to age. Sutton has been a consistent option at a WR2/Flex spot for owners the past few weeks, and owners can expect much of the same in Week 7. Sutton is bound to get his share of targets and should turn that into solid production against a secondary that has been torched by the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, and Jacksonville Jaguars this year.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Oct 17 6:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (ankle, knee) and tight end Jared Cook (ankle) both missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday and could be in jeopardy of missing Week 7 against the Bears. They'll need to get in at least some limited practice on Friday. Kamara fought through his injuries last week and was noticeably not the same powerful back. If he sits out, backup Latavius Murray will have RB2 upside, albeit in a tough matchup. Cook has scored the last two games but remains on the TE1/2 borderline as a touchdown-dependent player. Josh Hill would see more action at the position if Cook cannot play.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Oct 17 6:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (quadriceps) dealt with a quadriceps bruise as a rookie and was able to play the very next week. Cooper was unable to walk on Monday after suffering the injury in Week 6, but he was encouraged by his improvement on Wednesday. However, his improvement has plateaued. He thinks it's a different muscle than during his rookie season. He will practice on Friday and test it to see what his status is for Week 7 against the Eagles on Sunday night. Cooper hasn't practiced this week, making it unlikely that he plays. But he may try to gut it out in this big divisional game. He's already shaping up to be one to avoid in fantasy with the game being on Sunday night, but Cooper could be ineffective if he plays at less than 100 percent. Michael Gallup would be the team's top receiver if Cooper is out, with Devin Smith and Tavon Austin set for increased workloads. Randall Cobb is also hurt and looks likely to miss his second straight game.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Oct 17 5:50pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant has had a rocky start to his rookie season and has been shaky to trust with any fantasy production. The one thing that Fant has going for him is his high snap count, but even that took a dip last week as he only saw action on 65% of snaps with teammate Jeff Heuerman managing a 52% snap count. The rookie tight end may be able to be stashed on rosters, but with the current offensive plan he simply isn't getting consistent enough production to justify a starting role on fantasy teams.

From RotoBaller

Mason Crosby Oct 17 5:40pm ET

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is in line for a great game against the Oakland Raiders. The Packers have needed to call upon their veteran kicker multiple times this season, with him only missing one of his 11 attempts this year. Given the struggles that the offense has had this season and the offense hit with injury this week to the receiver position, Crosby is likely to be a great kicking option for fantasy owners this week with plenty of opportunities if the offense stalls.

From RotoBaller

Green Bay Packers Oct 17 5:40pm ET

The Green Bay Packers Defense could be an effective streaming option against the Oakland Raiders this week. The Raiders were able to deny the Chicago Bears a single sack in their last game, but that was due in part to the injury to defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. The Packers have been able to bring pressure to opposing quarterbacks this season with 37 quarterback hits and 18 sacks recorded in six games. The team is likely to continue that pressure and should force quarterbackDerek Carr into some poor throws, making them a great streaming option this week.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Lindsay Oct 17 5:40pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay is starting to build an impressive log of games to start the year and he looks to keep the ball rolling against one of the league's worst run defenses on Thursday night. The Chiefs have been abysmal against the run, which should make Lindsay owners salivate as he has a great chance to break quite a few loose to rack up some major yardage. The sophomore back should be starting in most leagues for Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Royce Freeman Oct 17 5:40pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman continues to carve out a significant role in the Broncos passing offense as the season progresses. This allows him to hold flex value in a PPR setting, as he is seeing between four and five receptions a week out of the backfield. Expect much of the same against Kansas City on Thursday night, which will allow for Freeman to sneak into flex spots this week.

From RotoBaller

Joe Flacco Oct 17 5:40pm ET

Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco has had a rough start to his 2019 season with the Broncos and at this point is finding himself on very few fantasy rosters. While his matchup with Kansas City isn't all that daunting, Flacco needs to prove that he has the ability to put up points consistently before he is a matchup based play. This is a good test week to see what the veteran quarterback can do against a weak secondary, but he shouldnt be starting on rosters this week.

From RotoBaller

Allen Lazard Oct 17 5:30pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard could be an effective bye-week replacement this week against the Oakland Raiders. The Packers top three receivers have been severely hit by injury, giving Lazard a great opportunity this week. The Oakland Raiders are one of the worst units defending against the position, giving up an average of 27.8 points to wideouts this season. If you are in need of a bye replacement, then Lazard has the ability to have a great game in your flex position and is widely available. However, be aware that Green Bay could lean heavily on the run with their receiving corps hobbled.

From RotoBaller

Jake Kumerow Oct 17 5:30pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jake Kumerow could be an effective flex option against the Oakland Raiders this week. The Packers pass-catching options have been deeply hit by injury, meaning that after impressing in the preseason, Kumerow could be given a larger role against the Raiders. The Raiders have given up an average of 27.8 points this season to wide receivers, one of the highest marks in the league. With Marquez Valdes-Scantling struggling as the Packers lead receiver, Kumerow could end up having a much bigger role. But with the uncertainty on target share this far down the depth chart, that outcome can't be relied upon, making him a high-upside flex option this week if the team is short-handed.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Graham Oct 17 5:30pm ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham could prove to be an effective option against the Oakland Raiders this week. The Packers look likely to be missing Davante Adams(toe) and Geronimo Allison(concussion) this week, meaning Graham could be given more targets in this game. The Raiders are one of the worst teams at defending the position this season, giving up an average of 9.7 points to tight ends per game. While Graham has struggled to get involved in the offense this season, the fact that he is one of the most familiar pass-catching options for quarterbackAaron Rodgers, combined with the matchup, could give him starting value for fantasy owners this week.

From RotoBaller

Jakobi Meyers Oct 17 5:30pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers could be looking at an increase in snaps in Week 7 against the Jets for Monday Night Football. The Patriots are banged up at receiver right now with Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett dealing with injuries. So it is next man up and Meyers could play a prominent role. Meyers stepped up last week, hauling in four catches for 52 yards against the Giants. The rookie was one of the brightest stars of the preseason for the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady has spoken highly of him in the past. There certainly is opportunity here but Meyers will be, no more, than a dart-throw in fantasy for Week 7.

From RotoBaller

New England Patriots Oct 17 5:30pm ET

The New England Patriots Defense will head to New Jersey to take on the Jets in Week 7 on Monday Night Football. The Patriots are undefeated and the dominance of the defense has been the biggest narrative of their young season. This week they will face the Jets for a second time and their offense is allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing defenses. Granted, Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold has missed time this season but the Patriots racked up five sacks and one interception against the Jets in Week 3. The vaunted unit is allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and only two passers have amassed more than 10 fantasy points against them. Start the Patriots defense with confidence.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Oct 17 5:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling(ankle, knee) is a borderline WR3 this week against the Oakland Raiders. He'll need to get in at least a limited practice on Friday in order to have a shot at playing. Valdes-Scantling has struggled to be an effective fantasy receiver without Davante Adams(toe) in the lineup. In the past two weeks, Valdes-Scantling has seen just six targets, catching three of them for 66 yards. The Raiders are a team that has been exposed through the air this season, giving up an average of 27.8 points to the position. However, even as the Packers lead receiver in recent weeks, his target share limits his upside in the matchup as a WR3.

From RotoBaller

Jamaal Williams Oct 17 5:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams has RB3 value in deeper leagues against the Oakland Raiders this week. Williams returned from injury against the Detroit Lions, taking full advantage of the struggles of Aaron Jones. Williams finished the game with 104 yards on the ground, with an additional 32 yards and a touchdown through the air. The Raiders have been an effective unit against running backs, giving up an average of just 16.3 points to the position. However, they have yet to face a team that has had an effective running attack. While Jones has been the lead back in the games in which both players have been available, Williams is still likely to be given enough touches to be an RB3 or flex play, especially with Green Bay's top three receivers potentially inactive due to injury.

From RotoBaller

James White Oct 17 5:20pm ET

New England Patriots running back James White will be on the fantasy radar as a solid PPR play in Week 7 against the Jets. White is far off his production from last season but has been active the past three games. White has 23 receptions for 149 yards during that span and the Jets have allowed nine catches for 97 yards to running backs over their last two games. The veteran's role is mostly in the passing game for the Patriots offense and the team may look White's way with nagging injuries running through the wide receiver group at present. White will have FLEX value in Week 7 but it would be wise to deploy him in PPR leagues only.

From RotoBaller

Rex Burkhead Oct 17 5:20pm ET

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead (foot) remains limited in practice as the team prepares to take on the Jets this Monday night in Week 7. Burkhead has missed the past two games and would certainly like another crack at the Jets Defense. In Week 3, Burkhead racked up 69 yards from scrimmage with one touchdown against the Jets. Even if the veteran suits up Monday night, Burkhead will not be fantasy viable until he can prove that he is healthy and back in the flow of the offense.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Oct 17 5:20pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (chest) was limited during the Patriots practice on Thursday. It appears to simply be a maintenance day for the veteran after taking a couple of big shots last week. Edelman is preparing to go up against a Jets Defense for MNF that is allowing the 13th most fantasy points to receivers this season. Edelman caught seven passes for 62 yards and one touchdown against the Jets in Week 3 and should be on the WR1 map in Week 7 if he plays.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Jones Oct 17 5:10pm ET

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones is a borderline RB1 this week facing the Oakland Raiders. Jones found himself marginalized against the Detroit Lions after failing to catch a touchdown pass. Jones watched as Jamaal Williams impressed on the field after his return from injury. The Raiders have been one of the better units against running backs this season, giving up an average of just 16.3 points to the position, but the Packers have been an effective running attack, so they could blow that points total out of the water. The difficulty in putting Jones as an RB1 is the uncertainty on the split of touches. While Jones is likely to get the majority of the work, he could slip into RB2 territory if Williams' role is increased.

From RotoBaller