Lions return from bye seeking road win at Chargers


Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST, CBS

BETTING LINE: Lions by 3, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Lions 6-2; Chargers 4-4.

SERIES RECORD: Chargers lead 7-5.

LAST MEETING: Lions beat Chargers 13-10 on Sept. 15, 2019, in Detroit.

LAST WEEK: Lions had bye, beat Raiders 26-14 on Oct. 30; Chargers beat Jets 27-6.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Lions even; Chargers plus-9.

LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: TE Sam LaPorta. The former Iowa star is the first NFL tight end with 40 catches, 400 yards receiving and four receiving touchdowns through his first eight games in the league.

CHARGERS PLAYER TO WATCH: OLB Joey Bosa had 2 1/2 of the eight Los Angeles sacks of the Jets' Zach Wilson on Monday night. With 3 1/2 sacks in the past two games, Bosa looks to be fully recovered from hamstring and toe injuries that limited his availability in October.

KEY MATCHUP: Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. Chargers CB Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. The Los Angeles secondary has been able to contain two poor passing offenses in wins over Chicago and the Jets. Whether that carries over to defending St. Brown, who ranks in the top 10 in the NFL in receptions (57) and yards receiving (665), will be a good indication of how much improvement the unit has actually made. St. Brown has three straight 100-yard games since missing Week 5 against Carolina because of an abdominal injury.

KEY INJURIES: Detroit might get a trio of banged-up starters back on offense in RB David Montgomery (ribs), OL Jonah Jackson (ankle) and C Frank Ragnow (toe). … The Chargers seem to be back to full health. Notably, QB Justin Herbert looks to have recovered from the broken finger on his non-throwing hand.

SERIES NOTES: The Chargers are a perfect 5-0 at home against the Lions. … The home team has won each of the past four games in this rarely played series. … This is the first road game for the Lions at the Chargers since they moved to Los Angeles in 2017.

STATS AND STUFF: The Lions, who haven’t won a division title since 1993, lead the NFC North with their best record midway through the season since 2004. ... St. Brown, a former USC star, is the only NFL player with an active 18-game streak with 40-plus yards receiving. ... Jahmyr Gibbs has 564 yards from scrimmage, trailing just Barry Sanders (569) and Billy Sims (914) for the most through the first six games of a career with the Lions. The former Alabama star has 125-plus yards from scrimmage and a score in two straight games, joining Sims (1980), Sanders (1989) and Kevin Jones (2004) as the four players to do that in team history. ... The Lions added depth at the trade deadline, sending a 2025 sixth-round pick to Cleveland for WR Donovan Peoples-Jones. ... LB Alex Anzalone had three tackles for losses, including two sacks, to become Detroit’s first LB to pull off that feat since at least 1994. ... In the win over Las Vegas, Alim McNeill became Detroit’s first interior DL to have two sacks and a defended pass since Shaun Rogers did it in 2007. … Herbert threw for 136 yards against the Jets, the lowest output of his career in a win. It was also the third time in four seasons Herbert was victorious without throwing a touchdown. … Chargers rookie WR Derius Davis had an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Jets, the longest in the NFL this season. Davis leads the league averaging 16.6 yards per punt return. … OLB Khalil Mack has three strip-sacks among his nine total sacks this season. Cleveland DE Myles Garrett (four) and Miami OLB Bradley Chubb (three) are the only other defenders with at least three strip-sacks. … The win over New York marked the second time in Brandon Staley’s three seasons as head coach where the Chargers held an opponent under 10 points. The low was three points allowed to Indianapolis in Week 16 last season. … Rookie OLB Tuli Tuipulotu got his first multi-sack game against the Jets. He also picked up his seventh tackle for loss, most among all first-year defenders.

FANTASY TIP: Temper expectations for Chargers RB Austin Ekeler against a strong rush defense that has allowed six touchdowns this season. Ekeler hasn’t averaged better than 3.4 yards per carry since returning from an ankle injury, so he’ll need a lot of work as a receiver to make up for it in a tough matchup.