Missed kicks, squandered opportunities lead to ugly road loss for Chargers

DETROIT -- Mistakes cost the Los Angeles Chargers, as they let one slip away in a 13-10 loss on the road against the Detroit Lions.

Punter Ty Long was money filling in for regular kicker Michael Badgley last week, earning AFC Special Teams player of the week honors. However, Long missed two field goals from 40 and 39 yards on Sunday.

The Chargers also had two touchdowns called back due to penalties, and running back Austin Ekeler fumbled at the goal line while trying to dive over the pile.

Philip Rivers led the Chargers on a drive late in the game for the potential winning score, but the Lions secured the victory when Darius Slay picked off a Rivers offering forced into double coverage intended to Allen in the end zone.

QB breakdown: Rivers became the eighth player in NFL history to reach 55,000 career passing yards on Sunday. Rivers passed the mark with a 35-yard pass to Ekeler. Rivers now has 55,282 passing yards.

Rivers also made his 210th consecutive start against the Lions, tying New York Giants signal-caller Eli Manning for second-most by a quarterback in NFL history.

“I always dreamed of playing quarterback in this league,” Rivers said this week of reaching those milestones. “To say it’s not special or you don’t appreciate it would be lying. It is pretty cool any time any of those things come up.”

Promising trend: The Chargers' defense finished with two interceptions on the day. Casey Hayward secured his first interception since 2017, and safety Rayshawn Jenkins recorded his first career interception. Forcing more interceptions was a point of emphasis for the Chargers during the offseason and training camp, and that work paid off against the Lions.

Troubling trend: The Chargers finished with five drops and a forced fumble on the day, one of the reasons the Bolts scored only 10 points. The most glaring of those mistakes was Ekeler fumbling at the goal line while trying to jump over the pile. The Chargers likely will be doing some extra work on ball security this week.