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3 takeaways from the Detroit Lions victory over the Los Angeles Chargers

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It wasn’t pretty, but the Lions got the job done.

Los Angeles Chargers v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

It wasn’t pretty, but the Detroit Lions managed to upset the Los Angeles Chargers 13-10 and keep their undefeated record on the season. Here are a few takeaways from the surprising win.

Up and down day for Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford looked amazing in Week 1, and it looked like his woes of 2018 were finally put behind him. Week 2 gave us more to be worried about.

Stafford threw two horrible interceptions that cost the team dearly. The first was into the endzone in the third quarter when he underthrew receiver Kenny Golladay and the ball ended up in the hands of Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward. The second was an ill-advised throw into deep double coverage downfield, essentially wasting an entire possession for Detroit.

On the other hand, Stafford made a few amazing throws. His fourth quarter touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay was a perfectly placed laser for his young receiver. He put many of his passes on a rope and hit windows that many quarterbacks could not. Stafford will still need to clean up many of the errors, but it was an overall decent performance from Detroit’s quarterback.

Ty Johnson sees an increased role

Rookie running back Ty Johnson is a unique piece for Detroit’s offense. He is the fastest player on the team and is a threat to score whenever he has the ball. The rookie did not see much usage in Week 1 as CJ Anderson and JD McKissic were preferred by the Lions coaching staff. This week has shown Johnson has clearly won favor with the coaching staff, though.

Johnson got more touches than McKissic and Anderson in Week 2, and he did great with the opportunities given. He rushed for 30 yards on five carries and had six more yards through the air. It was not a stand out performance, but getting a player as dangerous Johnson more involved every week adds another level to Darrell Bevell’s offense.

The Special Teams needs help

Detroit’s special teams have been a disaster this season. Last week, a late blocked punt allowed the Arizona Cardinals to force the game into overtime. This week, a variety of special teams errors cost the team dearly.

Former first team All-Pro return man Jamal Agnew is having trouble finding running lanes on punt returns and has caught a case of the fumbles. Special teams penalties have become a huge problem for the team as well, and it seems like every time they are on the field they are responsible for a flag. Even the usually reliable Matt Prater missed a field goal and an extra point.

There clearly needs to be some sort of fix for the Lions this week. Whether it is a coaching change or a personnel change, the Lions need a solution on special teams.