San Diego dal.GIF - 1983 Bytes14
Detroit 07



FINAL 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
San Diego770014
1st Quarter
Drive: 9 plays, 70 yards in 4:48
Key Plays:
  Tomlinson 13-yard run to San Diego 43
  Flutie 10-yard pass to Gates on 3rd-and-3 to Detroit 40
  Flutie 2-yard run on 3rd-and-2 to Detroit 30
  Tomlinson 14-yard run to Detroit 16
2nd Quarter
Drive: 3 plays, 77 yards in 1:02
4th Quarter
Drive: 11 plays, 83 yards in 6:33
Key Plays:
  Harrington 11-yard pass to Gary to Detroit 28
  5-yard defensive holding penalty on Chargers' Wilson on 3rd-and-2 to Detroit 41
  Harrington 16-yard pass to Kircus on 3rd-and-7 to San Diego 40
  Harrington 25-yard pass to Swinton to San Diego 12
Chargers Att Cmp Yds Td Int Lg
Flutie, Doug25172442173
Lions Att Cmp Yds Td Int Lg
Harrington, Joey46262081025
Schroeder, Bill100000
Chargers Att Yds Avg Lg Td
Tomlinson, LaDainian25883.5140
Flutie, Doug7304.3130
Johnson, Leon284.060
Caldwell, Reche155.050
Lions Att Yds Avg Lg Td
Bryson, Shawn10282.860
Gary, Olandis5204.0160
Harrington, Joey3206.7110
Chargers Rec Yds Avg Lg Td
Tomlinson, LaDainian914816.4732
Boston, David46616.5330
Gates, Antonio2189.0100
Osgood, Kassim188.080
Norman, Josh144.040
Lions Rec Yds Avg Lg Td
Bryson, Shawn8425.3120
Swinton, Reggie55410.8250
Schroeder, Bill33812.7250
Gary, Olandis3206.7110
Fitzsimmons, Casey393.041
Ricks, Mikhael22512.5210
Kircus, David11616.0160
Schlesinger, Cory144.040
Tackles-Solo-Assists Sacks-Yds (unofficial)
Chargers T S A Sk-Yd
Edwards, Donnie10640-0
Leber, Ben8800-0
Jammer, Quentin6510-0
Wilson, Jerry6330-0
Moreno, Zeke3300-0
Fisk, Jason3210-0
Leverette, Otis2200-0
Wiley, Marcellus2200-0
Dingle, Adrian2200-0
Kiel, Terrence2200-0
Davis, Sammy1100-0
Cooper, Stephen1100-0
Fox, Vernon1010-0
Lions T S A Sk-Yd
Holmes, Earl7520-0
Rogers, Shaun6600-0
Walker, Brian6420-0
Harris, Corey4400-0
Walker, Bracy4400-0
Bly, Dre4400-0
Smith, Otis4310-0
Evans, Doug4310-0
Gooch, Jeff4310-0
Green, Barrett3210-0
Porcher, Robert3120-0
Hall, James2200-0
Bailey, Boss2200-0
Wilkinson, Dan1100-0
Chargers INT Yds Avg Lg Td
Lions INT Yds Avg Lg Td
Holt, Terrence11212.0120
Chargers No. Yds Avg TB In20 Lg
Bennett, Darren729742.40352
Lions No. Yds Avg TB In20 Lg
Harris, Nick938743.00049
Punt Returns
Chargers No. Yds Avg Lg Td
Johnson, Leon8405.0140
Lions No. Yds Avg Lg Td
Drummond, Edward5336.6250
Kickoff Returns
Chargers No. Yds Avg Lg Td
Johnson, Leon24723.5240
Lions No. Yds Avg Lg Td
Drummond, Edward35418.0210
Chargers XP/XPA FG/FGA Dist(Made/Fail)
Christie, Steve2/20/0
Lions XP/XPA FG/FGA Dist(Made/Fail)
Hanson, Jason1/10/0
Chargers No. Lost Forced O D
Flutie, Doug11000
Lions No. Lost Forced O D
Bryson, Shawn11000
Holt, Terrence10000
Hall, James00100
Gooch, Jeff00001
Drummond, Edward00010
Bly, Dre00011
Referee- Walt Anderson, Umpire- Carl Paganelli, Head linesman- Sanford Rivers, Line judge- Gary Arthur, Field judge- Greg Gautreaux, Side judge- Jeff Lamberth, Back judge- Gene Steratore
Attendance - Time
61,544 ; 3:08
Team Statistics ChargersLions
First downs1714
3rd-Down Efficiency6 - 146 - 17
4th-Down Efficiency0 - 01 - 2
Total Net Yards375276
Total Plays6065
Average Gains6.34.2
Net Yards Rushing13168
Average Per Rush3.73.8
Net Yards Passing244208
Completed-Attempted17 - 2526 - 47
Yards Per Pass9.84.4
Sacked-Yards Lost0 - 00 - 0
Had Intercepted10
Punts-Average7 - 42.49 - 43.0
Return Yardage4045
Punts-Returns8 - 405 - 33
Kickoffs-Returns2 - 473 - 54
Interceptions-Returns0 - 01 - 12
Penalties-Yards11 - 958 - 71
Fumbles-Lost1 - 12 - 0
Time Of Possession32:0827:52

News: 12/8/03

If there was ever a time Steve Mariucci mattered most this season, it was Sunday.

So much was riding on the Lions' game against the Chargers. Sure, the game didn't have playoff implications, but for a franchise that had won five games the previous two seasons, the game was another chance to move forward.

Instead, the Lions were not prepared to beat the Chargers. Not at the start. Not in the middle. And especially not at the end.

Clearly, the blame for the Lions' 14-7 loss must fall squarely on Mariucci.

Not only did it seem as if the Lions weren't prepared, Mariucci's play-calling also was unimaginative and predictable.

Worse, Mariucci couldn't figure out a way to run the ball against the NFL's worst run-defense. The Lions rushed for 68 yards.

"I haven't used the word embarrassed," Mariucci said. "We work too hard and long. There might be a lot of other words that we might use in our frustration. We talked about that a little bit as a team because we've got a long ways to go."

A victory for the Lions would have meant a 5-8 record. It also would have been their fourth straight home victory, giving them a 5-2 record at Ford Field.

Coming off an impressive victory over the Packers on Thanksgiving Day, all the Lions had to do was play well enough to beat the Chargers.

"I thought we could take another step," Mariucci said.

They did. But it was a step in the wrong direction.

Take, for instance, the end of the half.

With time running out and no time-outs remaining, the Lions could have thrown to the end zone or attempted a field goal.

Instead, quarterback Joey Harrington threw a pass to Bill Schroeder, who was short of the end zone. He was tackled as time expired.

"The instruction was to shoot it to the end zone," said Mariucci, whose team trailed 14-0 at halftime. "If it's incomplete, a fourth-down field goal, and if it's caught, it's a touchdown. It ended up being caught on the field."

It wasn't the only mistake.

The final drive of the game, with the Lions trailing 14-7, was a comedy of errors, including an intentional-grounding penalty when Harrington tried to spike the ball with less than a minute to go.

Sadly for the Lions, this was the second time this season that they went flat in a big game at home after some time off. They lost 38-7 to Dallas after their bye week.

In both cases, "we weren't very good, so I'm going to look at that hard to see exactly what we're doing and how we can fix that," Mariucci said.

The thing going for Mariucci is that his players believe in him, and respect him.

That could speed up the process.

"Before anything big is accomplished, you have to go through a massive struggle," linebacker Barrett Green said.

Like the Lions, Mariucci is a work in progress. His first season has been so-so, at best.

But when it comes to coaching, being able to get a team ready and have it respond consistently is a big part of being successful.

Mariucci hasn't been able to do that.

Sunday is Exhibit A.


The Detroit Lions suffered their usual post-Thanksgiving letdown.

Doug Flutie threw touchdown passes of 17 and 73 yards to LaDainian Tomlinson in the first half as the San Diego Chargers held on for a 14-7 victory over the Lions.

Flutie completed 17-of-25 passes for 244 yards and Tomlinson finished with 236 yards of total offense. He caught nine passes for a career-high 148 yards and rushed for 88 yards on 25 carries. Tomlinson had not had a TD reception this season.

"This day and age at the running back position you have to be able to catch the football and run," Tomlinson said. "I showed today that I can catch the football and make the run after."

"I thought what they did today was play a lot of zone coverages," Flutie added. "Sometimes, you just got to play that conservative style. We were a little more careful with the ball."

The loss snapped a three-game home winning streak for Detroit (4-9), which is just 1-7 since 1995 on the week following Thanksgiving.

"What we're going through is a great deal of inconsistency from game to game, half to half, as a team and as individuals," Detroit coach Steve Mariucci said. "That's not an excuse, that's an observation."

The Lions played inspired football in a 22-14 victory over Green Bay on Thanksgiving but could get little going against the Chargers (3-10) until Joey Harrington tossed a five-yard TD pass to Casey Fitzsimmons midway through the fourth quarter. Detroit reached the Chargers 31 in the final minute before turning the ball over on downs.

Harrington completed 26-of-46 passes for 208 yards with no interceptions. The Lions' hopes ended when his pass on 4th-and-10 fell incomplete in the end zone with three seconds remaining. Detroit did not cross midfield until the fourth quarter.

"You just can't go out and expect to slop your way to a win," Harrington said. "Every team in this league has talent. I don't care if you're 2-10 or 4-8 or 1-11. If you don't show up to play, you are going to get beat."

The Chargers drove 70 yards on nine plays on their second possession to take the lead. Tomlinson ripped off a 13-yard gain to give San Fiego a first down at the Lions 17, setting up his touchdown on the next play.

San Diego was turned back when Terrence Holt intercepted Flutie at the Lions 10, but Flutie and Tomlinson hooked again for 73 yards on the final play before the two-minute warning to make it 14-0.

"We weren't real artistic offensively, but we did enough to create some points and I thought our defense played very, very well for us, particularly against the run," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "What we did was make enough plays to win a game."

Scott's Game Commentary:

I should have known that the Thanksgiving Day victory over the Packers was a fluke! The Lions continued their post Thanksgiving Day losing trend by losing to the Chargers that came in with the worst record in the NFL. It was obvious from the start of the game that it was going to be a dull boring game. In all my years following the Lions, I have never seen an Offense more inept than this one. How bad was it? The Lions went almost seven quarters before they scored their 1st touchdown since the opening drive of the Packers game. The Defense, which played its best game of the year against the Packers, looked just pitiful in the 1st half. Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson had two touchdowns in the 1st half including a 73 yard reception right before the half on 3rd down. After the 1st half, the Defense played strong, but what difference does it make when you have the worst Offense in the NFL. Hakim had two huge drops that killed two drives. But, as bad as the honolulu blue and silver played, they still had a chance to tie the game with less than two minutes to go. As has been the case in many other games this year, Harrington once again came up short with a chance to tie or win the game. As his 4th down pass fell incomplete in the end zone with seven seconds left, the boo's rained down from Ford Field. Its only going to get worse from here with the Lions last three opponents all being in first place!


* Offense: --- F. This could be the worst offense in Lions history. I have never seen an offense that needs a miracle just to get into the red zone. The running combo of Bryson and Gary yielded 48 yards for the game. That is really going to win you a lot of football games! Harrington had a decent game, but has no weapons whatsoever! Hakim looked like Schroeder dropping two passes that killed two drives. I just hope Hakim and Schroeder both are cut after this year is over. Talk about two huge free agent busts! It is not going to get any better for the offense having to play KC, Carolina and St. Louis. All we can hope for is for Charles Rogers to have a full recovery and a decent RB to replace the non existant running game.

*Defense: --- C-. The Defense was just awful in the 1st half as Chargers RB Tomlinson had a field day on them. Although they forced two turnovers, the Offense was not able to take advantage of it. The Defense played well in the 2nd half and did not give up any points. Robert Porcher had a killer offsides penalty late in the game on 3rd and 4. All in all it was a tale of two halves. Unforatunately, the miscues of the 1st half was the difference in the game.

*Special Teams: --- D. Eddie Drummond played his first full game since the beginning of the season and looked very rusty. He had a decent punt return to give the offense a chance to tie the game. Punter Nick Harris has done a lousy job as Jett's replacement. Hopefully the Lions will get a new punter in the offseason as it appears Jett will not be coming back.

*Coaching: --- F. Was Marty Mornhinweg coaching the Lions against the Chargers? It sure seemed like it! Mariucci's play calling was just terrible. Nothing was more boneheaded than throwing a pass down the field with 12 seconds left before the half with no time outs! Kick the field goal Mooch! Maricucci said after the game the pass was suppose to be thrown in the endzone. The offensive play calling was not good either. Why does Mariucci keep trying to run Bryson or Gary up the middle. Hasn't he seen the prior 12 games? Bryson and Gary cannot get any yardage at all.

*Overall: --- F. I thought this was the lock of the week and put my money on the Lions. I should have known better. Although the Chargers were 2-10 coming in and had been blown out in most of their losses, they dominated most of the game. It just goes to show how badly the Lions need a running back. Tomlinson won the game for the Chargers. At 4-9, the Lions will finish last again the NFC North Division. The next three games for all practical purposes should be blowouts. Next weeks game against the Chiefs is a guaranteed loss. There is no way the Lions are going to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead. So at 4-10, they'll then head to Carolina, which will be their 23 stright road loss as they head back to Ford Field to finish the season against the Rams. If the Rams need to win the game, the honolulu blue and silver will finish 4-12, a one game improvement over last years 3-13 record. At that pace, the Lions should reach the .500 mark in 2007.

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