It started off pretty ugly.
The Lions scored in the first drive of the series. The Chargers offense sputtered. Quarterback Philip Rivers threw a Pick-6.
But, then, the comeback began.
At Qualcomm Stadium, on a "White Hot" sunday -- that was truly hot, with temperatures in the triple digits on the field -- the Chargers pulled off a win to start the 2015 campaign, beating Detroit 33-28 in a thriller of a comeback.
Ahead 21-3 in the second quarter, the Lions looked like they were going to run away with this one. Not so fast. The Chargers went on to score 30 unanswered points, making it the biggest comeback at home in the history of the organization.
It mattered, quarterback Philip Rivers said, because the team showed what it will do when faced with adversity.
"Now our previous teams have been through a lot of adversity, but there aren’t many of those guys here," Rivers said after the game. "So yeah, when we can go through this type of adversity and it be early on, the young guys with the guys we signed at free agency or in off-season that can experience it, we can experience it together and it becomes
real. We talk about it all the time about fighting together and sticking together and being tough and all of those things and then it becomes real and when it does this early in the year and then we get to December it’ll be easier. (It) doesn’t mean we’re always going to win but you know what it felt like.”
Stevie Johnson had his first touchdown as a Charger. Ladarius Green -- (concussed earlier this week) -- had career-highs in receptions (five) and scored a touchdown. Danny Woodhead ran in two touchdowns.
But it was Keenan Allen who stole the show.
With talented receivers Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate on the other sideline, Allen had a monster game, finishing with 15 receptions for 166-yards.
"[I was] just feeling good, feeling comfortable," Allen said. "The offense played great. Started out a little shaky, but we kept fighting. Defense kept getting stops and we just went out there and fought together.”
After allowing the Lions to score in the first and second quarters, the Chargers defense shut them down, bringing pressure on Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford and keeping Tate and Johnson locked down. Rookie outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel had a sack and interception in his (real) NFL debut, and Patrick Robinson had another interception later in the game.
“I think I got opportunities," Emanuel said. "And in football games and in the NFL, I think you just have to make the best of it. I think that’s kind of what happened today. And a lot of it goes to teammates, like the interception was all Melvin (Ingram). I was just able to make a play on the ball. So it was just a lot of fun and I’m glad I was able to take advantage of a lot of those opportunities.”
One player not on the field when the clock ran down was right guard D.J. Fluker, who was carted off in the second half. Fluker was reported to have an "ankle injury" and left the stadium on crutches and in a walking boot. The severity of his injury is not yet known.