Lions Vs. Chargers: Detroit Downs San Diego, 38-10, To Clinch Playoff Berth

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Detroit Lions Clinch First Playoff Berth Since 1999

The Detroit Lions clinched their first trip to the playoffs in 12 years with their win over the San Diego Chargers on Saturday.

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Lions Vs. Chargers Final Score: Detroit Clinches Playoffs Berth With 38-10 Win

It has been 12 long years with a 0-16 campaign to boot, but only three years after that low point the Detroit Lions are back in the playoffs. Detroit has yet to learn its destination, but it will play on the road at Dallas, New York, New Orleans or San Francisco in the first round of the NFC playoffs on Jan. 7 or 8.

Three of those four games would be a rematch of a regular season game. Detroit defeated Dallas in Dallas, but lost at New Orleans and at home against San Francisco.

Detroit jumped on the San Diego Chargers early in this 38-10 win. They led 24-0 at the half and 31-10 after three quarters. Matthew Stafford threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns in a masterful performance to earn the first postseason berth of his career. Kevin Smith scored a touchdown via a pass and a run. Chris Houston sealed the game up with an interception with less than five minutes to play, sending the Detroit crowd into a frenzy. Cliff Avril then intercepted Philip Rivers and returned it for a touchdown for the game's final points.

Calvin Johnson added 102 yards on four catches with one reception going for a touchdown.

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Lions Vs. Chargers Score Update: Detroit Cruising With 31-10 Lead After Three

After three quarters, the San Diego Chargers managed to inch back into the game with 10 straight points since the half. With their own playoff hopes dwindling, they even resorted to a little desperation that paid off with three critical points midway through the third quarter after an onside kick. A late Detroit touchdown put the Lions back in front 31-10 after three quarters, however.

San Diego took the opening kickoff of the second half but was unable to do anything with it. They did finally get on the board on their second possession of the half when Malcolm Floyd caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers with 8:43 left to cap a five-play, 57-yard drive.

The Chargers then successfully recovered an onside kick to get the ball right back. They drove an additional 43 yards in 10 plays, but were forced to settle for a 22 yard field goal by Nick Novak.

As the quarter came to a close the Lions drove for another score and Kevin Smith delivered. His six-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left in the quarter was his second TD of the game and it capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive as an answer to San Diego's two scores.

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Lions Vs. Chargers Score Update: Detroit Takes 24-0 Lead Into Halftime

The Detroit Lions are halfway to a playoff berth. Needing a win to clinch the postseason for the first time in 12 years, the Lions are dominating at home with a 24-0 lead over the San Diego Chargers at halftime. Matthew Stafford has thrown for 260 yards on 21-of-26 passing and has three touchdowns to vault Detroit out in front on Christmas Eve.

Detroit's second touchdown came on a short touchdown pass to running back Kevin Smith. Smith caught a three yard scoring pass with 7:16 left in the half to cap an 11-play, 87-yard drive. Smith has also rushed for 27 yards.


Calvin Johnson caught Stafford's third touchdown pass of the half with 36 seconds left to put Detroit in front 24-0 (see above). His 14-yard touchdown catch gave him 81 yards on just three receptions. Stafford has spread the ball around well with six receivers having at least two receptions so far.

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Lions Vs. Chargers Score Update: Detroit Leads 10-0 After One Quarter

The Detroit Lions are certainly playing like a playoff team so far. Searching their 10th win of the 2011 season and their first playoff berth since 1999, the Lions have taken a 10-0 lead over the San Diego Chargers at Ford Field after just one quarter of play.

Matthew Stafford was 4-of-5 on the first drive of the game for 73 yards and completed it with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Pettigrew. Calvin Johnson's 42-yard catch was the highlight of the drive. After getting a defensive stop, the Lions found themselves on another drive.

Backed up deep in their own territory, Detroit drove 65 yards in 13 plays to finish the first quarter with a 50-yard field goal by Jason Hanson. Hanson is the only holdover on the Lions' roster from the last time they made the playoffs.

Pettigrew already has four catches for 22 yards and a touchdown.

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Detroit Lions Injury Report, Week 16: Plenty Of Players Probable

The Detroit Pistons injury report has been a rather scary affair the past few weeks as fans watch to see which of the team's important players are designated as out, but this week's game isn't quite as bad. There are quite a few players still listed on the injury report, but the majority are likely to play after being given the "probable" tag.

Kevin Smith is listed as probable after being listed as a bit of everything for the past few games, meaning the Lions will likely have the starting lineup fully healthy by Saturday afternoon after going through a full week of practices. Smith is one of eleven players listed as probable on Friday's report.

Nobody is listed as out, but safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Aaron Berry are both listed as doubtful with knee and shoulder injuries respectively. Defensive tackles Corey Williams and Nick Fairley aren't guaranteed to play, either, due to hip and foot injuries hampering the interior linemen.

The San Diego Chargers injury report will follow shortly.

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