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.