'We needed it': Stafford-Golladay connection comes through in the clutch for Lions

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay pulls in the go-ahead touchdown over Chargers' Casey Hayward Jr. in the fourth quarter.

Detroit — One week, 27 points gets a tie. The next week, 13 gets a win.

The Lions' offense has done enough to start the season undefeated and getting the go-ahead score midway through the fourth quarter — on a 31-yard strike from Matthew Stafford to Kenny Golladay — gave the offense the boost it needed to take a 13-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at Ford Field.

The numbers are a bit deceptive, though. The Lions racked up 339 yards of offense, including 245 passing yards for Stafford. He threw interceptions on two of their three possessions in the third quarter but came through on the final touchdown.

“We needed it. I was just happy enough that my number was called and I could go out there and make a play,” Golladay said. “Offensively, we were doing good but still hurting ourselves a little bit. It felt good, for sure.”

It was a shift from last week, when the offense was explosive in the first half but sputtered late and the Lions had to settle for a tie against the Cardinals. In that game, Golladay had a chance for a one-on-one play that could have put the Lions in position to go ahead but Stafford’s pass was incomplete.

The connection worked this time.

After landing in the end zone, Golladay lofted the ball in the air, an apparent expression of relief after finally converting a big play and breaking through after going scoreless in the second and third quarters Sunday.

“When did it come down?” Golladay joked. “It was just exciting. I had some balls I wish I would have caught last week so I had to go make that one.”

The touchdown was the capper to a big game for Golladay, who had eight catches for 117 yards one week after managing just four receptions for 42 yards in the opener. Stafford looked for Golladay early in the second half, but the Chargers’ Casey Hayward came up with an interception — even after Golladay tried to break it up and was called for offensive pass interference.

On the final drive, Stafford went 5-for-5 for 61 yards, including a pinpoint throw to Golladay down the seam and away from the defender.

“(Golladay) had a good one on that drive,” Stafford said. “Obviously, the touchdown was a great catch. Just tried to give (Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr.) a chance with a good ball and they made some plays for me.”


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard