Skip to content

Lions are playoff bound, Chargers and Norv Turner are done

Eric Weddle, Dante Hughes, Nate Burleson AP

For the first time since 1999, the Detroit Lions are in the playoffs.

The Lions’ 38-10 victory over the Chargers at Ford Field gives them their 10th win of the season — most since 1995, way back when Barry Sanders was still wearing a Lions uniform — and clinches one of the two NFC wild card spots. For a Detroit franchise that has been through more than its fair share of terrible football, this was their most meaningful win since they last won a playoff game, in 1991.

The loss ends the Chargers’ playoff hopes and likely will cost head coach Norv Turner his job. Reports this week suggested that Chargers owner Dean Spanos was impressed with the way Turner had the team peaking late in the season, but Spanos couldn’t have been happy to see how flat the Chargers came out today.

Detroit’s passing game got out of the gate so fast that San Diego’s defense never caught up. The first play from scrimmage was a 46-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson, and after that the Chargers’ defense was so worried about Megatron beating them deep that they were leaving the middle of the field wide open all day. As a result, Lions tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler both had big games.

The Lions jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead, but Philip Rivers shook off a slow start and brought the Chargers back to life, closing the gap to 24-10 in the third quarter. But Stafford, who had an outstanding game, responded by marching the Lions down the field on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a Kevin Smith touchdown and essentially put the game away. A couple of late Rivers interceptions, including one that Cliff Avril returned for a touchdown, removed any doubt that the Lions were the better team today.

As a wild card, the Lions will be on the road in the playoffs, and their high-powered passing game may be particularly vulnerable if they’re playing a bad-weather game in January. But that concern is for another day. This Christmas, the Lions have given Detroit fans their best gift in a long, long time.

Permalink 80 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Detroit Lions, Rumor Mill, San Diego Chargers, Top Stories
80 Responses to “Lions are playoff bound, Chargers and Norv Turner are done”
  1. pbolyard says: Dec 24, 2011 7:04 PM

    Playoffs baby!!!!!
    Also Lions 4-0 vs afc west with a score of 164-53

  2. bearsrulepackdrool says: Dec 24, 2011 7:05 PM

    This team is scary. If they don’t run into the Saints, they have a good chance of getting to the SB. (not winning it).

  3. rooneyruleblues says: Dec 24, 2011 7:07 PM

    Strong rumors of Cowher taking the SD job. You heard it here first. Welcome Bill to SD. Rivers will treat you well.

  4. hellawaitsusall says: Dec 24, 2011 7:08 PM

    I don’t think it matters who the Chargers get as a head coach.

  5. edge121 says: Dec 24, 2011 7:08 PM

    Best. Christmas. Present. Ever.

  6. ray0414 says: Dec 24, 2011 7:09 PM

    nevermind the dirty/ over agrressive team, the fans and people of michigan deserve this after what we’ve all been thru the past 12 years. This lions team looked poised and awesome today. If they play like that and stafford continues to throw darts they could make noise for years.

  7. brock0bomber says: Dec 24, 2011 7:10 PM

    Cue the “one and done” haters in 3, 2, 1.

    Anyways, I love this team. I would love to make some noise in the playoffs.

    Here’s hoping we do!

    Go Lions!

  8. trbowman says: Dec 24, 2011 7:11 PM

    Remember when the NFL had defense?

    Good times, man.

  9. jasino2009 says: Dec 24, 2011 7:11 PM

    So awesome!!!’ congrats lions, Detroit is so proud of you!

  10. thekiy says: Dec 24, 2011 7:11 PM

    I’ve been a Lions fan for 27 years. Today, the Lions put together one of the best overall performances I can remember.

    We are getting hot at the right time. No one is going to want to see this offense in the playoffs, no matter if they are home or on the road.

  11. slammincamnewton says: Dec 24, 2011 7:13 PM

    Bye Bye Norv and AJ. Go ruin the Vikings.

  12. camssportsjam says: Dec 24, 2011 7:19 PM

    How exciting for Detroit! :) playoffs!! Hope we can cause some havoc there!

  13. craggt says: Dec 24, 2011 7:21 PM

    I am stuck on an oil rig in Texas for Christmas away from my family but tonight I do not care. This was the best christmas present I’ve received in a long time.

    Thank you Detroit Lions. Thank you.

  14. 8man says: Dec 24, 2011 7:21 PM

    Well done, Lions!

    The rest of the league has been served notice. This team is young, talented and edgy.

    Hear Detroit roar!

  15. tatum064 says: Dec 24, 2011 7:24 PM

    Roar restored.

    A Raider Nation thanks you….(that was a heart breaker on us , last week)

    Hail Megatron.

  16. scytherius says: Dec 24, 2011 7:24 PM

    I’m not a Chargers fan, but I hope for their fans’ sake they FINALLY fire Turner.

  17. tatum064 says: Dec 24, 2011 7:26 PM

    ray0414 says:
    Dec 24, 2011 7:09 PM
    nevermind the dirty/ over agrressive team, the fans and people of michigan deserve this after what we’ve all been thru the past 12 years. This lions team looked poised and awesome today. If they play like that and stafford continues to throw darts they could make noise for years.

    =======

    After 0-16, I totally understand your elation. If any team and economically impaired area deserve it, its you guys.

    Hail Megatron

  18. tatum064 says: Dec 24, 2011 7:27 PM

    rooneyruleblues says:
    Dec 24, 2011 7:07 PM
    Strong rumors of Cowher taking the SD job. You heard it here first. Welcome Bill to SD. Rivers will treat you well.

    =========

    Yeah, that makes sense because Cowher would be GM and Head coach. He would also already have a QB, no. 1 receiver in place, so all he would need to do is get a top pass rushing LB, etc. All the pieces are in place.

  19. idriveamoped says: Dec 24, 2011 7:31 PM

    Congrats Lions fans, beings a Bengals fan and going a very long time without a playoff appearance, I know how you feel. Celebrate you all deserve it, just remember to stay humble, hopefully your QB doesn’t lose a knee like ours did. Best of luck.

  20. sonic8us says: Dec 24, 2011 7:32 PM

    The Lions have arrived at the party…fear the mitton! Great day for the D.

  21. yatista says: Dec 24, 2011 7:41 PM

    “their high-powered passing game may be particularly vulnerable if they’re playing a bad-weather game in January.” Ah, you doubters, the Lions have won in the most adverse conditions, coming from behind in 4 games. When will you believe?

  22. bigboi30 says: Dec 24, 2011 7:47 PM

    God bless us all and god bless the lions. Not only are we in but the last few weeks have been great. Im a die hard lions fan. I take the heat from the haters and stand by my team, yes even suh. I am detroit born and raised but live in Cowboy country. I have been called every name in the book (even a terrorist) but I were my colors proud.

    GO DETROIT

  23. kinguga says: Dec 24, 2011 7:48 PM

    Norv Turner’s pockmarked face should disappear from our HD screens really soon.

    Thank you, Detroit.

  24. bartpkelly says: Dec 24, 2011 7:48 PM

    Matthews needed to be palyed more, he is a threat every touch.

  25. stevenfbrackett says: Dec 24, 2011 7:58 PM

    After all the terrible times the Lions have had the past few years, you want to like them and cheer for them, but their dirty, penalty-ridden play and constant classless displays makes it REALLY hard to do.

  26. honolulubluekoolaid says: Dec 24, 2011 8:02 PM

    bearsrulepackdrool says:
    Dec 24, 2011 7:05 PM
    This team is scary. If they don’t run into the Saints, they have a good chance of getting to the SB. (not winning it).
    ——-
    I remember a time when you were bashing us lions fans left and right.
    But, you were right, we had not earned anything yet.
    I’m officially offering a hand and saying thanks.

  27. cornersportsnet says: Dec 24, 2011 8:03 PM

    Some teams just wont win a super bowl regardless of whose coaching them vikes,chargers,eagles,atlanta,jets,doesnt matter who the coach is………….fire him and hire who

  28. juniorak715 says: Dec 24, 2011 8:04 PM

    Upside for Detroit fans you guys make the playoffs. Downside, you still live in Detroit. Terrible trade off

  29. honolulubluekoolaid says: Dec 24, 2011 8:06 PM

    As for WoodyG….who predicted a 8-8 finish with missing the playoffs….where you at WoodyG??????????

    That’s what I thought. Please make another prediction on how we will lose on the first rd…..pretty please?

    Go Lions!!!!!roar restored. Reality = lions designated a hot team fighting for a playoff spot & made the playoffs!

  30. honolulubluekoolaid says: Dec 24, 2011 8:07 PM

    Meant dessimated , damn autocorrect!

  31. moneymike23 says: Dec 24, 2011 8:12 PM

    Props to Lions, hard to believe they were 0-16 JUST three years ago. While the Skins, Browns, Bills are still at the bottom every year, this team has done the unthinkable…..AGAIN!

  32. joetoronto says: Dec 24, 2011 8:16 PM

    Shot down in flames.

    The Chargers always choke when it matters.

    Way to go, Lions.

  33. dawgsafety13 says: Dec 24, 2011 8:35 PM

    juniorak715 says:
    Dec 24, 2011 8:04 PM
    Upside for Detroit fans you guys make the playoffs. Downside, you still live in Detroit. Terrible trade off

     1 0 

    ************************************************************

    Actually, very few Detroit fans live in Detroit. We live in the suburbs, like most cities, where it is quite nice. It’s a good sign of the times that your hateful comments are now limited to a city we don’t even occupy.

  34. yatista says: Dec 24, 2011 8:37 PM

    “removed any doubt that the Lions were the better team today.” The sentence should be “the Lions are the better team”. Period.

  35. hatesycophants says: Dec 24, 2011 8:38 PM

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  36. craggt says: Dec 24, 2011 8:50 PM

    juniorak715 says:
    Dec 24, 2011 8:04 PM
    Upside for Detroit fans you guys make the playoffs. Downside, you still live in Detroit. Terrible trade off
    ———

    You sir are a classless human being.

  37. gosuhgo says: Dec 24, 2011 8:55 PM

    The same old Lions are dead. Long live the Lions!

  38. juniorak715 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:01 PM

    @craggt

    I have a ton of class. Just pointing out the city of Detroit is an awful city to live in. Don’t believe me? Google it.

  39. juniorak715 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:03 PM

    Good for you dawgsafety13….now don’t go ruining the suburbs too my friends. Merry Christmas to all!!!!

  40. sixburghrules says: Dec 24, 2011 9:08 PM

    craggt says: Dec 24, 2011 7:21 PM

    I am stuck on an oil rig in Texas for Christmas away from my family but tonight I do not care. This was the best christmas present I’ve received in a long time.

    Merry Christmas from a Steeler fan! Hate that you are stuck away from family!

  41. metalhead65 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:09 PM

    well I hope turner gets fired because the bears will be in the market for a new offensive cordinater after the season. can only dream of what it is like to have someone who knows how to run a offense to be in charge of running the bears. someone who believes tight ends are for more than blocking and who does not try and get his qb killed on every play and who still thinks it is 1999 and he is smarter than everyone else.

  42. ambitoos says: Dec 24, 2011 9:13 PM

    Every since Norv Turner came to San diego it has been a roller coaster ride. We never know what we’re going to get from week to week. As good as Rivers can be he’s the same way. One day he’s on and one day he’s off and he’s slower than molasas. I don’t see how Spanos can keep Turner and keep the fan base also. One thing is for sure, Wade Phillips is not the answer. I think one poster hit it right on when he said it doesn’t matter who coaches the Chargers. You can’t bring in good citizens and good football players with good citizens being the priority. Whoever hired Manusky should be fired. That guy is the worst.

  43. stuartscottslefteye says: Dec 24, 2011 9:13 PM

    Look for Norv Turner to be the offensive coordinator in Baltimore next year.

  44. cornernum23 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:18 PM

    I wonder what happened to all the haters who were praying for a collapse? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.

  45. juniorak715 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:22 PM

    Also craggt……merry Christmas sincerely. I may be a sore loser of a Bears fan but I know being away from family must suck. Have a good holiday

  46. robage says: Dec 24, 2011 9:39 PM

    Dont get too excited, Lions have lost to all the Playoff teams this year. First round loss again, same ol Lions

  47. johnnycash19 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:56 PM

    Somewhere Killer is looking down smiling.

  48. bcar1023 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:59 PM

    Yeah robage, like Dallas, Oakland, Denver, Chicago. All teams that either could or wont make the post season due to the Lions. I’ll tell you who isn’t excited. Defensive coordinators who will face the best QB/Receiver tandem in the league right now. Playoffs baby. One and done may come true but you can’t win a Super Bowl on the golf course. Lol. Bears blow!

  49. juniorak715 says: Dec 24, 2011 10:15 PM

    Don’t worry cornernum23, I’m still here

  50. beauregard says: Dec 24, 2011 10:20 PM

    Kudos to the Lions from a Bronco fan.
    Enjoy the ride.

  51. yevrag3535 says: Dec 24, 2011 10:25 PM

    pbolyard, sorry lions blow. Beat nobody worth a lick.

  52. yevrag3535 says: Dec 24, 2011 10:28 PM

    Detroit sucks, oh not the team,,,, the city itself…
    What a pit that place is…. nuke it….

  53. jimmysimpson55 says: Dec 24, 2011 10:40 PM

    I am a Chief’s fan and don’t know much about the Lions, but dang am I sure glad they are successful now after Matt Millen left. Way to go motor city.

  54. kwazimoto8 says: Dec 24, 2011 10:55 PM

    2 offside penalties for a toal of 10 yards! GREAT Football Lions! That was the best 1st half I have ever seen the Lions play and I have been watching these guys for 50 years!

  55. aljack88 says: Dec 24, 2011 11:05 PM

    Congrats to the Lions and all it’s fans. I hope this year is the first of many fine years to come, as you have had your share bad times. There’s a good young core of players to build on and the Matt Millen era has been flushed away.

  56. CKL says: Dec 24, 2011 11:17 PM

    Not so fast on Cowher to SD….remember he got his start with Marty S and may not be so keen to work with AJ Smith and vice versa.
    If AJ goes though…it is a good situation for him.
    Personally I think AJ is a bigger problem than Norv even though Norv is really an OC in HC clothing.

    I picked Det to win this game. Tough place to play IMO even when Det wasn’t a winning team. Their fans have to be some of the best in the NFL support wise.

  57. leroysbutler says: Dec 24, 2011 11:38 PM

    Bring back Matt Millen, please.

  58. i10east says: Dec 24, 2011 11:38 PM

    The moving vans will soon be trucking up Interstate 5 North to LA, the original home of the Chargers.

  59. scorpio516 says: Dec 25, 2011 12:19 AM

    “yatista says: Dec 24, 2011 7:41 PM

    “their high-powered passing game may be particularly vulnerable if they’re playing a bad-weather game in January.” Ah, you doubters, the Lions have won in the most adverse conditions, coming from behind in 4 games. When will you believe?”

    —————————————————————

    What adverse conditions?
    If the cowboys and Falcons make it in, only 1 of the 6 NFC playoff teams even play outdoors.

    Sure, there is a slight chance that the Bears and Giants get in. But the Bears would be the 6th seed, and Detroit would open in either New Jersey or Arlington.

  60. davikes says: Dec 25, 2011 12:29 AM

    Congrats to the Lions on blasting their way into the playoffs. Despite Norv, there is a lot of talent on the Chargers, and the Lions demolished them. The NFC North is getting extremely competitive. The Vikes will face 3 of the top 6 or 7 qbs twice every year, and our backfield is a disaster. I hope our coaches understand that.

  61. acieu says: Dec 25, 2011 12:34 AM

    Looks as though LA will go from having no NFL team to having five…Chargers,…Rams….Vikings …..Jaguars…..Bengals well maybe six isn’t it time for the Raiders to move again?

  62. ahs2 says: Dec 25, 2011 1:13 AM

    juniorak715 says:
    Dec 24, 2011 9:01 PM
    @craggt

    I have a ton of class. Just pointing out the city of Detroit is an awful city to live in. Don’t believe me? Google it.
    _____________________________
    “Google it”?!?! You are the finest example of “sheeple”…..

  63. mt99808 says: Dec 25, 2011 1:32 AM

    Why doesn’t MDS have a posting about Suh stealing somebody’s cab on the way home from the stadium?

  64. icyhuckh20 says: Dec 25, 2011 2:25 AM

    bring norm to Baltimore and let’s get rid of cam

  65. throwntothelions says: Dec 25, 2011 2:42 AM

    @kwazpmoto8
    Dec 24, 2011 10:55 PM

    2 offside penalties for a toal of 10 yards! GREAT Football Lions! That was the best 1st half I have ever seen the Lions play and I have been watching these guys for 50 years!

    =====================================

    You do realize that in those 50 years you have seen the Lions in the playoffs 9 times? To make it worse of those 9 games you won once. You haven’t won the division in twenty years.

    I do admire your dedication. GL in the playoffs.

  66. motown4108 says: Dec 25, 2011 3:09 AM

    juniorak715: that’s why us Detroiters just move to Chicago and take your jobs. Ever notice how you cant walk down the streets of Chicago without seeing the old English D?? Go lions, best Christmas ever

  67. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 25, 2011 3:17 AM

    1) As a Texans fan who has endured not only these long ten years but also the final decade of Oilers’ playoff futility (then five years with no football at all), I’d like to give Lions fans a collective high five. Finally being in the playoffs is kind of a badass feeling as a fan.

    2) For the love of God, San Diego: leave Wade Phillips alone. My feeling is either Cowher or Fisher gets the Chargers job if Turner is canned. But they’ll interview Phillips if he wants it.

    Honestly, though, I predict that if Wade Phillips gets a head coach job next year (please God no), it’ll be with the Rams. That just seems like a better fit than KC, Jacksonville, Miami, San Diego, Minnesota, Indy, or any other place that might be hiring.

    Anyway: congratulations, Detroit fans.

  68. 4evrnyt says: Dec 25, 2011 3:26 AM

    If Jeff Fisher isn’t coaching the Colts he’ll be coaching the Chargers.

  69. rohlo says: Dec 25, 2011 3:46 AM

    CKL says:
    Dec 24, 2011 11:17 PM
    Not so fast on Cowher to SD….remember he got his start with Marty S and may not be so keen to work with AJ Smith and vice versa.
    If AJ goes though…it is a good situation for him.
    Personally I think AJ is a bigger problem than Norv even though Norv is really an OC in HC clothing.

    I picked Det to win this game. Tough place to play IMO even when Det wasn’t a winning team. Their fans have to be some of the best in the NFL support wise.

    aj smith is gonna be fired too!! he has been linked to the rams and raiders gm positions

  70. rohlo says: Dec 25, 2011 3:52 AM

    i10east says:
    Dec 24, 2011 11:38 PM
    The moving vans will soon be trucking up Interstate 5 North to LA, the original home of the Chargers.

    the link below is a story of the rams probobly ending up back in LA.. and about a month 1/2 to 2 months ago here in LA it stated that the raiders informed LA they would be interested in playing in the new stadium as well. see the un informed people making the stupid comments of the chargers moving to LA IS that the spanos family doesnt want to sell a mojority stake in the team ,which is what AEG wants in return for any team moving to their stadium (rams-kroenke owns them and wants to sell rams and then buy broncos from bowlen,so he will own 3 denver teams along with the avalanche and nuggets)

  71. rohlo says: Dec 25, 2011 3:53 AM

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/11/30/if-jags-move-l-a-may-not-be-the-destination/

    link states rams move to LA AND JAGS move to st louis

  72. rohlo says: Dec 25, 2011 3:56 AM

    congrats lions fans its been a while… have fun and enjoy the playoffs!! thanks i guess for that beatdown today,it sealed norv turners fate and aj smiths fate as on signonsandiego.com 3 weeks ago they said aj smith and turner were gonna be fired after the season by the spanos family so they dont lose the fan base in san diego and season ticket holders as there is gonna be a vote on the downtown san diego football stadium next fall.

  73. bmkmd says: Dec 25, 2011 4:12 AM

    juniorak715 says:Dec 24, 2011 8:04 PM

    Upside for Detroit fans you guys make the playoffs. Downside, you still live in Detroit. Terrible trade off

    Poor looser.
    Pretty weak argument if the only thing you could complain about the Lions was the city?

    It’s called an Ad Hominem attack, i.e. attacking the person (or the city) instead of the ideas (or the quality of football being played by the Lions). (Look it up in Wikepedia. Its a logical fallicy.)

    The bottem line is Detroit crunched San Diego, and are back playing as they did in the first 5 weeks of the season. Great time to get hot.

  74. mystereo says: Dec 25, 2011 6:10 AM

    I don’t care who the Chargers hire as long as Norv is fired.

  75. kcflake says: Dec 25, 2011 7:36 AM

    Bearsrulepackdrool is smoking crack if he thinks the lions are going to the super bowl. They have firlast round sacrificial Lamb written all over them

  76. billh1947 says: Dec 25, 2011 8:01 AM

    The playoffs and the regular season are two far different animals as the Lions are about to find out,playoff experienced teams are far more apt to go to the Conference Title game,let alone the Super Bowl so dont count on the Lions to go very far in the playoffs,they are now done playing the patsys of the NFL starting next week in Green Bay in the season finale,and while after that wont be harder it certainly wont be easier for them.congrats though for at least making it that far,they had a good season.

  77. tshirttom says: Dec 25, 2011 9:34 AM

    Wow …nice way to blow into the playoffs. This will be an annual event for the next ten years with SB’s sprinkled in. Great nucleus to become an elite team. Let’s take our shot this year!
    Go Lions!!!!

  78. dewalt2990 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:42 AM

    After this campaign, Stafford will be mentioned with the elite.

  79. jimmylions says: Dec 25, 2011 1:39 PM

    Number 5 seed will be important to get. We can beat the Giants and we can beat Dallas – much easier than having to go back to New Orleans. I really want a chance to take on SF in the playoffs.

  80. jimmylions says: Dec 25, 2011 3:49 PM

    I was just watching all the highlights/videos on NFL.com. It turns out Matt Millen picked the Chargers to win. What a jerk!

    Clearly he’s proven many times that he knows nothing about what it takes to play winning football. Why is he on television?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!