Lions red zone defense faces a big challenge against the Chargers

When the Detroit Lions get back on the field on Sunday in SoFi Stadium, they’re going to need to shake off any bye-week rust quickly. The Los Angeles Chargers are a dangerous team, perhaps more than their 4-4 record would indicate.

One area where the Chargers thrive is in the red zone. Quarterback Justin Herbert is one of the elite performers inside the opposing 20. With big targets like WR Keenan Allen and TEs Gerald Everett and Donald Parham, Herbert has excellent short-area and jump-ball weapons. The quarterback has three rushing TDs on his own, plus versatile Austin Ekeler as an option. He avoids mistakes very well, too.

The Chargers convert red zone possessions into touchdowns at a nice rate of 69 percent, the second-best in the league. By way of comparison, the Lions rank 24th at a tick over 48 percent.

Detroit’s red zone defense has struggled all season. They rank 26th in the league, allowing touchdowns on over 65 percent of opposing incursions into the red zone. Getting a red zone takeaway won’t be easy, either; the Chargers have the NFL’s best turnover ratio and their six giveaways are the second-lowest figure through Week 9.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire