Flutie completed 17-of-25 passes for 244 yards and Tomlinson finished with 236 yards of total offense. He caught nine passes for a career-high 148 yards and rushed for 88 yards on 25 carries.
The loss snapped a three-game home winning streak for Detroit (4-9), which is just 1-7 since 1995 on the week following Thanksgiving.
The Lions played inspired football in a 22-14 victory over Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day, but could get little going against the Chargers (3-10) until Joey Harrington tossed a five-yard scoring pass to Casey Fitzsimmons midway through the fourth quarter. Detroit reached the Chargers 31 in the final minute before turning the ball over on downs.