And with mentor Antonio Gates unavailable due to a four-game suspension, Green made the most of his chance to contribute, finishing with five catches for 74 yards on six targets.
"This was pretty big," Green said after the game. "But now I have to sit back, go watch film, see what I messed up on and try to do it again next week."
Green played in 66 of San Diego's 79 snaps on offense -- the most snaps he's played in a game during his four-year career with the Chargers. Green is in the final year of his rookie contract.
Green has been used predominantly as a pass-catching tight end, but had to serve as an in-line tight end with the Chargers thin at his position. And he struggled at times blocking in the run game.
But overall, Green was productive, and he can certainly build on that performance with Gates out for three more games. Specifically, Green proved that he can consistently get open as San Diego's main receiving threat at tight end.
"Gates has been helping me out on my route running and technique getting off of the ball," Green said. "So that's helped me out a lot. And I just went out there and showed it today."
Here's a closer look at the snap counts for the Chargers' win against the Lions in Week 1.
OFFENSE (Based on 79 snaps)
Quarterback – Philip Rivers 79.
Offensive analysis -- San Diego ran the ball just enough to effectively create some balance on offense, totaling 95 rushing yards on 30 carries for a 3.2 per carry average. ... The Chargers finished 6 of 11 (55 percent) on third down, and 4 of 7 (57 percent) in the red zone. ... Rivers finished 11 for 11 passing in the fourth quarter for 139 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. He was not sacked, posting a 149.1 passer rating.
DEFENSE (Based on 47 snaps)
Defensive analysis – Rookie kicker Josh Lambo had a solid day, finishing 4 of 7 on touchbacks on kickoffs. He made field goals from 32 and 25 yards. However, Lambo missed an extra point from 38 yards after a delay of game penalty on the Chargers. ... Weddle topped the Chargers in combined tackles with seven, Butler finished with six. Weddle also had two pass breakups and two special teams tackles. ... Detroit quarterback Mathew Stafford completed 3 of 7 passes third down for 56 passing yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Stafford was sacked once, posting a 31.5 passer rating.