It may have been somewhat of a surprise for NFL fans to see that the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will open the 2023 season against the Detroit Lions. The Chiefs and Andy Reid are entitled to open the season on the national stage, but why would the league choose the Lions to come to Arrowhead Stadium for this premier game?
For one thing, the description of this team as the lowly Lions may no longer be appropriate. Detroit had a winning record in 2022 with a 9-8 mark, and they showed significant improvement by winning 8 of their final 10 games.
The NFL sees the Lions as a team that is up and coming, according to NFL Vice President of Broadcast Onnie Bose.
“The last time we saw them on national television was the last game, game 272 of the regular season, and they were beating the Packers in Lambeau to keep Aaron Rodgers out of the playoffs,” Bose said. “We really like that. There is a lot of energy there and we feel really good about starting the season with that energy against the Super Bowl champs.”
In addition to the positive assessment by the league, the Lions appear to have a legitimate chance at earning a playoff spot and possibly the NFC North title. Quarterback Jared Goff completed 65.1 percent of his passes last season for 4,438 yards with a 29 to 7 touchdown to interception ratio, and he has settled in as the team’s offensive leader after 2 years.
The Lions also added Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round of the draft, and that should make a solid offense even more dangerous in 2023.
Andy Reid knows the Chiefs won’t be able to take the Lions lightly during the NFL season opener.
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