The Detroit Lions won't have to wait long to find out whether they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2023.
The Lions will play the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on the NFL's Thursday night season opener Sept. 7 at Arrowhead Stadium, the team announced Thursday.
The Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII and will be aiming for their fourth Super Bowl trip in five years this fall. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is coming off his second MVP season, and the Chiefs have reached double-digit wins in eight consecutive years.
Historically, the defending NFL champion has opened the season with a Thursday night game, but the primetime spot is new for the Lions.
NFL Schedule 2023: release date detroit lions games opponents
The Lions have never played a kickoff game since their inception in 2002, and last year they didn't have any primetime games scheduled before the Sunday night game — the final game of the regular season — was flexed in Week 18.
The Lions finished 9–8 last season and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year, but won eight of their last 10 games (including the season finale against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field) and finished as favorites to win this fall. Will enter as NFC Answer.
More: Detroit Lions will not play internationally this fall
One of the youngest teams in the NFL last season, Lions revamped their secondary in free agency And added three potential Day 1 starters to the draft for a talented returning nucleus on both sides of the ball.
Lions coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes have both embraced lofty expectations surrounding their team, with Holmes saying after the draft that he believes the Lions have what it takes to win a playoff game for the first time since the 1991 season. Have talent.
“I was asked (at the Coalition) what the goal is for the offseason, and I just said, ‘Look, we don't want to take a step back,'” Holmes said last month. Stable, and we appreciate and we're very proud of the success that we had last year, but we didn't make the playoffs. We didn't make the playoffs and that's not good enough. So we got to that point as a football team where we can put ourselves in a position where we can go later in the season and hopefully make some noise.”
The Lions will make a lot of noise if they can win their opener against a team long considered one of the gold standards in the NFL, and have been lethal on road teams in recent years.
He is 14-3 in key home games over the past two seasons, and Mahomes has won 16 straight regular season games against NFC opponents. Kansas City hasn't lost an opener since 2014, Mahomes' true freshman season at Texas Tech.
The Lions did not win their season opener in 2017, when they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 35–23 at Ford Field. They have not won at Arrowhead Stadium since 1988.
After unveiling select holiday, primetime and international sports events over the past 24 hours, NFL to release full schedule for all 32 teams tonight at 8PM,
Contact Dave Birkett at [email protected]. follow him on twitter @davebirkett.
This article was originally published on the Detroit Free Press: 2023 NFL schedule: Lions-Chiefs in Thursday night kickoff