Lions vs Chiefs Week 1 Preview
Kickoff for the 2023 NFL season is just one week away. The defending Super Bowl champions, Kansas City Chiefs begin their quest to repeat starting with a matchup against the Detroit Lions. The Lions will travel to Arrowhead at GEHA in what looks to be a great matchup. While when looking at the history of these two teams, this seems like it would be a one-sided matchup. However, this year, the Lions seem to be a team that could put up a great performance week in and week out. Let’s break down each team.
Lions are a Legit Contender
After starting the season 1-6, Detroit finished the 2022 season on a high note winning eight of their last ten games to finish 9-8, including a shocking week 18 win at Lambeau Field over the Green Bay Packers. This win was to eliminate their fellow division rival out of playoff contention. It was also Aaron Rodgers’ last game as a Green Bay Packer.
But, fast forward to this year and they have a lot to build off of led by quarterback Jared Goff, who finished last year with 4,438 yards, 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Lions ranked 5th in scoring offense averaging 26.8 points per game. With the talent they have in wide receivers Amon-Ra St Brown and Jameson Williams (suspended for the first six games due to violating NFL’s gambling rule) and running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery, it’s going to be a challenge for any defense to slow them down.
Chiefs Look to Continue Their Run
Five straight AFC Championship games, all as the home team. Three Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl victories. It’s been a run of dominance in the AFC for the Chiefs since 2018. Even after trading superstar Tyreek Hill last summer, the offense didn’t skip a beat. Patrick Mahomes had another unbelievable season throwing for 5,250 yards, 41 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. And of course he had an unbelievable postseason run capped off with a gutsy performance in Super Bowl 57 playing on one ankle: 21-27, 182 yards and three touchdowns. He won Super Bowl MVP. I expect him to be playing at an MVP level once again in 2023.
One key component to this matchup: Will Chris Jones be there?
Kansas City has officially placed star defensive tackle Chris Jones on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. It’s been reported he could potentially hold out until week eight. Just a couple of days ago, the team traded a sixth round draft pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for defensive tackle Neil Farrell. This signing was likely just a move to add depth. However, many questioned if it is signaling towards preparation for Jones’ absence. It remains to be seen when Jones will show up. He’s obviously one of the most important player on defense. Last year, he accumulated 15.5 sacks and 44 total tackles. This is the last year on Jones’ contract so it’s a waiting game at this point to see if he gets a contract extension. However, Veach did say yesterday the team is optimistic he will be there for the game.
With or without Chris Jones, the Chiefs should still be favorites in this one. Regardless, we will see a clash of two high powered offenses. This is looking like it will be a great game and regardless, FOOTBALL IS BACK!