2023 NFL Kickoff to feature Lions at Chiefs on NBC
Mike Florio and Myles Simmons preview the first game of the 2023 NFL season between the Lions, who have everything to prove, and the Chiefs, who are coming off a Super Bowl win, on NBC.
MIKE FLORIO: Well, now we know the season begins with the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium hosting the Detroit Lions. I would not have had the Lions on my bingo card a year ago as a potential participant in the opening game of the season. But they capped the 2022 regular season on NBC. They start 2023 on NBC.
And they've earned it, even though they haven't made it to the playoffs yet. They've got an exciting team, talented players, great offense, compelling, charismatic head coach. And it's Jared Goff versus Patrick Mahomes for the first time since November of 2018--
MYLES SIMMONS: Oh, yeah.
MIKE FLORIO: --when they put up over 100 points combined in a 54-51 shootout when Goff was still the quarterback of the Rams.
MYLES SIMMONS: And I was still working for the Los Angeles Rams, and that's where this football comes from behind me. We all got game balls as an organization for that game, which was insane.
But, yeah, you're right. The Lions have put themselves in a position to be an interesting team. When I've been talking about, you know, the way the schedule might open this year, I've said to people, look, the Lions are a dark horse candidate-- to mix animals-- to be in this open game because they're compelling.
They finished the season 8 and 2. They were really good last year, and they should be really good this year. So I'm really excited by this.
And we always talk about what Andy Reid can do when he's got more than one week to prepare for an opponent. This one's gonna be interesting because they don't face the Lions very often at all, right? And, you know, in terms of defense, like, you just aren't necessarily sure what you're going to see from a Jahmyr Gibbs, from a David Montgomery. They got a lot of weapons over there, and the unfamiliar opponent aspect of this just makes it that much more compelling. So I love this as a season opener.
MIKE FLORIO: Simms and I were talking yesterday about how important it is for some teams to get off to a fast start-- I think that was our draft yesterday-- because if you've got high expectations, or if you're gonna have a difficult schedule, or if you've got a coach on the hot seat, there are various reasons to have an easy way to start winning games.
Or if you get some tough games, you better suck it up and win some of them. And the Lions were one of the teams I picked because they've got this burden of expectation when they've done nothing, grand scheme of things, to achieve it, other than finish strong last year. So they come in with that gleam of special team.
And I think it becomes even shinier now that they're in that kickoff game. And you lose that game, and they're gonna be, I would say, what, four-and-1/2-point underdogs in that game-- that's just my throw-of-dart guess what the line will be-- you're 0 and 1. You're 0 and 1.
But you know what? If I'm Dan Campbell, I know what he'll say. We had to go to Arrowhead at some point. We may as well go right now. We may as well go now.
MYLES SIMMONS: Yeah.
MIKE FLORIO: We've got to go there at some point. Let's go now.
MYLES SIMMONS: Yeah, exactly. And, look, if anybody knows how to motivate this team, it's Dan Campbell. I mean, think about the last game that they played in the 2022 regular season.
They knew that they were out of it, and they still took it to Green Bay to make sure that, hey, if we're not going to this dance, you're not going either. So I think that Campbell will absolutely have his team up and ready to go for that Thursday night match-up to open the season. And they're not gonna want to do anything else but spoil that championship celebration for Kansas City. And I think that's gonna make it a really, really, really, really fun and compelling match-up.
MIKE FLORIO: The line is already seven. So I guess--
MYLES SIMMONS: Oh.
MIKE FLORIO: --I'd be inclined, if I were to wager, to pick the Lions because I said four and 1/2. So I think it will be closer than seven. But--
MYLES SIMMONS: I do, too.
MIKE FLORIO: --and this is just a precursor because tune in tomorrow, because Chris Simms and I will give you the winners and the "lunars"-- losers, or "lunars," depending upon the moon cycle, of all 272 regular-season games. We will do that tomorrow. We will do that. And they will all be right.
MYLES SIMMONS: You sure it's gonna be Simms?
MIKE FLORIO: I'm just kidding. It is Simms tomorrow. That's why he's not here today.
MYLES SIMMONS: Oh.
MIKE FLORIO: He traded tomorrow for today because tomorrow we need--
MYLES SIMMONS: Shows what I know.
MIKE FLORIO: --schedule reaction. And we have to do this exercise of picking all the games because that's what they do on schedule release day. We pick winners of games to be played in January.
OK, but that's the first game. That's the next game. We don't know what 272 is gonna be, but we know what game number one is.
MYLES SIMMONS: Yeah, we do.
MIKE FLORIO: It's gonna be Lions at the Chiefs.