In a stunning development confirmed by Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team, the Detroit Lions have been thrust into the spotlight, slated to clash with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL 2023 season opener. The prime-time kickoff will take place on Thursday, September 7 at 8:20pm ET, transforming the historic Arrowhead Stadium into the grand stage for a thrilling face-off featuring two high-powered offenses.
The Lions Roar into the Spotlight
The decision to place the Lions in the season opener is a clear nod of respect from the NFL and its schedule-makers. This is the first time since the NFL introduced the “Kickoff Game” in 2002 that the Lions have been invited to participate. The honor is likely an acknowledgment of the Lions’ stellar performance in the latter part of the 2022 season, where they clawed their way back from a 1-6 start to win eight of their last ten games.
A Strong Finish to a Promising Start
Ironically, the Lions closed out the 2022 NFL regular season with a victory over the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football.” It effectively booting Aaron Rodgers and his former team from playoff contention. Now, they’re set to reopen the season on one of the NFL’s grandest stages. The Lions are currently favored to conquer the NFC North and stand as the third-best contenders for the NFC title.
An Intense Rivalry Brewing
The Chiefs, led by the dynamic duo of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, have won the past two matchups against the Lions. However, their last face-off in 2019 was a gripping battle that saw the Lions leading for most of the game. The Chiefs managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by scoring the decisive touchdown with just 23 seconds left.
A New Dawn for the Detroit Lions
This season-opening game is perhaps the most palpable evidence that this Detroit Lions team is a far cry from its predecessors. As they take on the weight of opening the 2023 NFL regular season, they are clearly evolving into a team capable of attracting significant attention and respect.
The upcoming clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions promises to be a thrilling spectacle. While Andy Reid’s team is a known Super Bowl contender, the revamped Lions are expected to be a legitimate threat in the NFC. With their efforts to rebuild their defense this offseason, and add weapons to their offense, this could be an electrifying matchups to usher in the 2023 season.
NFL 2023: New Season, New Changes
The upcoming 2023 season will bring about a wave of changes under a fresh 11-year broadcast contract valued at over $100 billion. Here are some of the most notable modifications:
- Black Friday game: On November 24, the day after Thanksgiving. A match between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets will air on Amazon’s Prime Video.
- “Monday Night Football”: ESPN/ABC will now have the ability to move Sunday games to Monday night from Week 12 through Week 17, provided teams are notified 12 days in advance. Additionally, there will be three side-by-side doubleheaders, increasing from just one in 2022.
- AFC and NFC Broadcasts: Traditional broadcasting rules are evolving. CBS used to cover all Sunday afternoon games with two AFC teams (and any inter-conference games with the AFC as the visitor). Fox did the same for NFC. This is changing. Expect to see more Lions games on CBS this year. However, the network-conference relationships will still hold to some extent with Fox/NFC and CBS/AFC maintaining minimum appearances per team.
- “Thursday Night Football”: Teams will now be eligible to appear twice in the season. On Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football.
- No guaranteed primetime: Unlike in previous seasons. Some teams might not feature on the primetime schedule, potentially improving the viewing experience for fans.
International NFL Games for 2023
The 2023 NFL International Series has been announced, featuring five games in both England and Germany:
- Week 4: Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Oct. 1 (London)
- Week 5: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills, Oct. 8 (Tottenham, London)
- Week 6: Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans, Oct. 15 (Tottenham, London)
- Week 9: Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Nov. 5 (Frankfurt, Germany)
- Week 10: Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots, Nov. 12 (Frankfurt, Germany)
Notably, this will be the first time Jacksonville plays overseas in back-to-back weeks.
Major 2022 Playoff Rematches
The new season will see 14 rematches from the 2022 playoffs. This includes a Super Bowl 57 replay between the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles in Kansas City. Also on the schedule are a Christmas Day clash between the Eagles and New York Giants. Finally, a New Year’s Eve contest with the Chiefs hosting the Cincinnati Bengals.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
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