The NFL announced Thursday morning, ahead of the full schedule release, that the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will open the 2023 regular season at home against the Detroit Lions on Thursday, September 7. It’s a big step forward for the Lions, who began their 2022 season in the dark with a 1-6 start before turning it around with a final 9-8 record and a last-second miss in the postseason.
For the first time in 20 years, we will welcome the @leones back to our stadium 🏟️ pic.twitter.com/gE7UITdHJF
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) May 11, 2023
The last time Patrick Mahomes and current Lions starting quarterback Jared Goff met, Goff was with the Los Angeles Rams, and it was one of the most explosive and exciting games in NFL history. On November 19, 2018, the Rams defeated the Chiefs, 54-51, in a game that featured 14 touchdowns (three by defensive players), 56 first downs, 1,001 total yards, and was the first game in football history. professional game in which both teams scored at least 50 points. There were five touchdowns and four lead changes in the fourth quarter alone. In the end, Goff decided for his team with a 40-yard touchdown pass to tight end Gerald Everett with 1:49 left.
“It was a crazy game, a crazy game,” Goff said after the event: he passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns, rushing for another score. “It looked like whoever had the ball at the end was going to win the game. There were times when we felt like we were going to plunge the knife in and finish them off, and there were times when it was the other way around, where we had to grab it again.”
Mahomes completed 33 of 46 passes for 478 yards and six touchdowns, but his three interceptions really made the difference for the Rams.
“It’s always fun to play against really good teams,” Mahomes concluded. “You can go out and have fun… [but] It’s the same as when we played New England. You can’t make mistakes against big teams. You need to limit your mistakes, but be aggressive.”
We’ll see if the 2023 season opener features the same kind of storied excitement.