Lions Week 1 preview: Jared vs. Goliath
There's never been a Week 1 quite like this.
- The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Lions Thursday at 8:20pm in what national pundits are saying will be a big night for the organization.
Why it matters: The Lions are slated for the league's first game of the season for the first time since the Kickoff Game was introduced in 2002.
- With the entire football world watching, the league's schedulers are betting that these aren't the Same Old Lions.
State of play: We'll learn early whether Jared Goff and the Lions are for real — the hype is building and a win has the chance to turn Detroit into America's team this season.
- Arrowhead Stadium will be electric, plus head coach Andy Reid and his two-time Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes have been on big stages before. The NFL's opening night is nothing new.
Catch up quick: Detroit is no stranger to slow starts — the Lions combined to go a league-worst 2-14 through Weeks 1-9 the past two seasons, ESPN reports.
- They almost overcame a 1-6 start last year, but coach Dan Campbell says an emphasis on fundamentals and a beefed-up secondary will prevent a similar start this year.
The other side: The new-look pass defense will have its work cut out for it against Mahomes, even if he is missing Travis Kelce. The star tight end hyperextended his knee this week and might not play Thursday.
- The Chiefs are also likely missing their best defensive player, tackle Chris Jones.
Zoom in: Chiefs players with local ties include Mike Danna of Warren De La Salle and U of M, as well as Skyy Moore and Mike Caliendo of Western Michigan.
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