Lions Achieve Stunning Victory Over Chiefs in First Game of the 2023 NFL Season

3 min read

Cece Hampton ’24

Sports Editor

Last Thursday night, the 2023 NFL season officially began, with the reigning Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Detroit Lions at home in Arrowhead Stadium. In a stunning turn of events, the Lions defeated the Chiefs 21 – 20, earning Detroit its first 1-0 start since the 2017 season. Lions running back David Montgomery scored an 8-yard touchdown with just over 7 minutes left in the game, putting the Lions in the lead for the remainder of the match up. This was the Chiefs’ first loss in a season opener since 2014, to a team that did not even make the playoffs of last season’s game play. The Lions’ rookie class came up strong against the Chiefs, proving their readiness for the big leagues.  

With just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter of the game, Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown scored the game’s first touchdown after receiving a 9-yard catch from quarterback Jared Goff. By his fourth catch of the game, St. Brown became the first player in Lions history to achieve 200 receptions within his first three seasons in the NFL. Goff and St. Brown have been a dynamic duo on the field together since 2021, when St. Brown joined the Lions. Goff currently holds the third-longest streak of consecutive passes without an interception in the NFL, after extending his total to 359 on Thursday. Goff worked well with new skill guys like tight end Sam LaPorta, running back Jahmyr Gibbs, and wideout Marvin Jones Jr. 

After intercepting Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes for a pick-six, rookie defensive back Brian Branch became the first Lions player to score a defensive touchdown in a first career game since Louis Delmas in 2009. Just 21 years old and hailing from Alabama, previous coaches and teammates share glowing praise of Branch. As the 46th pick in the second draft round, Branch has demonstrated his preparedness for NFL action by performing the big play of the game Thursday, and will be an interesting player to keep an eye on over the coming weeks. Lion’s Coach Campbell said that while the rookies have a lot of things to work on, they were crucial to winning against the Chiefs, and they are bound to keep improving through games two and three. 

The Chiefs struggled offensively without tight end Travis Kelce, who still has several days to recover from a knee injury before the next game. Mahomes made some crucial plays, but struggled without having Kelce there to receive. Overall, the Chiefs faced difficulties in their rushing game, and will be counting on Kelce’s return for improvements next time. Mahomes reminded his teammates that despite their incredible record and victory in the Super Bowl last season, they begin this season with a clean slate. He stressed the idea that in order to win the game, you have to play well. You cannot simply expect to walk in and win. Mahomes hopes to extend his five-year AFC championship streak to six this year. Moving forward this season, Mahomes is encouraging his teammates to forget about last season’s successes if they hope to achieve more this season. Next up, the Chiefs will play the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 17th, and the Lions will take on the Seattle Seahawks.

You May Also Like

+ There are no comments

Add yours