The 2023 National Football League (NFL) regular season kicked off with a major surprise – the Detroit Lions pulled off a stunning victory against the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, winning 21-20. The game took place at the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium on a Thursday night.
In the first quarter, Lions’ wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown made a significant play by scoring the first touchdown of the new NFL season. This happened when he caught a 9-yard pass from quarterback Jared Goff.
However, the Chiefs, led by two-time MVP Patrick Mahomes, quickly struck back with two unanswered touchdowns, taking the lead 14-7 as the first half came to a close.
The momentum shifted again in the third quarter when Lions’ rookie safety Brian Branch intercepted a pass from Mahomes and ran it back for a touchdown, leveling the game.
During the game, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker contributed with two field goals, giving Kansas City a 20-14 lead. It was a tight contest until Lions’ running back David Montgomery found the end zone with just over seven minutes left, securing the game-winning score.
Mahomes, who was playing without star tight end Travis Kelce due to a knee injury suffered in practice earlier that week, finished with 226 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. On the other side, Goff had a solid performance, ending the game with 253 yards and one touchdown.
After the game, Goff shared his thoughts with NBC, saying, “We played hard the whole game. It was a long, hard game. We probably didn’t play our best, but we are built for this. We really are.”
This victory was a significant achievement for the Detroit Lions, a team that has faced decades of disappointment, with their last playoff win dating back to the 1991 season. They are hoping for a turnaround under their third-year head coach, Dan Campbell, who led them to a winning season (9-8) last year, with eight wins in their final ten games.
For the Chiefs, it wasn’t all gloom on Thursday night. Before the game, they unveiled their latest Super Bowl champion banner, receiving warm applause from their devoted fanbase.
Looking ahead, the Lions will host the Seattle Seahawks next week, while the Chiefs will travel to Duval County to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in a rematch of last season’s AFC divisional round playoff game.