The Lions earned their prime time season opener against the Chiefs

The Lions “earned” their prime-time season opener against the Chiefs, says the NFL – ESPN – ESPN

Eric WoodyardESPN May 12 2023 1:39pm ET3 minute read

Lions use Madden to publish their schedule

The Lions are playing Madden sims for each of their upcoming games of the 2023 season.

When the NFL created the 2023 game plan, there were countless options with interesting storylines, but ultimately the league decided to present the Detroit Lions in Kansas City for the opening game in prime time on Thursday night on September 7th.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs — led by reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes — will always draw interest, but getting national coverage like this is a big deal for Detroit, especially since the Lions were the only NFL team to do so no prime time game hosted the schedule at this point last year.

Mike North, the NFL’s vice president of broadcast planning, said Friday the Lions “earned” the spotlight after winning eight of their last 10 games of 2022 and finishing 9-8. It was the team’s first successful season since 2017.

“Detroit’s track record, what was that, eight of the last ten? And the last time we all saw them, they went to Lambeau.” [Field] and ruin the Packers’ season,” North told reporters at a media briefing. “We’re always talking about you playing your way into prime time, about playing your way into the bigger TV windows, and the Lions did that.”

“Maybe it started a little bit in August with ‘Hard Knocks’ and everyone got to know Coach.” [Dan] Campbell and learning what a kneecap biter could be one day, but they earned it with their play on the field and we considered all the options at kick-off, all the home opponents from Kansas City and any of them would have worked.” he continued, “We felt comfortable with every single game and Detroit was on the final game plan.”

The Lions have four prime-time games scheduled in 2023, in addition to their traditional Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay on Nov. 23 at Ford Field.

Detroit will return to Lambeau for Thursday Night Football against the Packers on September 28, host the Las Vegas Raiders for Monday Night Football on October 30, and take on the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night, December 30 ESPN/ ABC.

In the past five seasons, the Lions have played just five prime-time games, the fewest in the NFL.

Campbell made an early appearance on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” show on Friday and spoke about the Week 1 performance at Arrowhead Stadium.

While excited about the opportunity, Campbell is keeping an eye on everything, saying the Lions will try to “show what we’re all about in prime time.”

He said the schedule shows the Lions are “gaining respect” league-wide, but they need to deliver.

“Here’s my first thought: I’ll be completely honest with you as to why you would give us Kansas City,” Campbell said on the show. “Okay, you ended the year a certain way, but it also means they made a bet that we wouldn’t get our ass kicked. You may get hit, but you won’t get your ass kicked. That’s what they do.” you say.