The 2023 NFL season begins with the annual Kickoff Game on Thursday, this year hosted by the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs against the Detroit Lions, their first time ever in this game. They were two of the top five offensive teams in the league last year and the total is set at 54 points for Thursday, and history says it will land over. KC is also -6.5.
Kansas City has won eight straight Week 1 games, the longest such streak in the NFL, and all eight have landed over the total. The #ChiefsKingdom scored at least 27 points in each game and at least 33 points in each since 2018 when Patrick Mahomes took over as the Week 1 starter. Mahomes has thrown at least three TD passes in five straight Week 1 games, the longest such streak in NFL history. He has never been picked off in Week 1.
KC has gone 33 straight games without losing by at least five points, including playoffs, one shy of matching the longest streak in NFL history. Mahomes has won 16 straight regular-season starts vs NFC, the longest inter-conference win streak by QB since 1970.
The Chiefs could have a gaping hole defensively Thursday, though, as star lineman Chris Jones continues to hold out and it’s looking very unlikely that he plays. Jones has recorded the fourth-most sacks in the NFL over the past five seasons (56.5) and is a four-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler.
Detroit is a very chic pick to win the NFC for the first time in franchise history as the Lions are the only NFC team never to play in a Super Bowl. After starting 1-6 last year, scoring 24.7 points per game and allowing 32.1, the #OnePride closed on an 8-2 run, scoring 28.0 ppg and allowing 20.2. Jared Goff had 15 passing TDs and zero picks in the final nine games of last season and had 324 straight passes without a pic, the longest streak in Lions history.
Defense was the issue for the Lions last year but that’s largely where they focused this offseason other than with their initial 2023 first-round pick as they took Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Rather unusually, the total has gone over in 12 straight Detroit Week 1 games. That’s the longest streak in the NFL since 1979 when over-under trends started being tracked.
Thursday is the second career meeting between Mahomes and Goff. They played on a Monday night in 2018 in LA when Goff was with the Rams and they beat the Chiefs 54-51, the only game in NFL history where both teams scored at least 50 points. With a win, Goff would be the only NFL QB with a 2-0 or better record vs Mahomes, including playoffs.