Oh, my goodness, what a great season opening game last night between the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, and the (future NFC North Champs) Detroit Lions! Whether you’re a KC fan, a Detroit fan or just a football fan in general, I think you can appreciate a close game with a little bit of drama to bring in the first game of the year. The Lions were the kings of Arrowhead last night, beating the Chiefs by a score of 21-20. Here are some key take-aways from each team:
The Rookie Draft Class SHOWED UP!
I said at the beginning of the year that the Lions had one of the best drafts. Tight End, Sam LaPorta showed that he has hands, and he has some great, athletic moves after the catch. LaPorta finished with five catches for 39 yards, which isn’t “jump off the page” exciting, but he came up with big catches when it mattered to sustain drives.
Safety Brian Branch came up with a HUGE Pick-6 for 50 yards that went right through the hands of Kadarius Toney (more on him later) and turned the momentum of the game around early. Branch was drafted with the 14th pick in the second round, which I think is crazy because I had him going 25th in the first round to the NY Giants. Branch also had two tackles and a pass defended on the night.
Jack Campbell was taken with the second of two first-round picks by the Lions at pick number 18. Campbell was fast to the ball, and while he only recorded two tackles, he also had a CLUTCH pass defended late in the game where he had to dive to his left and swat a ball away from an otherwise open Kansas City WR.
Running Back, Jahmyr Gibbs was taken with the 12th pick in the draft by the Lions and all I can say is…WHAT THE HELL, LIONS?! Gibbs is the special out-of-the-backfield RB that you would love to have, and every time he touched the ball, he averaged over 6.5 yards per play. HOWEVER, he only carried the ball seven times for 42 yards and had two catches for 18 yards. Gibbs almost had a rushing TD in the first half but slipped while trying to make a juke move that surely would have taken him to the corner of the end zone. RB David Montgomery carried the ball three times more (21) than Gibbs and only averaged 3.5 yards per carry for a grand total of 74 yards. Detroit…leave Montogomery on the bench for first and second downs. He’s a great blocking back, and much bigger than Gibbs, but you must leave Jahmyr in the game more often. Especially as the dynamic first-round draft pick that he is.
My Goff, He Was...Good
Jared Goff played…Jared Goff football. Meaning, he was very good. He completed 63% of his passes, going 22 of 35 for 253 yards and a TD. Not great, right? But what he didn’t do was turn the ball over by making bad throws. Goff threw the ball away when he needed to, only took one sack, and he recovered a fumble when his Center snapped the ball at the wrong time, and it bounced off a crossing TE. This is what Goff needed to do, and he did it very well.
Amon-Ra St. Brown backed up all the hype in the beginning of the season and proved why he should have been taken in the first round of every fantasy football draft. St. Brown has great agility, speed, and hands.
He caught six passes for 71 yards and TD (the first TD of the Lions season) and looked like a true number one receiver. Amon-Ra’s counterpart, veteran WR, Josh Reynolds was also exceptional, and he looks to be having a career year in his seventh season. Reyolds pulled in four receptions for 80 yards, and I think the Lions found their three-headed monster with him, St. Brown and LaPorta.
Kansas City Chiefs
Let’s address ONE of the elephants in the room…Kadarius Toney! I’m not going to lie, I’m happy he fell right on his face after being a complete jacka$$ in the offseason. In 2022 Toney had 14 receptions for 171 yards and 2 TDs in the regular season, and seven receptions for 50 yards and TD in the postseason. THEN he gets on social media and brags about his Super Bowl ring as if he was ACTUALLY a major factor. If there is such as thing as karma, Toney just got his, and it was well deserved. Stat Line: One carry for -1 yard and one catch for one yard…and three drops.
Outside of Toney, the Chiefs have a MAJOR problem at Wide Receiver. Without Travis Kelce in the lineup, nobody caught more than four passes, and that was actually their RB, Isaih Pacheco. Who would have thought that losing a TIGHT END would have such a negative impact on an offense! Listen, Patrick Mahomes can only do such much, and he had time to throw the ball from his cheating Offensive Line…yeah, I said it!! The WR crew for KC is just garbage. Mahomes can make average WRs look good, but this is pushing the envelope. Get the man some help or be prepared to see the Chargers win the AFC West this year!
Let’s address the OTHER elephant in the room…Right Tackle, Jawaan Taylor! First, this guy was lined up ILLEGALLY three yards behind the line of scrimmage AND THEN, moving before the snap over half of the time. The referees (who might has well have been wearing white and RED stripes) were letting it go AAAALLLL night…until late in the fourth quarter. You know it’s bad when the announcers are pointing it our over and over and over…
C’mon, NFL!! At least try to hide that you’re turning a blind eye on the “NFL Sweetheart Mahomes and Co.”. DO BETTER!
The Lions are the REAL DEAL. I picked them to win the NFC North with a record of 10-7, and they may even win more than that. The Chiefs have a tough schedule ahead and I wouldn’t be surprised if they start the season 1-3, losing on the road at Jacksonville next week and at the New York Jets in Week 4. KC needs to take a serious look at bringing in a WR like Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, or T.Y. Hilton. Thanks for the “read”!