Lions at Chiefs: Writer picks and predictions for 2023 season opener

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To the victor belong the spoils. The reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs will kick off the 2023 NFL season against the visiting Detroit T̶i̶g̶e̶r̶s̶ Lions, a sexy pick ahead of this season. The focus remains on who the Chiefs may play without Thursday, rather than the on-field product. That does not change this fact: the NFL season is finally upon us.

Check out the staff's picks and predictions for what matters in Thursday's game:

Tyler Brown
Andy Reid and the Chiefs have not lost a week one matchup since 2014. I do not see that changing in 2023 on a night they hang a banner. Mahomes will make the young crop of receivers look promising, even if they don’t have Kelce for one night. The defense will struggle some without Chris Jones but will make enough plays to seal the game. Also, I cannot see a world where Jared Goff is 2-0 over Patrick Mahomes.
Detroit 27, Kansas City 38

Matt Conner
The Chiefs will leave their opening night victory over the Lions with plenty of things to work on, but the primary lesson for us all will be just how supreme this team should be considered in any matchup before thinking some roster concerns are going to sink them against non-elite teams.
Detroit 17, Kansas City 28

Greg Florkowski
The last time Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff went head to head in 2018, the Chiefs lost in a 51-54 shootout. Thursday night will not be as exciting as that meeting, and the Chiefs will be ready to defend the Superbowl Champion banner that will drop shortly before kickoff. The Lions will keep the game close, but Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and a sprinkle of Isaiah Pacheco will ensure the Chiefs' offense is as efficient as we last saw them, winning the Superbowl. I also predict the defense will be fine without Chris Jones in the game
Detroit 28, Kansas City 35

Lyle Graversen
The Lions are a trendy playoff pick in the NFC this season in large part because of their offense. Their defense still looks pretty suspect on paper. We all know the Chiefs have a fantastic offense, but their defense typically starts the season a little slow (even with Chris Jones). So all signs point towards this one being a shootout, but I'll pick Patrick Mahomes over Jared Goff in a shootout every time.
Detroit 30, Kansas City 34

Anthony Hatton
There should be an all-offense game to kick off the NFL season. Kansas City is likely without its best defensive player in Chris Jones and Detroit has been a bottom-five defense for two seasons.  The Lions have momentum after finishing last year strong and selecting a strong rookie class in the NFL draft. However, the difference in this game is looking like Patrick Mahomes versus Jared Goff…..enough said. 
Detroit 24, Kansas City 34

Jacob Milham
Chris Jones' holdout and Travis Kelce's injury this week cast dark clouds over the matchup, but I remain bullish on the Chiefs this week. Andy Reid and Week 1 are not an unfamiliar foe, and Reid comes out on top more often than not. This team has some palpable comradery, more so than in previous seasons. I think this ends up being a statement game for the Chiefs and starts the season with a dominant win.
Detroit 27, Kansas City 48

Charles Robinson
There are a lot of questions for Kansas City entering Week 1, specifically surrounding the defense. The real question: How will the Lions contain Week 1 Mahomes? Mahomes has accounted for 17 TD passes and 1,542 passing yards in his 5 season openers thus far - the Chiefs are 5-0 and winning by 13 points per game in those contests. He and the Chiefs get off to another hot start and hang 40 points with the Super Bowl LVII banner.
Detroit 31, Kansas City 41

Stacy Smith
The Kansas City Chiefs open the season with a nailbiter against a Detroit Lions team that went 8-2 to close out the 2022 season. Chris Jones' case for a healthy new deal gets stronger as the defense struggles to pressure the quarterback, but the good guys win a shootout with Goff this time around on a late Harrison Butker field goal.
Detroit 28, Kansas City 31

Lucas Strozinsky
I anticipate that this game to go well over the over/under of 54. Both teams have an elite offense and a defense with serious questions. For Kansas City, no Chris Jones will be problematic, both against the run and pass. Expect running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs both to have strong a night. Although the Lions should have a decent game on offense, the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid as well as the Arrowhead crowd. The Chiefs will win this game, though it will not be a banner night (no pun intended) for Steve Spagnuolo's unit.
Detroit 30, Kansas City 37

Grant Tuttle
Without Chris Jones, I’m expecting the Chiefs to prepare for a shootout. It should be fun, but the defense is already stressing me out.
Detroit 28, Kansas City 34