Chiefs hosting Lions to kick off '23 NFL season; 49ers back in Philly

ByAdam Teicher ESPN logo
Friday, May 12, 2023

The Kansas City Chiefs will begin the 2023 NFL season with a game against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 7 at Arrowhead Stadium in the traditional Thursday prime-time season opener for the defending Super Bowl champions.

The game is among the highlights of the regular-season schedule released by the NFL on Thursday night. The Chiefs will play six prime-time games, including a rematch of their Super Bowl LVII win over the Philadelphia Eagles on a Monday night in Week 11 at Arrowhead.

The Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals will play a rematch of the past two AFC Championship Games on New Year's Eve in Week 17, also at Arrowhead. The teams split the conference title games, with the Bengals winning in overtime in 2021 and the Chiefs winning on a late field goal last season.

Last season's NFC Championship Game participants, the Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, will face each other in Week 13 in Philadelphia. The Eagles knocked quarterback Brock Purdy out of the conference title game on their way to a dominant 31-7 win. Purdy had elbow surgery in the offseason but should be ready by the time the teams meet again.

The New York Jets and new quarterback Aaron Rodgers will get a big dose of the national stage. The Jets will open their season on Monday night at home against the Buffalo Bills and will play four additional prime-time games, including a Sunday night home game against the Chiefs in Week 4.

The top two picks in the recent draft, quarterbacks Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, are scheduled to meet in Week 8 when the Carolina Panthers host the Houston Texans.

The schedule features a tripleheader on Christmas Day, a Monday, beginning with the Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City. Following are games between the New York Giants and Eagles in Philadelphia and the Baltimore Ravens and 49ers in San Francisco.

The Thanksgiving tripleheader features three division games. It begins with Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers visiting the Lions. The Dallas Cowboys then host the Washington Commanders, and the Seattle Seahawks host the 49ers in prime time.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are scheduled to play on Sunday night (in Week 15 at home against the Ravens) for the first time in 15 years and on Monday night (in Week 13 at home against the Bengals) for the first time in 12 years. Both streaks are the longest of their kind in the NFL.

The Chiefs are planning to unveil the championship banner marking their Super Bowl LVII victory over Philadelphia in their season opener. They will be able to celebrate their title with a full stadium of fans, unlike in the opener after their Super Bowl LIV win over the 49ers. Then, in 2020, COVID-19 restrictions limited the crowd to an announced total of 15,895 as the Chiefs beat the Texans.

The Lions won eight of their final 10 games in 2022 to finish at 9-8 and post their first winning record since 2017. They were chosen to play for the first time in the NFL Kickoff Game, which began in 2002.

Among the other teams that could have been selected to play the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium were the Los Angeles Chargers,Buffalo Bills and Eagles.

The Super Bowl rematch against the Eagles will take place on Nov. 20, in a "Monday Night Football" matchup on ESPN and ABC.

The Giants, meanwhile, are hosting the Cowboysin Week 1 on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

The NFL on Wednesday announced the league's first Black Friday game on Nov. 24, with the Miami Dolphins playing at the Jets, and a slate of five international games, three to be played in London and two in Frankfurt, Germany. The Jaguars will be the first team to play two games internationally in a season, facing the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4 at Wembley Stadium and the Bills in Week 5 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The NFL's 18-week, 272-game regular-season schedule concludes with 16 division games in Week 18, including two on Saturday Jan. 6.

ESPN's Mike DiRocco and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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