Full NFL season preview as Lions-Chiefs opens season tonight | Plus, Nick Bosa gets historic bag. – CBSSports.com

🏈 Good morning to everyone but especially …

Congrats, readers: The long wait for the NFL to return is over. The Lions visit the Chiefs tonight to kick off the league’s 104th season, and saying I’m ecstatic is a major understatement.

I’m not sure if it’s the weekly rhythm — Sunday, Monday, Thursday — or the excitement that comes on each of those days or the Fantasy Football aspect or all of those rolled into one, but it’s just something awesome and unparalleled. I’d watch all 272 regular-season games if I could … well, maybe not every Cardinals game, actually.

Game No. 1 of 272 should be terrific. Any game involving Patrick Mahomes usually is. But the reigning champs may be without superstar tight end Travis Kelce, who is questionable after injuring his knee in Tuesday’s practice. If he can’t play, the Chiefs offense may look very different, but don’t put it past Mahomes and Andy Reid to figure something out. Kansas City will also be without Chris Jones, the star defensive tackle who is not currently with the team due to contract frustrations.

The Lions, meanwhile, are NFC North favorites, and the fact that they’re opening the season is a testament to just how far they’ve come. Detroit won eight of its final 10 games last season with the Jared Goff-led offense taking off. It hasn’t won a playoff game since 1991, but expectations are as high as they’ve been in recent memory.

Jared Dubin has a wonderful preview of tonight’s game and has made his prediction


It’s better late than never for Nick Bosa and the 49ers. The star defensive end agreed to a five-year, $170-million deal that includes $122.5 million guaranteed.

How much Bosa will be on the field Sunday against the Steelers remains to be determined. However much he plays, though, the 49ers will be much better for it. And when you have legitimate Super Bowl hopes like the 49ers do, getting your star back — at any cost — is crucial.

👍 Honorable mentions

🤕 And not such a good morning for …

Add another item to the long list of challenges the Rams will face this season: Cooper Kupp is out for the Rams’ season opener against the Seahawks, and coach Sean McVay didn’t rule out a trip to the IR, which would mean Kupp could miss at least the first four games of the season as the star wide receiver deals with a hamstring injury.

This is already projected to be a tough year for the Rams. Two years removed from a championship, they have just a 13.7% chance to make the playoffs, according to SportsLine. Only the Cardinals and Colts have a worse chance.

A big reason for that is the Rams have little proven depth across their roster, and wide receiver epitomizes that. Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell and Puka Nacua are among the players who will need to step up.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏈 NFL season preview: Super Bowl picks, award winners, breakout stars, bold predictions and more

With the NFL season beginning tonight, our experts have put their pens down and submitted their predictions — from season predictions and individual award picks to bold predictions and much more. We have it all covered, and now it’s time for me to share their genius with the world.

Let’s start with where the season ends: the Super Bowl. Our six experts each picked a different champion, with one vote each for …

We got even more hot takes when expanding the poll to “The NFL Today” analysts Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms, Bill Cowher, Nate Burleson, JJ Watt and others. Two names — one surprising (Trevor Lawrence), one not (Mahomes) — tied for first in MVP voting. Here’s how that went down:

You can see full individual award and Super Bowl picks here.

A step below those stars sits Cody Benjamin’s top 10 breakout candidates. I love his top two picks:

⚾ Separating World Series contenders into tiers

We’re inside a month until the MLB playoffs, and it’s pretty clear who’s at the top of the class as October nears. Matt Snyder separated all 30 teams into tiers, and the “clear favorite” tier includes just one squad.

Caesars Sportsbook sees things the same way with the Braves as +300 favorites … but four other teams are +1,000 or shorter.

⚾ Julio Urías placed on administrative leave after domestic violence arrest

Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías was placed on administrative leave Wednesday after being arrested on felony charges of domestic violence Sunday. Urías has not been with the team since his arrest.

Dayn Perry explained what this means:

Urías was suspended 20 games in 2019 under the league’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy after witnesses said he shoved his girlfriend to the ground in a mall parking lot.

📺 What we’re watching Thursday

🏈 Lions at Chiefs, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

This content was originally published here.

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