Lions storm into Kansas City, take down reigning champion Chiefs. Plus, Week 1 NFL picks and Week 2 CFB picks –

🏈 Good morning to everyone but especially …

When Dan Campbell became the coach of the Lions in early 2021, he emphasized he didn’t want to “sell you guys something that you’ve been sold so many times over and over.”

Whatever it is, I’m buying. The Lions opened the season with a 21-20 win over the Chiefs.

Counting last year, the Lions have won nine of their last 11 games. Yes, the Chiefs were without Travis Kelce and Chris Jones — absences that loomed large — but I loved what I saw from Detroit, especially defensively. When the offense struggled, the defense got enough stops. When the offense delivered, the defense stopped the Chiefs cold. The Lions are just the fourth team to beat Mahomes at Arrowhead after trailing entering the fourth quarter.

Overall, it was a great night for Detroit, which beat a defending Super Bowl champion for the first time since 1997.


Joe Burrow spent much of the preseason nursing a calf strain. Now, though, he’s fully back. Oh yeah, and $275 million doesn’t hurt. The Bengals made their superstar quarterback the highest-paid NFL player ever on a per-year basis with a five-year extension.

Burrow is absolutely worth it. He already owns the Bengals’ top two passing seasons in yards and touchdowns. He’s a Pro Bowler, a Comeback Player of the Year and a top-five MVP finisher. The individual accolades don’t do him justice, though. Here’s the one that does:

The Bengals, entering their 56th season, have 10 playoff wins. Burrow, entering his fourth season, has five of them.

Next on the list? The Bengals’ first Super Bowl title. I like Burrow’s chances to get that done, too.

👍 Honorable mentions

😬 And not such a good morning for …

Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs


Drops. Confusion. Mistakes. Frustration. If the Chiefs never watch this tape again, I don’t blame them. They’ll also hope they never have to play without two of their three best players again. With Kelce and Jones missed, the Chiefs looked just ordinary on both sides of the ball, even with the most extraordinary of quarterbacks and head coaches.

The good news is Kelce should be back for Week 2. The Chiefs will be just fine, but Thursday showed how badly they, like any team, need their stars.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏈 NFL Week 1 picks: 49ers-Steelers among top contests

If the season opener was any indication, we have an awesome season ahead. Actually, who am I kidding? We’re going to have an awesome season regardless.

One of my favorite Week 1 matchups features the first quarterback in the 2022 draft and the last one: Kenny Pickett vs. Brock Purdy as the Steelers host the 49ers. Here’s John Breech’s pick:

Later that afternoon, we get a battle between two other quarterbacks who share a draft class: 2020 first-rounders Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert in Dolphins-Chargers. Pete Prisco says …

Sign me up for that and a bunch of games just like it. Here are all of our experts’ picks:


Nearly one year ago to the day, Texas was rolling against Alabama. Quinn Ewers was spinning it against the Crimson Tide’s talented defense, and Steve Sarkisian was looking for his signature win with the Longhorns. Then Ewers got hurt, Bryce Young staged a dramatic comeback and Alabama escaped with a 19-17 win.

Saturday, Texas gets its chance at revenge. The No. 11 Longhorns visit the No. 3 Crimson Tide, and Will Backus has five keys for Nick Saban’s bunch to avoid the upset again, including …

To me, Milroe is one of the most intriguing players in the nation. After a long run of NFL-prospect quarterbacks, Milroe has massive shoes to fill, and he has the added pressure of trying to end the Crimson Tide’s title “drought” — yes, two years counts as a drought in Tuscaloosa — and this will be a huge test.

Shehan Jeyarajah, meanwhile, has five keys for Texas, and Tom Fornelli predicts a close game in his Six Pack of picks.

I’m pretty firm in my stance that Texas-Alabama is the biggest game of the week, but Steve Spurrier has a different choice: Nebraska at No. 22 Colorado. Deion Sanders is getting plenty of love right now, but, as Dennis Dodd writes, another Buffaloes coach will grab headlines soon.

We also have picks for every SEC game.

Even a nearly hour-long delay couldn’t stop Coco Gauff. Not much can stop the 19-year-old at the moment. Gauff downed Karolína Muchová in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, to advance to the US Open final.

Gauff will meet Aryna Sabalenka in the final.

📺 What we’re watching this weekend

🏈 Bengals at Browns, 1 p.m. on CBS
🏈 49ers at Steelers, 1 p.m. on Fox
🏀 Sky at Sun, 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏀 Mystics at Liberty, 1 p.m. on NBA TV
🏈 Dolphins at Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Rockies at Giants, 8 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 Cowboys at Giants, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

This content was originally published here.

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