Michigan-connected Kansas City Chiefs players stunned by the early Detroit Lions exit from the postseason
Due to the disappointing conclusion of the 2023 Detroit Lions season, fans missed what would have been a rematch of their Week 1 showdown against the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. The initial encounter, which saw the Lions secure a narrow 21-20 victory at Arrowhead Stadium on September 7, promised an exciting follow-up. As the Chiefs continue preparing to defend their title against the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday, several players have expressed their surprise at the Lions' failure to progress further in the playoffs.
Michigan-connected Kansas City Chiefs players stunned by the Detroit Lions exit from the postseason
Chiefs defensive back Nic Jones revealed that during halftime of the NFC Championship game, friends were reaching out to him about what seemed to be a looming showdown between the Chiefs and the 49ers.
“The whole city, they called me,” said Jones, who hails from Detroit and also played high school football in Southfield. “At halftime. They’re calling me like, ‘Congratulations, I know you’re one of ours but you got to see us.' And I was like, ‘Come on, man., there's 30 minutes left.'”
“I’ve been a Lions fan for 15 years and I’m really a hater because I can’t believe they got good the one year I don’t like them no more,” he said. “I remember watching, going to Lions games in ’08, watching (Adrian Peterson) tear them (up). My first ever Lions game, it was a home game, my granddad took me and my big brother to, so to see them do this now that I’m no longer a fan after all those years of heartbreak, I kind of wanted them to lose. But then I started rooting for them like, ‘Come on then, do it then, Lions.' It was unfortunate, but I think they got a good thing going over there. I don’t doubt that they’ll make it back.”
“I feel really good for the city just seeing how happy (they were),” Jones said. “It made me feel good to see them win this year. Man, I loved it, honestly. My mom was like, ‘You want to throw me some tickets to go to a Lions game?' I’m like, ‘No.'”
Meanwhile, Chiefs defensive lineman Mike Danna, a former player at Warren De La Salle and the University of Michigan, shared that many of his acquaintances from Michigan had to cancel their plans to travel to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl following the Detroit Lions exit from the postseason thanks to their collapse in the second half against the 49ers.
“That was crazy,” Danna said. “Definitely a lot of people from Detroit were ready, chirping me already and all like – they were ready to come to Vegas. A few people had to cancel their flights cause they thought they were going to Vegas. It was crazy. I definitely had a lot of people ready to come.”
“Hats off to them. They had a hell of a season,” Danna continued. “It was awesome to see because there’s always been a negative narrative around the team and there’s always been that image of the team where it’s sour, bitter, but they changed the script. They changed the narrative of the team this year. They came out, came out swinging from the jump and they made noise.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Lions exit from the postseason was a disappointing end to their season at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
- This loss also means that there won't be a Super Bowl rematch of their Week 1 victory against the Chiefs in Kansas City.
- Two Chiefs players with ties to Michigan expressed their surprise at the Lions' failure to advance to Super Bowl LVIII.
Bottom Line: We'll have to wait for a Lions-Chiefs rematch
Regrettably, the Detroit Lions and Chiefs won't cross paths next season, depriving fans of a much-anticipated rematch. Additionally, the Lions' collapse in the second half against San Francisco during the NFC Championship game extinguished any hopes for a Week 1 rematch.
Nonetheless, the Lions' achievements haven't escaped notice across the NFL, particularly among players on opposing teams with ties to Michigan.