NOVAK: One week into play, and chaos

Published 11:55 pm Friday, September 15, 2023

It only took one week for there to be chaos in the National Football League.

Detroit fired the first salvo as it defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs 21-20 in the season opener last Thursday night. The Lions spoiled the banner celebration with the come-from-behind victory.

Detroit also served notice that all the preseason hype may be more than just that. That was a game the “old” Lions would have lost. More importantly, on a night when Detroit’s high-powered offense was not at its best, it leaned on the defense, which delivered in the clutch.

I know one game does not a season, but I have to admit I was expecting the Lions to lose to the Chiefs. I just wanted them to be competitive against Kansas City on the road in that hostile environment. Coming away with a win was just icing on the cake.

My weekend went from elation to disappointment when I saw the inactives for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday morning and Dowagiac’s Caleb Murphy was on it. I had been waiting for Sunday since Murphy make the 53-man roster. I even bought NFL+ so that I can watch the Titan games, either live or on replay.

I have not seen an updated depth chart for this week’s season opener against the San Diego Chargers. I will keep checking and hopefully Murphy will dress this week. Whether he makes it onto the field or not we will have to wait and see.

One thing I know, Caleb is working hard to improve every day and to get his shot to play in an NFL regular season contest. As a rookie, you have to wait your turn and make the most of your chances when they come.

Monday night, I was also looking forward to watch the NFL, but not the national broadcast of Monday Night Football, but the Manningcast with Peyton and Eli Manning. Their commentary and special guests makes their show a “must-watch.” They are funny and the banter back and forth between the brothers is as good as any comedy show on television.

I was also interested in seeing Aaron Rogers’ debut with the New York Jets. Unfortunately, it lasted 75 seconds and three plays before an injury ended his season and the Jets’ chances of getting to the Super Bowl, or maybe even of making the playoffs.

I do not care who your favorite team is, you have to feel bad for the long-suffering Jets fans who thought they finally had the last piece of the puzzle to make them relevent again. Unfortunately, although I think they can be competitive most weeks, they are now a far cry from the team everyone expected them to be.

So, it is on to Week 2 in the NFL. Using the old coaching adage, “a team makes its biggest improvement from the first week to the second week,” we will have a better feel for what each team at the end of Monday night.

For the Lions sake, I hope Detroit can give their long-suffering fans an home-opening victory over Seattle on Sunday. A 2-0 start would be great for the Lions fans, and would help continue the momentum this team has built since the end of the 2022 season.


Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can reached at