Find out how to watch the Lions and Cardinals open their season on Sunday, Sept. 8.
Perhaps the biggest unknown entity in the NFL heading into the season opener are the Cardinals. Both head coach Kliff Kingsbury and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray will make their debuts Sunday at home against the Lions.
How to Watch: Lions vs. Cardinals:
Date: Sunday, Sept. 8
Time: 4:25 p.m. EDT
Live Stream: You can stream the game on fuboTV. Sign up now for a free seven-day trial.
After going 3–13 in 2018 with Josh Rosen under center, the Cardinals fired coach Steve Wilks on New Year's Eve, hired Kingsbury eight days later and later drafted Murray. The Heisman Trophy winner announced his intentions to not only turn pro early but also declined a chance to play for the Oakland A's, who made him the eighth overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim tried to play coy about the possibility of having back-to-back No. 1 overall picks and quarterbacks ahead of the draft, but there were too many bread crumbs leading to the union of Murray and Kingsbury given how similar their offenses were in piling up points in the Big 12 with the Sooners and Texas Tech. Sure enough, Murray's name was called first, and Rosen was shipped to Miami in a draft-day deal.
Kingsbury's route to the Cardinals job was off the beaten path as well, having been fired from Texas Tech after a season-ending five-game losing streak resulted in a 5–7 finish. USC quickly jumped in naming him offensive coordinator, but Kingsbury resigned less than a week after taking the job because Trojans athletic director
While Murray and Kingsbury are starting from scratch, Matt Patricia is entering the second year of his rebuild with the Lions. The former Patriots defensive coordinator finished 6–10 in his first season in charge and last in the NFC North.
Detroit will be hard-pressed to escape the cellar again this year given the quality of division rivals Chicago, Minnesota and Green Bay, but veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford returns for his 11th year. Stafford has a new offensive coordinator in the well-traveled Darrell Bevell, who was out of the NFL last year after spending the previous 11 seasons with the Vikings and Seahawks. The good news for Stafford and Bevell is that wideout Marvin Jones is healthy after being limited to nine games in 2018 due to injury.
His absence allowed for the emergence of Kenny Golladay, who cleared 1,000 yards in his second season with a team-high 70 catches. The Lions also gave Stafford a new tight end in No. 8 overall pick T.J. Hockenson. Detroit's defense could be sneaky good this year, anchored by linebacker Jarrad Davis and run-stopper Damon "Snacks" Harrison on the line. The Lions, though, will need an edge rusher to replace Ziggy Ansah, who left for Seattle in free agency.