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Holmes confident Lions can win NFC North

General Manager Brad Holmes thinks the Detroit Lions already have passed one test that shows they're ready to compete against the Kansas City Chiefs in the opening game.

The Lions will be performing under a bright spotlight in Thursday night's game that serves as the kickoff game for the NFL's 2023 season.

Holmes has no concern that the Lions might blink in that spotlight in facing the defending Super Bowl champions.

"Last year we proved that we can definitely compete with anyone," Holmes said. "We had some big games last year vs. what you would consider the top elite teams in the league.

"I believe that we got better this offseason and this training camp."

The Lions rallied from a 1-6 start last year to go 8-2 in the last 10 games. They finished with a 9-8 record.

They beat the Packers at Lambeau Field in the last game of the season to prevent the Packers from making the playoffs.

The Lions strengthened their roster in the offseason through free-agent signings and in the draft. They are considered the favorites to win the NFC North title by most NFL analysts.

Among the teams the Lions beat were the Packers twice, Giants, Jets, Jaguars and Vikings.

"We feel even more confident that we'll be able to compete with the big dogs," Holmes said. "There's not a better test than that first opener.

"I mean, they're the champs."

And what is Holmes' confidence level the Lions can win the division for the first time since 1993?

"Very high."

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