The wait is finally over. After the Broncos and Panthers officially kicked off the regular season Thursday night, it's time for the rest of the league to follow suit.
Our focus, of course, is on the Detroit Lions and their season opener vs. the Colts in Indianapolis.
The Lions' offense heads into the matchup confident, despite the struggles the first teamers experienced in the preseason.
"That's something I'm not worried about," wide receiver Marvin Jones said of finding the end zone. "Just because I know we're going to do it."
Added running back Ameer Abdullah: "(I'm) very confident. I visualize myself making plays and my teammates making plays."
Helping the offense's confidence is quarterback Matthew Stafford, who takes pride in his ironman streak and gameday availability.
"I take a lot of pride in it," Stafford said. "It's something that everybody here wanted to write me off about my first two years, had a lot of fun writing articles on that. It's something that I like. I like being available.
"I put a lot of work in in the offseason. I put a lot of work in during the season. To be available on Sundays is one of the biggest things, if not the biggest thing, in the NFL, especially at the quarterback position."
On the defensive side of the ball, we'll see some changes, including a new starter at strong safety - Tavon Wilson.
"Obviously, I'll be excited to go out there and play and get an opportunity to play," Wilson said Thursday. "I look forward to doing my best."
KEEPING UP WITH THE COLTS
What are the Colts saying as they prepare for Sunday's matchup?
"It's exciting," Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said. "It's exciting to get back going. We're certainly excited for a new season. The great thing in sports is, every season is a new season, no matter what happened in the past. This year is no exception."
For Mike O'Hara's full scouting report on the Colts, click here.
The Lions are entering Sunday's matchup in good health. All four players listed on the injury report got up to full participation in Friday's practice and are listed as questionable.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS:
- You asked. He answered. Now watch this week's episode of #AskALion featuring cornerback Quandre Diggs.
- Catch up on all the news from Teryl Austin's and Jim Bob Cooter's Thursday press conferences.
- Why did the Lions keep only four receivers to start the season? Tim Twentyman covers that question and more in his latest 10 questions column.
- Quarterback Dan Orlovsky will be Stafford's backup for another season. See what won him the job.
- Matt Prater's powerful right leg is the most obvious asset in the Lions' kicking game, but it takes three specialists working in unison for the finished product to be successful.