2013 NFL Week 2 Preview — 5 Intriguing Storylines to Keep an Eye On
Week 2 of the 2013 NFL season starts Thursday night with the Jets heading to Foxborough to take on the Patriots. Here’s what we’ll be watching:
The Redskins or Packers Are Headed for an 0-2 Start
Washington at Green Bay — 1 p.m. (ET) on Sunday Sept. 15
After looking tentative in Monday night’s loss to the Eagles, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III must figure out how to attack Clay Matthews Jr. and a Packers defense that was unable to stop Colin Kaepernick in Week 1. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers faces a Redskins defense that was overrun by the Eagles fast-break offense. Both of these 2012 division champions were expected to contend for the playoffs in 2013. Barring a tie, one will be 0-2 by Sunday night, making the road to the postseason that much more difficult.
Is the Eagles High-Speed Offense for Real?
San Diego at Philadelphia — 1 p.m. (ET) on Sunday Sept. 15
For a little more than half a game, coach Chip Kelly’s rapid-fire Eagles offense seemed unstoppable. Philadelphia slowed down considerably in the second half of Monday night’s win over Washington, but a 26-point lead may have dictated the change of pace. The Eagles face a Chargers team that gave up a 21-point lead in the second half on the way to an opening week loss to Houston on Monday. After getting gashed by the Texans, San Diego could get steamrolled by Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy in front of a raucous Philadelphia crowd.
The Jadeveon Clowney Bowl
Jacksonville at Oakland — 4:05 p.m. (ET) on Sunday Sept. 15
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders were expected to be among the NFL’s worst teams in 2013, thus guaranteeing themselves a high 2014 draft pick. While the Jaguars stayed true to form with an embarrassing 28-2 loss to Kansas City in Week 1, the Raiders nearly upset the Colts behind a great game from quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Jacksonville will start backup quarterback Chad Henne in place of the injured Blaine Gabbert. A loss will move one of these teams a step closer to presumably selecting South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall pick next spring.
The Manning Bowl
Denver at New York Giants — 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Sunday Sept. 15
After his incredible seven-touchdown performance on opening night against the Ravens, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning travels across the country to face little brother Eli — and a Giants defense that played on its heels often in a Week 1 loss to the Cowboys. Eli Manning and the New York offense must take advantage of a Denver defense that seems less aggressive without suspended pass rusher Von Miller and free agent defector Elvis Dumervil. Former NFL quarterback Archie Manning simply has to never agree to do another rap commercial with his sons.
The NFC West Race Takes Shape
San Francisco at Seattle — 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday Sept. 15
The San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks rivalry is heating up quite nicely atop the NFC West. With franchise quarterbacks (Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson), stingy defenses and hyper-competitive head coaches (Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll), these two young teams could provide some of the most hotly-contested football games in the NFL over the next few years. The teams’ first 2013 contest against each other happens at the always-loud CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The winner gets an early edge on the divisional race.