Losing in Week 1 doesn't mean a team is doomed to NFL purgatory for the rest of the season.
Plenty of teams that lose their season openers make it to—and even win—the Super Bowl. Conversely, plenty of teams that surge in Week 1 end up crumbling not much later and wish they hadn't peaked in the first game of the season.
Here's a look at some of the teams who stumbled out of the gates but will recover in Week 2.
New York Giants
vs. Tampa Bay
The Giants get another home game, and this time, they get it against Tampa Bay. There couldn't be a better way to rebound from last Wednesday's 24-17 home loss to Dallas.
By the time Sunday rolls around, Eli Manning and his troops will have had plenty of time to prepare. They will have had lots of time in the film room and on the practice field to work out the kinks. They will have found some way to accumulate more than a dismal 82 yards on the ground, because as important as Brandon Jacobs was to this team, his absence shouldn't be that pronounced.
Plus, the Buccaneers will provide a good test run for the resurgent Giants: They came up with a 16-10 win over the Panthers in Week 1, despite the fact that Carolina out-gained their feeble offense by about 60 yards.
Green Bay Packers
vs. Chicago Bears
The Packers had one of the hardest opening matchups of the 2012 season, but even so, they likely weren't expecting a home loss to Alex Smith and the 49ers.
They're going to show up angry—and with a lot to prove—when it comes time to take on the Bears on Thursday night. Jay Cutler, beware.
Green Bay's defense has had a lot to prove dating back to 2011, when it finished the regular season with the very worst numbers in the NFL. This unit couldn't keep San Francisco off the scoreboard in any quarter on Sunday, and it couldn't force a single turnover.
Likely, that won't be the case against the Bears. If there is any team you want to play when you're looking for a defensive tune-up, it's a team led by Jay Cutler.
The Bears QB started off his 2012 campaign with a pick-six, and if the Packers can keep him off balance this Thursday, they have a good shot at turning around their season bright and early.
vs. New York Jets
Aside from the Packers, no team had a tougher Week 1 matchup than the Steelers, who were faced with the unenviable task of taking on Peyton Manning in his grand return to the NFL.
There has been cause for concern with regards to the Steelers' defense ever since the preseason began. What was once an impenetrable wall has seemingly become an average, run-of-the-mill defense. Or did it just appear that way because Manning was Pittsburgh's opposing quarterback in Week 1?
It may have let up 31 points in the season opener, but there's no way the Steelers' defense is truly the 12th-best in the league. There is also no way that Mark Sanchez's offense is going to put up 384 yards against a team that isn't the Buffalo Bills.
Week 2 should give us a more realistic impression of where each of these teams stand.
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