Week 1 of the 2013 NFL regular season has been completed, and Week 2 has officially commenced. With 16 teams owning a record of 1-0 and 16 others resting at 0-1, the time is now for franchises to either start on their path to the postseason or fall into a dangerous position of backwards momentum.
Come Sunday, when top-tier teams meet, we'll receive an early preview of what the playoffs will end up looking like. Here's how it's all going to transpire.
Washington Redskins (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (0-1)
Date: Sunday, Sept. 15
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Prediction: 35-31, Packers
Sunday's action starts off with a bang, as the Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins travel to play Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The 1 p.m. ET game will be featured on Fox, and two teams that won their respective divisions in 2012 will be competing for something no one saw coming.
Both Washington and Green Bay will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start.
The Redskins lost 33-27 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football, struggling to recover from a poor first half. Philadelphia's uptempo offense managed to break down Washington's defense, and RGIII was ineffective during the first two quarters.
The Redskins scored 21 consecutive points during the third and fourth quarters, but it was ultimately too little, too late.
The Packers dropped a 34-28 heartbreaker against the San Francisco 49ers, as the defense failed to slow down Colin Kaepernick's arm. Aaron Rodgers threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns, but Green Bay ran for 63 total rushing yards and committed two costly turnovers.
Now, both the Packers and Redskins will be in search of a win to stay out of a deep 0-2 hole.
While RGIII and Leonard Hankerson may have developed a nice chemistry, Rodgers found Jordy Nelson seven times for 130 yards and Randall Cobb seven times for 108 yards. Both scored touchdowns, as did Jermichael Finley, who finished with five receptions for 56 yards and a score.
Griffin III is sensational, but we're talking about Rodgers at home. Packers win a close, high-scoring affair.
Denver Broncos (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)
Date: Sunday, Sept. 15
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Prediction: 38-28, Broncos
The Denver Broncos opened the 2013 NFL regular season with a 49-27 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The New York Giants began the season with a 36-31 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Peyton Manning's team scored seven touchdowns, while Eli Manning's team committed six turnovers. Peyton tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in one game, while Eli threw three interceptions before his brother could turn the television on.
I'm going with the Broncos.
Peyton Manning is the greatest regular-season quarterback of our generation, and he's led significantly worse teams than Denver to tough road wins. Now, the elder Manning leads the Broncos up against a squad with an injury-depleted defensive backfield.
Good luck, New York.
Eli Manning will keep the Giants in this game, but Peyton has far too many weapons for New York to counter. Eric Decker is due for a rebound performance, Demaryius Thomas is becoming a star and Wes Welker has already achieved a nine-reception game in his first regular-season appearance with Manning.
It'll be a fun affair to watch, but Denver will win this in relatively convincing fashion.
San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Date: Sunday, Sept. 15
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Prediction: 21-20, Seahawks
No game will steal as many headlines as this clash between the NFC West's elite. Both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are regarded as legitimate Super Bowl contenders and each enter this game with 1-0 records.
Seattle may not have defeated the Carolina Panthers in the most impressive fashion, escaping 12-7, but the 49ers are traveling to CenturyLink Field. No matter how good a team is, playing in Seattle is one of the most difficult things to do.
In 2012, the Seahawks were 8-0 at home. In fact, Seattle hasn't lost a home game since Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011, when the 49ers won 19-17.
That's the lone reason my money's on Seattle.
If this game were being played on a neutral field, I'd give the edge to the 49ers, who have the superior roster. Due to the fact that the Seahawks will be playing with the 12th man, however, the game is determined by the home-field advantage.
It won't be pretty, but it will be a gritty win that helps shape the NFC West.
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