2013 NFL Week 1 Preview — 5 Intriguing Storylines to Keep an Eye On
The NFL begins its 2013 season this week with all 32 teams in action. Week 1 is stacked with intriguing games. Here’s what we’ll be watching:
Have the Ravens Reloaded or Regressed?
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos – 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Thurs. Sept. 5
The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens kick off the campaign against the Broncos in Denver on Thursday. The teams played a memorable double-overtime playoff game last January, with the Ravens prevailing. Former Broncos stud pass rusher Elvis Dumervil signed with Baltimore in the offseason. He’ll be chasing down Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and hoping his defense can recover from the loss of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard and others. The Broncos’ defense must stop a Joe Flacco-led Ravens’ offense that lost very little at the skill positions.
Darrelle Revis Comes Back to the Meadowlands
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets – 1 p.m. (ET) on Sun. Sept. 8
Darrelle Revis became the best cornerback in the NFL by victimizing quarterbacks outside of the Jets hapless black hole of signal callers. After an offseason trade to Tampa Bay, Revis finds himself right back in the Meadowlands for the first week of the 2013 NFL season. If he’s totally recovered from the torn ACL that cost him most of the 2012 campaign, he could make passing downs very difficult for New York rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who is expected to get his first pro start.
The Bills & Raiders Dreadful QB Situations
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – 1 p.m. (ET) on Sun. Sept. 8
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts – 1 p.m. (ET) on Sun. Sept. 8
Teams with talented quarterbacks rule the NFL, but the Bills and Raiders still aren’t certain whom they are starting quarterback this week. It could be a long season in both Buffalo and Oakland.
The Bills plan to start first-round draft pick EJ Manuel against the Patriots, despite the fact he recently had left knee surgery. If Manuel falters, Buffalo could turn to undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel. New England’s opportunistic defense is relishing either matchup.
The Raiders have elected to go with Terrelle Pryor over off-season acquisition Matt Flynn. Regardless of who is under center, the Colts defense should be able to stop either one of them.
Have the Packers Figured Out How to Stop Colin Kaepernick?
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers – 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Sun. Sept. 8
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was already a blossoming talent when his breakout performance against Green Bay in the NFC playoffs elevated him to stardom. The Packers defense has had an entire offseason to devise a scheme to stop Kaepernick and the read-option offense.
Rookie cornerback Micah Hyde and veteran defensive end Johnny Jolly are expected to help the Green Bay defense, but they’ll be put to the test in Week 1’s marquee NFL game. First-round draft pick Datone Jones could make an impact if he’s recovered from an ankle injury.
The Return of RG 3
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins – 7:10 p.m. (ET) on Mon. Sept. 9
Washington Redskins franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III was in the middle of an amazing rookie season in 2012 when a knee injury stifled his mobility down the stretch — and in his team’s playoff loss to Seattle. Just announced as the team’s starter for Week 1, RG3 will face a revamped Philadelphia Eagles defense under the direction of new head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator.
Though Griffin looked fully healed in practice drills, he hasn’t played a down against an opposing defense at game-speed since January. Expect the Eagles defense to test Griffin’s mobility early and often.