NFL Scores Week 2: Disappointing Performances from Postseason Contenders
It happens every year in the NFL.
Each season, a variety of teams begin their schedules with not only hopes, but expectations of earning postseason berths, only to come up empty early on.
Yes, it's only Week 2. But every game counts in this league, so for teams that have now stumbled out of the gates to 0-2 starts, the time to panic isn't too far off.
Following this weekend's slate of games, here's a look at which teams put forth very disappointing performances on Sunday.
Green Bay 38, Washington 20
Nobody's saying that the Packers aren't one of the NFL's most explosive offensive teams, but fans of the Washington Redskins were hoping for a lot more out of Mike Shanahan's boys at Lambeau Field.
Following Washington's atrocious first-half performance against Philadelphia at home on Monday, the Redskins defense should have woken up against Green Bay.
But as bad as things were against the Eagles, they were even worse on the road on Sunday.
Once again, the Redskins were trailing by a huge margin at halftime. Aaron Rodgers (480 yards passing, four touchdowns) led the Packers to a 24-0 lead.
Like last week, Robert Griffin III came to life to a certain degree during the second half. The former Heisman Trophy winner tossed three touchdown passes and went 26-of-40 for 320 yards, but by the second half the game was all but out of reach.
Ultimately, unless RG3, Alfred Morris (who picked up 107 yards on the ground), Pierre Garcon and the rest of Washington's offense can manage to execute before garbage time is upon them, this will be a long year for last season's NFC East champions.
Miami 24, Indianapolis 20
The Colts aren't in nearly as bad of shape as the Redskins are, because Andrew Luck led Indy to a late Week 1 victory over the Raiders.
But after falling to the Dolphins on home turf, the Colts have to be at least somewhat worried. Luck's offense has failed to put up more than 21 points thus far this season.
Furthermore, Miami's defense gave the former No. 1 overall pick all kinds of trouble, limiting him to one touchdown, along with one pick, and foiling Luck's game-saving attempt from the Dolphins' 23-yard line in the game's dying moments.
Yes, the Dolphins were fortunate to get sterling performances out of Mike Wallace (115 yards, one touchdown) and Ryan Tannehill (319 yards, one score), but Miami's defense was the story today.
For Luck, it was just the second time in his wildly impressive young career that he hasn't been able to lift the Colts during a game decided by a touchdown or less, but it's certainly not time to worry.
It's definitely encouraging to see T.Y. Hilton bounce back with 124 yards on six catches. Given Luck's even-keeled nature, he'll be ready to go when the Colts travel to San Francisco next week.
Kansas City 17, Dallas 16
Despite the arrivals of Andy Reid and starting quarterback Alex Smith, Jerry Jones had to be figuring that his Cowboys would advance to 2-0 when they traveled to Kansas City on Sunday to take on the Chiefs.
And early on, things looked good for Tony Romo and company. Dallas grabbed a 10-7 lead in the final minute of the first quarter, and halfway through the third quarter, a Dan Bailey kick stretched that margin to 13-7.
But from there, the Cowboys' offensive attack went silent.
Smith orchestrated a shocking comeback, beginning with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe late in the third quarter, and the Cowboys couldn't come up with a reply, due in part to fumbles on two consecutive possessions.
With the Chiefs up 17-13 with just under four minutes to play, the Cowboys failed to move the ball downfield and settled for a 53-yard field goal. But it wasn't enough.
After Dallas' big win over the Giants a week ago, the Cowboys looked like the team to beat in the NFC East.
But the jury will be out on Jason Garrett's squad until it can demonstrate more consistency.
Chicago 31, Minnesota 30
As a team that earned an NFC Wild Card berth a year ago, the Vikings were thought to stand a very strong chance of being postseason-bound once again in 2013, especially after the addition of two-time Pro Bowl receiver Greg Jennings.
But for the second consecutive week, the Vikings fell to a beatable opponent. Minnesota lost to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
Even with Adrian Peterson's 100 yards on the ground, four turnovers by the Bears (including one that led to a touchdown), and a solid performance out of Christian Ponder, the Vikings couldn't find a way to close out the game.
That's because with just 10 seconds to play, Jay Cutler found Martellus Bennett for a 16-yard score, all but putting the game out of reach for the Vikings.
Now, with Minnesota set to host Cleveland next Sunday, the pressure will be on Leslie Frazier to get his team back on course.
Otherwise, those postseason aspirations will start slipping away in a hurry.
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