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Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers desperate to avoid 0-2 start

  • By NFL.com
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The Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers both reached the playoffs last season. Both teams also lost their Week 1 opener this season. Now they meet Sunday at Lambeau Field in a battle to avoid going 0-2 -- a hole no team wants to find itself in. (Since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990, 0-2 teams have gone on to make the playoffs just 11.6 percent of the time.) Looking around the league, of the 16 opening-week losers, which team is most desperate to avoid a two-loss start to 2013?

  • Dave Dameshek NFL.com
  • Packers can ill afford two-loss start, given their daunting schedule in 2013

    It's just Week 2, but the Green Bay Packers better recognize the importance of winning on Sunday. Washington, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh would all do well to avoid getting behind the 0-2 eight ball, but Green Bay is the team that needs it most.

    The Chicago Bears have a winnable home game against the Minnesota Vikings, while the Detroit Lions stand a fair shot at staying undefeated with a roadie against the Arizona Cardinals. Spotting two division foes a two-game lead to start the season wouldn't be insurmountable, but it'd be tough. Yes, the same is true for the Redskins, who risk getting down two games to Dallas and Philadelphia, but the Pack's remaining schedule is tougher. The NFC North might be the NFL's best division in 2013, and along with those six rugged divisional games, Green Bay has road games in Baltimore and Dallas, plus home games against Philly, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

    Oh yeah, and in Week 3, the Packers must head to Cincy. If both teams are 0-2 entering that game ... yikes!
  • Jason Smith NFL.com
  • Tampa Bay already looks like a team on the brink

    This one's easy. Most of the good teams in "danger" of going 0-2 -- the Falcons, Giants and Ravens, for instance -- all have the poise and leadership to overcome early adversity. But if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still looking for a win after this week? You're talking Meltdown City -- where the grass is burned and the future's not pretty. This is supposed to be the Buccaneers' year. They're loaded with offensive weapons, and added Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson in the offseason to fortify the secondary. But it appears this team is coming unglued. Josh Freeman looked awful in the preseason and wasn't any better in Week 1. The Bucs lost to the New York Jets in a game that never should have been as close as it was. Add in Lavonte David's brain cramp, and now it's not only disappointing, but heartbreaking, as well.

    Then we get the story that Freeman missed the team photo before ultimately not being voted a Buccaneers captain for the first time in four years. Then it was reported that, at a players-only meeting, some questioned the validity of the captain vote, leading to theories that Greg Schiano rigged it against Freeman (something the coach strongly refutes). Do you think the Bucs can recover from an 0-2 start while all of this is going on, as well? This is not a grab-the-ladder-and-climb-out-of-the-hole team.

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