By Simon Evans
(Reuters) - The San Francisco 49ers suffered a shock 24-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings while the New Orleans Saints sunk to 0-3 with an overtime defeat by Kansas City in the National Football League on Sunday.
To add to the surprises the Cincinnati Bengals spoiled rookie Robert Griffin III's home debut for the Washington Redskins by coming away with a 38-31 win.
The biggest upset though was the 49ers, who were expected to challenge for the Super Bowl and having already beaten Green Bay and Detroit.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder threw two touchdown passes to tight end Kyle Rudolph, including the game winner in the fourth quarter.
It was an unusually sloppy performance from the 49ers with running back Frank Gore giving up a fumble, quarterback Alex Smith throwing his first interception of the season and David Akers seeing a field goal blocked.
"We all have fingerprints on it. Now it's a matter of bouncing back and making darn sure it doesn't happen again," said 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
"The Vikings did a better job than we did, all the way around. We didn't get it done. There are a lot of reasons. We're not going to start pointing fingers or making excuses."
SIX FIELD GOALS
The Saints, Super Bowl winners three seasons ago and hosts of this season's championship game, now find themselves winless after three games - a position no team has recovered from to win the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs, who had six field goals from Ryan Succop, came back from 18 points down to win 27-24 in overtime.
Their comeback began with Jamaal Charles' stunning 91-yard touchdown run and Succop's sixth successful kick sealed it.
Charles exposed the Saints' weak rush defense again by amassing 233 yards on the ground and he added 55 yards receiving for good measure.
Redskins quarterback Griffin has enjoyed plenty of plaudits so far this season but it was the much less heralded Andy Dalton who emerged victorious from FedEx Field after throwing for 328 yards and three touchdowns.
Cincinnati wide receiver Mohamed Sanu stole the limelight at the outset when, in the wildcat formation, he threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green.
The Bengals were up 24-10 at the half but a seven-yard Alfred Morris touchdown run and a three-yard pass from Griffin to Santana Moss put the Redskins right back in the game.
Dalton responded with two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to make Griffin's two-yard touchdown run too late to change the outcome.
The league's other big-name rookie quarterback, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, also tasted defeat with the Jacksonville Jaguars getting their first win of the season in a 22-17 victory.
Luck threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns with one interception for the Colts but the Jaguars won in spectacular style with quarterback Blaine Gabbert finding Cecil Shorts down the middle and he sprinted into the end zone for a game-winning 80-yard touchdown.
The New York Jets grabbed an overtime win at the Miami Dolphins thanks to a Nick Folk field goal, although he was given a second-chance when his first effort was blocked moments after the referees had blown for a Miami timeout.
(Reporting By Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Gene Cherry)
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