SEA 27, ATL 20
The Falcons put up a worthy fight considering that Matt Ryan is out. Matt Schaub passed for 460 yards and one touchdown. The production went exactly where we wanted – Julio Jones (10-152), Calvin Ridley (4-70), and Austin Hooper (6-65, TD). Devonta Freeman only ran for 39 yards but caught eight passes for 63 yards. Brian Hill stole the short touchdown but overall, the Falcons did not play any worse than they would have with Ryan under centers. Russell Gage (7-58) did a commendable job replacing Mohamed Sanu.
Rusell Wilson threw for 182 yards and two scores that both ended up with DK Metcalf (3-13, 2 TD). Tyler Lockett (6-100) was the only other receiver of any note. Chris Carson ran for 90 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries but did not record any receptions. Rashaad Penny ran for 55 yards on eight carries and helped his stock if he ends up in a Seahawks trade as has been rumored. This game was a “start your studs” example. The only players of any note were all the normal fantasy starts.
PHI 31, BUF 13
The Eagles made up for their whipping in Dallas last week in a big way. Carson Wentz only produced 172 rushing yards and one score to Dallas Goedert (3-22, TD) while Zach Ertz (2-20) needs to stop drinking that invisibility potion. Alshon Jeffery ended with 64 yards on four catches as the only receiver with much yardage. The Eagles won by running the ball. Jordan Howard (23-96, TD) easily led the crew though Miles Sanders ran for 74 yards and a score thanks to a third-quarter 65-yard rushing touchdown. He added 44 yards as a receiver as well before leaving the game injured. Even Boston Scott scored once. This was a solid win with no mistakes, unlike last week.
The Bills were unable to get much going on the ground with Frank Gore limited to only 34 yards on nine runs and Devin Singletary limited to only three runs for 19 yards. The rookie did catch a touchdown on his four receptions for 30 yards. Josh Allen only passed for 169 yards and two scores though he rushed for 45 yards as well. John Brown (5-54) was the top receiver while Cole Beasley (3-41, TD) was the next best. The Bills could not run and their limitations in the passing game meant they couldn’t catch up.
LAC 17, CHI 16
Being a Bears fan this year has to be rough. The defense finally came back to life and limited Melvin Gordon to only 31 yards and a score and 19 yards came on the one touchdown run. Philip Rivers passed for only 201 yards and one score to Austin Ekeler (2-19, TD). But Mike Williams (3-69) and Keenan Allen (7-53) were the top receivers. The offense was predictably sluggish but ends up that it doesn’t take that many points to beat the Bears lately.
After last week when HC Matt Nagy was much-maligned for not running the ball in Week 7, David Montgomery was set loose with 27 runs for 135 yards and a score plus four catches for 12 yards. Mitchell Trublisky threw for 253 yards and no score but only one interception. Anthony Miller (3-67) and Allen Robinson (5-62) were the top receivers but it all came down to asking Eddy Pineiro to kick his third field goal from 41 yards. He missed it wide left for a heart-breaking loss. Even when the Bears return to a traditional offensive attack, they lose on a missed field goal. Then again, they had first down at the LAC-21 with 43 seconds left to play and decided not to try to get any closer.
NYG 26, DET 31
Another instance of a bad team playing far better than expected. Daniel Jones passed for 322 yards and four touchdowns and he spread the ball around very well. Golden Tate (8-85) and Darrius Slayton (2-50, 2 TD) were effective. Evan Engram (4-40, TD) made up for last week while Saquon Barkley ran for 64 yards and caught eight passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. The Giants never led, but they never gave up Slayton is starting to really come on as the current replacement for Sterling Shepard.
Matt Stafford threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns with Kenny Golladay (6-123, 2 TD) and Danny Amendola (8-95) as the top receivers. The biggest surprise was replacing Kevin Johnson who landed on injured reserve last week. Ty Johnson (7-25) was expected to assume the primary role but Tra Carson (12-34) started and was the more effective runner. Even Paul Perkins (3-4) showed up. Throw in J.D. McKissic’s one run and there’s no reason to expect the Lions to rush much, or well, or using less than three or four backs.
DEN 13, IND 15
The game was just as exciting as the score suggests. Joe Flacco passed for 174 yards and no score while Courtland Sutton (3-72) was the most successful receiver thanks to one 33-yard catch. No other receiver produced more than 26 yards and there are no worries about who will take Emmanuel Sanders’ place – ends up no one. Phillip Lindsay (14-59) and Royce Freeman (12-40, TD) split the carries to ensure neither would offer much. The Broncos have already waved the white flag on offense but at least the Denver defense is still showing up.
Jacoby Brissett only threw for 202 yards and Jack Doyle (4-61) was as good as it got. T.Y. Hilton only caught two passes for 54 yards but his 35-yard catch from his own ten-yard line with under two minutes to play set the winning drive in motion. Marlon Mack ran for 76 yards and a score and even Brissett would gain 34 yards on six runs. This was a surprisingly defensive, kind of boring game. The home field Colts were able to mount a final drive for the winning field goal but none of the players did much for fantasy owners.
NYJ 15, JAC 29
The Jets on the road were predictably bad though far better than they were versus the Patriots last week. The Jags shut down the run with Le’Veon Bell only gaining 23 yards on nine carries. Sam Darnold passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns for Ryan Griffin (4-66, 2 TD) for his career-best game. Demaryius Thomas (5-63) and Robby Anderson (4-43) were held in check so the absence of Jaylen Ramsey certainly did not hurt this week. Darnold threw three interceptions and two of them went to Tre Herndon who replaced Ramsey.
Leonard Fournette ran for 76 yards on 19 carries though 66 yards came on one run at the start of the game. Fournette also caught seven passes for 60 yards. Gardner Minshew produced 279 passing yards and three touchdowns. Chris Conley (4-103, TD), DJ Chark (6-79, TD) and Keelan Cole (2-12, TD) did the scoring. Aside from the 66-yard run, the Jets limited the Jags rushing offense but couldn’t handle any of the wide receivers.
CIN 10, LAR 24
The London game didn’t hold any surprises this week. The Bengals only scored ten points but had more success than expected. Joe Mixon ran for 66 yards and caught a touchdown on his four receptions for 11 yards. Andy Dalton passed for 329 yards and the one score. Alex Erickson (6-97) led the team thanks to a 52-yard catch with 54 seconds left to play. Tyler Eifert (6-74) and Tyler Boyd (6-65) helped as well. Late game trash time helped the yardage totals. And Mixon ran surprisingly well if only for this one week.
Jard Goff threw for 372 yards and two scores and that was with minimal production in the second half. Cooper Kupp dominated with 220 yards on seven catches with a 65-yard touchdown included. Josh Reynolds (3-73, TD) was the only other receiver with more than 36 yards and Brandin Cooks left with a concussion before he caught a pass. Todd Gurley only ran for 44 yards on ten carries but scored once. Darrell Henderson (11-49) was the leading rusher. This game went off probably just the same had it been played at the Rams.
ARI 9, NO 31
The Cardinals had to settle for three field goals for their scoring. The backfield only rushed for eight yards on eight carries and Chase Edmonds was knocked out of the game. Kyler Murray didn’t throw any interceptions, but only managed 220 passing yards and Charles Clay (3-88) was the top receiver. Christian Kirk (8-79) was the only one with more than three receptions and Larry Fitzgerald was held to only eight yards on two catches.
Drew Brees started and threw for 373 yards and three scores, so the thumb seems pretty healthy. Michael Thomas (11-112, TD) had the obligatory big game while Latavius Murray blew up for the second straight week with 102 yards and a score rushing plus nine catches for 55 yards and a second touchdown. The Saints have a six-game winning streak, and yeah, they look even better with Drew Brees. And they’ll be getting Alvin Kamara back after their bye.
TB 23, TEN 27
The Buccaneers lost their third-straight game. Jameis Winston passed for 301 yards and two scores and ran for 53 yards. But he also tossed two interceptions and lost two fumbles. Mike Evans (11-198, 2 TD) had another random monster game but Chris Godwin (4-43) went back to being just a No. 2 receiver. The Buccaneers split the workload in the backfield but still only got 55 yards on 21 carries. This game was all about Evans catching the ball and Winston turning it over.
Ryan Tannehill is 2-0 as a starter. He threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns but this week he did almost nothing with the wideouts and instead had more success with the tight ends. Jonnu Smith led the team with six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown while no other receiver gained more than 43 yards or caught more than three passes. Derrick Henry ran for 75 yards on 16 rushes but only caught one pass for eight yards. It was a surprise that Tannehill faced the No. 30 defense against wide receivers and only completed nine passes for 62 yards between four different wideouts.
OAK 24, HOU 27
Close game. The Raiders came to play and led 24-40 in the fourth quarter. The Texans responded with a touchdown drive that ended with 6:34 left to play when Deshaun Watson threw a second touchdown to Darren Fells (6-58, 2 TD) after getting kicked in the eye. Watson ended with 279 passing yards and three touchdowns. DeAndre Hopkins caught 11 passes for 109 yards but no other Texans receivers mattered much. Carlos Hyde ran for 83 yards on 19 carries. The Texans’ defense did not rise to the occasion but were hit with several injuries in the game.
Derek Carr passed for 285 yards and three touchdowns that were spread among Tyrell Williams (3-91, TD), Hunter Renfrow (4-88, TD), and Darren Waller (2-11, TD). Josh Jacobs ran for 66 yards and added 15 yards on two receptions. Carr passed effectively on the Texans and just fell short. Williams was back after missing three weeks and extended his touchdown streak to five games. Williams gives the Raiders the No. 1 wideout that they need and he helps the rest of the offense.
CLE 13, NE 27
The outcome was never in doubt but hidden inside the Browns’ third-straight loss was Nick Chubb rushing for 131 yards on 30 carries in New England. No other visiting back had rushed for more than 38 yards there this season. Baker Mayfield was held to 194 passing yards and one score with one interception. Was sacked five times and hit countless others. Jarvis Landry (5-65) led the Browns with Odell Beckham (5-52) the next best and Demetrius Harris (2-33, TD) joining the exclusive club of players that scored on the Patriots this year.
It was a very wet game and that impacted both teams. Tom Brady passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns to Julian Edelman (8-78, 2 TD). James White (4-75) turned in a 59-yard catch and run but no other receiver gained more than 43 yards or scored. Sony Michel ran for 74 yards but did not score. Once again, the Patriots defense dominated the game.
GB 31, KC 24
The Packers took advantage of the Mahome-less Chiefs when Matt Moore reminded the Kansas City fans of what life is like without a phenom for a quarterback. He passed for a respectable 267 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. But that extra 100 yards and a score that Mahomes tends to supply would have been a difference-maker. Tyreek Hill (6-76) was still the top receiver and Travis Kelce (4-63, TD) didn’t experience any decline. Even Mecole Hardman (2-55, TD) had one of his best games. But the rushing effort was anemic with LeSean McCoy (9-40) losing a critical fumble and Damien Williams limited to seven rushes for 30 yards though he ran in a touchdown.
The Packers backfield supplied one rushing score by Jamaal Williams (7-22, TD) but Aaron Jones (13-67) was also the leading receiver with seven catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Williams also scored on his three receptions for 14 yards. Aaron Rodgers ended with 305 passing yards and three touchdowns to the running backs. No other wideout gained more than 48 yards and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (1-4) went back under the rock he’s spent much of the season under. Geronimo Allison (1-7) was no better.
CAR 13, SF 51
Okay, so it is not the schedule. We’re running out of reasons why the 49ers have played so well. Kyle Allen only threw for 158 yards and three
touchdowns interceptions. Christian McCaffery still ran for 117 yards and one touchdown but his four catches for 38 yards were only second-best on the team. Curtis Samuel (4-46) was as good as it got. Allen ended with a 28.9 QB rating. The Panthers never led and already trailed 27-3 at halftime. This was a beatdown that only got worse.
Jimmy Garoppolo only passed for 175 yards and two scores. One went to newly-acquired Emmanuel Sanders (4-25, TD) and George Kittle ended with a team-high six catches for 86 yards. The star of the game was Tevin Coleman who rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns on only 11 carries plus caught two passes for 13 yards and a FOURTH touchdown. It was such a dominating display by the 49ers that Matt Brieda (11-35) and Raheem Mostert (9-60, TD) also saw plenty of work.
The Panthers entered the game with a Top-10 rush defense. Probably not leaving with that ranking after giving up a total of 235 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. The 49ers are for real. And they are at home in three of the next four games.