Taking a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.
TEN 30, BAL 24 OT
This is the second time the Titans left Baltimore as a winner though less painful than the playoffs last January. The Ravens led 21-13 entering the fourth quarter but gave up a field goal and touchdown to trail 21-24 with 2:18 left to play. The Ravens couldn’t score with three plays from the TEN-15 yard line and kicked the field goal for overtime. After a three-and-out by the Ravens in overtime, the Titans drove the field and scored a touchdown when Derrick Henry broke a 29-yard run for the winning score.
Ryan Tannehill passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns between A.J. Brown (4-62, TD) and Jonnu Smith (4-20, TD). Corey Davis led the team with 113 yards on five receptions. Henry finished with 133 yards and the score on 28 rushes. As is usually the case, most of Henry’s production came late in the game when the Ravens defense were just tired of trying to stop him.
Lamar Jackson threw for 186 yards and one score to Mark Andrews (5-96, TD) while no other receivers gained more than 28 yards. The normal three-man rotation in the backfield became mostly just J.K. Dobbins (15-70, TD) who added two catches for 15 yards. Gus Edwards (3-6) and Mark Ingram (2-2) were ineffective. The 7-3 Titans head to Indianapolis this week while the 6-4 Ravens try to salvage their season by playing the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
DET 0, CAR 20
Ugly. Matt Stafford played with a bad thumb and only threw for 178 yards and no touchdowns. T.J. Hockenson (4-68) and Marvin Jones (4-51) were the top receivers and Jones had a long touchdown called back on a penalty. Without D’Andre Swift, the Lions proved that neither Adrian Peterson (7-18) not Kerryon Johnson (6-17) were the answer at running back. The Lions haven’t looked this bad this season and the absence of Swift coupled with the inefficient passing from Stafford doomed their offense.
P.J. Walker replaced Teddy Bridgewater after initially being active for the game but the Panthers changed their minds an hour before kickoff. P.J. Walker’s first start resulted in 258 passing yards and one score with two interceptions. But he hit his wideouts surprisingly well with D.J. Moore (7-127). Curtis Samuel (8-70, TD), and Robbie Anderson (7-46) all contributing. Mark Davis rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown and he added two catches for 15 yards. The 4-6 Lions host the Texans this week still looking for points while the 4-7 Panthers head to Minnesota.
PHI 17, CLE 22
Close game played in what seems to be perpetual bad weather in Cleveland each week. The Eagles offense sputtered as usual and Carson Wentz threw for 235 yards and two scores but also two interceptions. Dallas Goedert caught a team high five passes for 77 yards and a score while Richard Rodgers (2-48, TD) took care of the other touchdown. Jalen Reagor (4-52) was the top wideout but it was a rainy game with depressed passing stats for both teams.
Baker Mayfield only managed 204 passing yards but had no interceptions. Khadarel Hodge (3-73) and Rashard Higgins (3-65) led the Browns only because each one caught a 40-yard pass. Nick Chubb rushed for 114 yards but did not score or have a pass target. Kareem Hunt ran in a touchdown but only gained 11 yards on 13 carries. This was a sloppy game, but the Eagles were just a bit more sloppy. The 3-6-1 Eagles host the Seahawks hoping for a trap game while the 7-3 Browns head to Jacksonville.
NE 20, HOU 27
This was a surprising game on all counts. The Patriots normally formidable rushing offense struggled versus the Texans No. 29 ranked defense versus running backs. Damien Harris (11-43, TD), James White (5-19), and Rex Burkhead (4-7) found little running room and Burkhead appeared to have a serious injury. But Cam Newton passed for 365 yards and one score to Damiere Byrd (6-132, TD) while Jakobi Meyer’s 3-38) hot streak ended. James White (6-64) even came back to life as a receiver.
Deshaun Watson threw for 344 yards and two scores while adding 36 yards and a touchdown as a rusher. Duke Johnson only managed 15 yards on ten carries. For all the passing, there were no big games by a receiver. Brandin Cooks (4-85), Jodan Akins (5-83), and Will Fuller (6-80) were all good without scoring. It was a reverse game for the Pats who usually are great versus the pass and then weak versus the run. That matched the Texans defense suddenly being great against the run but let Newton pass for 365 yards. The 4-6 Patriots host the Cardinals this weekend and the 3-7 Texans head for Detroit.
PIT 27, JAC 3
The Jaguars were never remotely competitive in this matchup while the unbeaten Steelers looked even better than usual. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns with Diontae Johnson (12-111) and Chase Claypool (4-59, TD) leading the receivers. James Conner gained 89 yards on 13 carries and once again, the Steelers let Benny Snell (7-15, TD) take the short touchdown plunge. The beauty of the Steelers offense is that so many different players can score and contribute significant yardage and yet their individual inconsistencies makes it all hard to defend.
Jake Luton is just getting worse. He completed just 16-of-37 for 151 yards, four interceptions and a QB rating of 15.5. D.J. Chark (4-41) was as good as it got for the Jaguars receivers. James Robinson ran for 73 yards on 17 carries and added two catches for 21 yards as the only fantasy play from this offense. The 10-0 Steelers host the Ravens in a divisional matchup that doesn’t seem as big or as important with the Steelers already four games ahead of them and having won their first meeting. The 1-9 Jaguars host the Browns.
ATL 9, NO 24
The Saints really did start Taysom Hill at quarterback and won the game – so he’s the new fixture under center. Hill ran for 51 yards and two scores while passing for 233 yards with no interceptions. Alvin Kamara (13-45, TD) never caught a pass and Hill seems a lock to depress with Kamara does. And so far – significantly. Latavius Murray used 12 runs to gain 49 yards but he had more usage late in the game once the Saints took over after trailing 3-9 in the second quarter. Michael Thomas (9-104) and Emmanuel Sanders (4-66) led the receivers and didn’t lose anything with the switch from Brees to Hill, at least not while facing the No. 31 defense versus quarterbacks.
Matt Ryan had all of his receivers back but only passed for 232 yards and two interceptions, even with Marshon Lattimore out. Calvin Ridley (5-90) and Russell Gage (7-58) were the top receivers with Julio Jones only thrown two passes that were both caught for only 39 yards. Todd Gurley ran for only 26 yards on eight carries. The Saints defense looked like the same one that crushed the Buccaneers back in Week 9. The 3-7 Falcons host the Raiders this week while the 8-2 Saints head to Denver.
CIN 9, WAS 20
This was as dull as the score suggests, and then made tragic with the season-ending injury to Joe Burrow. With Joe Mixon also on injured reserve, Samaje Perine led the team with five carries for 19 yards, while Giovani Bernard only managed 18 yards on nine runs and added four catches for 37 yards. Tyler Boyd (9-85) and even A.J. Green (4-41, TD) were the top receivers but that all goes out the window with a change in quarterback.
Alex Smith only passed for 166 yards and one score. The only notable receiver (ever) was Terry McLaurin (5-84) while Steven Sims (3-13, TD) caught the only touchdown. Antonio Gibson ran for 94 yards and a score on 16 carries and J.D. McKissic totaled 69 yards with his three catches factored in. The Football Team won thanks to their defense. They held the Bengals scoreless in the second half while posting 13 points. The 2-7-1 Bengals host the Giants this week while the 3-7 Football Team travels to Dallas for an NFC East showdown.
MIA 13, DEN 20
The Dolphins’ string of five consecutive wins went to the wayside against the Denver defense. Tua Tagovailoa only completed 11-of-20 passes for 83 yards and a score before being benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick. HC Brian Flores already said that the rookie remains the starting quarterback. Salvon Ahmed only gained 43 yards on 12 carries as the starter but added five receptions for 31 yards. Devante Parker (6-61, TD) and Mike Gesicki (4-43) were the top receivers in this sluggish matchup.
The Broncos won thanks to Melvin Gordon rushing in two touchdowns on his 15 carries for 84 yards. Phillip Lindsay also added 82 yards on 16 runs. Drew Lock ended with 270 yards and one interception. Tim Patrick (5-119) and Noah Fant (4-55) were the only receivers with more than 40 yards. The Broncos’ offense was much more efficient than the Dolphins who looked much more like the 2019 version. The 6-4 Dolphins play at the Jets this week while the 4-6 Broncos host the Saints.
NYJ 28, LAC 34
The Chargers tried to give this game away, but the Jets wouldn’t accept the gift that almost every opponent gets. Joe Flacco had one of the better days for a Jets arterback when he passed for 205 yards and two scores with only one interception. Breshad Perriman (2-54, TD) and Chris Herndon (2-32, TD) both scored and Denzel Mims led the team with 71 yards on three catches. Since Jamison Crowder is the only Jet with any fantasy value, he ended with just one catch for 16 yards. Frank Gore ran for 61 yards and a score while La’Mical Perine gained 33 yards and a touchdown. That’s four touchdowns by the Jets in one game. And it still wasn’t good enough.
Justin Herbert threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns that involved Keenan Allen (16-145, TD), Mike Williams (4-72, TD), and Hunter Henry (4-48, TD). Kalen Ballage was held to 44 yards on 18 carries but added seven catches for 27 yards. The Bolts ended their three-game losing streak and all it took was hosting the only 0-10 team. The Chargers led 31-13 in the third quarter when the Jets got hot and the curse of the Chargers almost held true giving up two late touchdowns to make it a game. The Jets host the Dolphins this week while the 3-7 Chargers head to Buffalo.
DAL 31, MIN 28
The Cowboys ended a four-game losing streak looking a lot like they did in the first two weeks. Ezekiel Elliott ran for his first 100- yard effort of the year when he gained 103 yards on 21 rushes and added two catches for 11 yards and one touchdown. Andy Dalton passed for 203 yards and three scores with Amari Cooper (6-81) as the lead receiver and no other players had more than 35 yards. CeeDee Lamb (4-34, TD) and Dalton Schultz (4-25, TD) handled the other touchdowns. There were fewer mistakes and more effective passing from Dalton this time.
Kirk Cousins threw for 314 yards and two scores with Adam Thielen (8-132, 2 TD) as the top receiver and Justin Jefferson (3-86, TD) snaring the 39-yard score in the fourth quarter. Dalton Cook ran for 115 yards and a touchdown on 27 rushes and added five catches for 45 yards. The Vikings offense played well enough to win but lost two fumbles and the Vikings defense did what no other had done before – made the Dallas offense look good without Dak Shepard. The 3-7 Cowboys host the Football Team this week while the 4-6 Vikings host the Panthers.
KC 35, LV 31
Game-o-the-Week contender, to be sure. If the Raiders scored with 28 seconds left, it would have been a potential Game-o-the-Year. The game played out in perfect order as both teams took turns scoring. The Chiefs had one more touchdown when the Raiders only had a field goal but they took turns every score. That reverses the damage from losing in Kansas City for the Chiefs.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 348 yards and two scores that included driving the field with 1:43 left to play and ending with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce with only 40 seconds left to play. Kelce finished with a team-high 127 yards on eight catches with one score while Tyreek Hill turned in 11 catches for 102 yards and the other touchdown. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran 14 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns while Le’Veon Bell added 25 yards and a score on his seven carries.
Derek Carr passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns with one interception on a desperation throw at the end of the game. Darren Waller (7-88, TD) and Nelson Agholor (6-88, TD) led the receivers with no one else gaining more than 37 yards. Josh Jacobs ran for 55 yards on 17 carries and one score but only added a nine-yard catch. The win sends the 9-1 Chiefs to face the Buccaneers while the 6-4 Raiders play in Atlanta this week.
GB 31, IND 34 OT
Big game that ended in overtime – what’s not to love? The Packers led 28-14 at halftime but then watched the Colts reel off three field goals and a touchdown with a two-point conversion to lead 31-28 in the fourth quarter. The Packers took over at their 6-yard line with only 1:25 left to play and drove the field to the IND-15 yard line with 43 seconds left. After three plays that could have won the game, they kicked a 26-yard field goal to send it into overtime.
The Packers won the toss and started at their 22-yard line. On second down, Aaron Rodgers hit Marquez Valdes-Scantling who fumbled the ball away and the Colts recovered at the Packers’ 30-yard line. Three carries by Jonathan Taylor and the Colts kicked the 39-yard winning field goal.
Aaron Rodgers passed for 311 yards and three touchdowns with Davante Adams (7-106, TD) and Robert Tonyan (5-44, TD) as the only good fantasy plays. Aaron Jones ran for 41 yards and a score on 10 rushes and added four catches for 30 yards. Other than one field goal to tie the game, the Packers’ offense stopped scoring in the second quarter.
Philip Rivers passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Michael Pittman (3-66, TD) and Zach Pascal (3-54) were the top receivers but Rivers connected with 11 different players. Nyheim Hines big Week 10 performance was quickly forgotten since he only gained two yards on six rushes and added 31 yards on three catches. Jonathan Taylor (22-90) was back as the primary back and even Jordan Wilkins had four carries for 21 yards. The loss sends the 7-3 Packers home to face the Bears while the 7-3 Colts host the Titans.