Sun Sep 27 4:33pm ET
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
San Francisco 49ers' Jeff Wilson, left, fends off New York Giants' Ryan Lewis during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
San Francisco 49ers' Jerick McKinnon, right, scores a touchdown in front of New York Giants' Logan Ryan during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens, center, is sacked by New York Giants Leonard Williams (99) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
San Francisco 49ers defenders tackle New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
San Francisco 49ers' Dion Jordan (96) celebrates a turnover with teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, center, and San Francisco 49ers' Kevin Givens (90) looks after a loose ball during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
San Francisco 49ers' Robbie Gould, center, kicks a field goal while New York Giants' Corey Ballentine tries to defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
San Francisco 49ers' Jordan Reed, right, tries to grab a pass over New York Giants' Logan Ryan during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, right, greets quarterback Nick Mullens during warm-ups before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers didn't need quarterback Jimmy Garopollo and a slew of missing starters on the dreaded MetLife Stadium turf.
They controlled the ball on offense, took it away from the winless New York Giants on defense and had another easy day on the East Coast.
Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards and a touchdown to lead the 49ers to their second win at MetLife in as many weeks with a 36-9 victory over the error-prone and winless Giants on Sunday.
Jerick McKinnon, Brandon Aiyuk and Jeff Wilson scored on runs on a near flawless day for the Niners (2-1), who stayed in West Virginia to prep for the game. Robbie Gould added three field goals for San Francisco, which last week beat the Jets 31-13 here and denied Giants coach Joe Judge a chance for his first win this week.
The Niners had Garoppolo (ankle), defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas (knees) and running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman hurt against the Jets. They complained about the new turf after the game, saying it was ''sticky'' and led to injuries.
The NFL, the players association, the Jets and Giants and Field Turf, who installed the surface, re-examined the field and said it meet all standards.
The Niners' play on Sunday made it a non-issue as Mullens hit 25 for 36 passes and finished with a rating of 108.9. San Francisco outgained New York 420-231, held the ball for 39:44 and forced three turnovers without giving the ball up.
Mullens led San Francisco to scores on seven of its first eight possessions. It would have been all eight if not for a snap-hold problem that caused Gould to miss a 55-yarder. He connected from 52, 32 and 26 yards. The Niners' ninth possession coincided with the end of the game.
New York, which came into the game as the NFL's lowest-scoring offense, got three field goals from Graham Gano, the second of which tied the game at 6-all midway through the second quarter.
A 10-yard touchdown run by McKinnon with 1:13 left in the half and a 26-yard field goal by Gould pushed the lead to 16-6 at the half. The field goal was set up by a interception by linebacker Fred Warner at the New York 32.
Jones finished 17 of 32 for 179 yards, but the second half was all San Francisco.
Wayne Gallman and recently signed Devonta Freeman got most of the carries replacing Barkley, who was lost for the season to a knee injury last week. Jones once again was New York's best rusher, gaining 49 yards on five carries. However, he was stopped on a fourth-and-1 sneak at his 30 late in the third quarter that sealed the game.
Mullens was making his first start since replacing an injured Garappolo for eight games in the 2018 season. He was 8 of 11 for 71 yards in relief last week.
49ers: Were also without TE George Kittle, CB Ahkello Witherspoon and LB Dre Greenlaw for the game. They lost Emmanuel Moseley to a (head injury) and TE Jordan Reed (ankle) Sunday. Mosley was hurt making a tackle on a Jones' run early in the second quarter. Reed, who caught two TDs last week filling in for the injured Kittle, was hurt late in the first trying to make a catch in the end zone. He returned briefly in the second quarter.
Giants: Safety Jabrill Peppers did not play after hurt his right sprained an ankle trying to block a (ankle).
Both teams stood on the sideline for the national anthem. Half the Giants knelt and half stood. The 49ers had two rows of players. Half stood on the sideline. Half stood in front of their bench, about 10 yards behind them.
San Francisco returns home after a week on the East coast and faces Philadelphia Eagles in a Sunday night game.
Giants travel Los Angeles to face the Rams in Los Angeles for the first time since 1994. From 1995-2015, the Rams were based in St. Louis.
Sunday Morning Update: Week 7
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had his most productive game of the season so far in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. Fitzgerald caught all eight of his targets for 62 yards. He was second on the team in receiving yards in the game, behind DeAndre Hopkins, and he tied with Christian Kirk for second on the team in targets. It was the first time this year that Fitzgerald had topped 50 receiving yards in a game and only the second time he'd compiled over four receptions in a game. This week's performance puts Fitzgerald back on the PPR map, though the Cardinals have a bye next week, so he should remain on waivers in all leagues for now.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins caught 10 of his 12 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night in Week 7. It was his fourth 100-yard game of the season and he now has three touchdowns on the year. Hopkins benefitted from a fantastic performance from Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who threw for 360 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Murray and Hopkins have been clicking all year long as Hopkins has dominated targets for the team. Hopkins leads the NFL with 704 receiving yards on the year. He is a no doubt, high-end WR1 going forward.
Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds gave the offense a solid boost in the team's 37-34 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7. Edmonds carried the ball five times for 58 yards and caught all seven of his targets for 87 yards. He severely outplayed the team's No. 1 back Kenyan Drake (ankle), who managed just 34 yards on 14 carries before leaving the game late with an ankle injury. Drake was carted off to the locker room, which suggests his injury could be significant. Edmonds is going to be a hot waiver wire add this week as he could potentially be the team's new No. 1 back. Keep in mind that the Cardinals have a bye next week, but Edmonds could be a great Week 9 start against the Miami Dolphins.
Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (ankle) couldn't get anything going on Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks. Drake received 14 carries in the game, but managed to gain just 34 yards. He was targeted twice in the passing game and came down with one catch for seven yards. On his last run of the game, Drake injured his ankle and he had to be carted to the locker room. We don't know much about the injury at this point, but Drake could be forced to miss some time, which would make Chase Edmonds the team's new No. 1 back. The Cardinals have a bye next week, so Drake will have extra time to recover before the team's Week 9 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray took advantage of a fantastic matchup against a weak Seattle Seahawks secondary in Week 7. Murray completed 34 of 48 passes for 360 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown. Murray has now through for over 350 yards in two of his past three games. However, he's been held under 200 passing yards in two of his past four. This week's game was Murray's best fantasy output of the year. It was the first time he scored four touchdowns in a game this year. He's a no doubt QB1 going forward and this week's performance was clear evidence that he can be a high-end QB1 when he is at his best.
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson was forced from the Sunday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals with a foot injury. Coach Pete Carroll described it as a mid-foot sprain, and Carson will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Carlos Hyde took over as the lead running back after Carson exited the game, after missing the last two games with his own injury, and is now looking like one of the top waiver wire adds for Week 8. Hyde racked up 15 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown, and also added three receptions for eight yards. Stay tuned for further updates on Carson's injury and how long he may be sidelined for.
Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake injured his ankle against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. This did not look like a minor injury as he had to be carted to the locker room and even had a towel over his head. Drake was ruled out for the game and we should know more about the extent of the injury in the coming days. This is a tough break for Drake, the Cardinals and fantasy football managers. Chase Edmonds is now the lead running back for the Cardinals, and had a strong showing against the Seahawks. Edmonds is currently rostered in 62% of fantasy football leagues, and is the top waiver wire pickup for Week 8 if he's somehow still available.
The Atlanta Falcons Defense had another quiet statistical day in a 23-22 loss to the Detroit Lions. Not only did they record just two sacks and no interceptions, but they also gave up the game-winning score to tight end T.J. Hockenson. This unit is definitely one to avoid for fantasy purposes, especially considering they offer no upside. Leave them on the waiver wire.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo had just two opportunities- a pair of extra-points- and he made both of them in a 23-22 loss to the Detroit Lions. It was Koo's first game this year without at least one field-goal made. Otherwise, he's been an excellent fantasy kicker playing on a team whose offense constantly finds itself in or near the red zone. That alone gives Koo upside in most weeks. He should be in lineups for next week's divisional clash against the Panthers.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Defense was quiet in a 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Pittsburgh was unable to force a turnover and was credited with just two sacks in the game. While it wasn't a fantasy-scoring bonanza for the Steelers, they held their own against a Tennessee offense that had been one of the highest-scoring in the league coming into Week 7. T.J. Watt and Vince Williams both led the way in the win with one sack apiece. Pittsburgh's defense draws another tough matchup in Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst caught six of seven targets for 68 receiving yards against the Lions. Hurst and Matt Ryan had a rhythm all game, as the former worked the intermediate routes to perfection. That's two games in a row for the 27-year-old with at least 50 yards receiving, as the coaching staff seems to be finding more ways to get him the ball. A tough matchup with the Panthers awaits- they held him to just eight yards- though Hurst is playing too well to bench right now.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage hauled in six of seven targets for 54 receiving yards in a loss to the Lions. Gage tied with Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst for second on the team in targets. The 24-year-old did injure his knee in the first quarter but was able to return to the action. He has seen at least seven targets in two of the three games that fellow wideout Julio Jones has been healthy for, indicating that Jones' presence does wonders for Gage in terms of opening up opportunities on the outside. As long as Matt Ryan continues to play well, Gage should be in the conversation as a WR3/4.
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron caught six of his eight targets for 50 yards in a 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Ebron finished third on the team in receiving, behind Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster, and surprisingly ahead of rookie Chase Claypool. It continues a strong stretch of play for Ebron, who has caught at least five passes in three of his past four games. While he only has one touchdown on the year, Ebron is turning out to be a high-end TE2 for fantasy purposes in his first season with the Steelers. He will face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool lost two yards on his lone reception in a 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. It goes down as a disappointing outing for the rookie, who had scored five total touchdowns in the previous two games. The return of Diontae Johnson certainly played into Claypool's slow outing, as did the resurgence of JuJu Smith-Schuster, who drew 14 targets. Claypool's fantasy value going forward appears to be tied to the availability of Johnson, who is the clear alpha wide receiver in Pittsburgh. That being said, Johnson injured his ankle late in the game. The injury doesn't appear to be serious but neither did the back injury that held him out of almost all of the past two games. After looking like a must-start heading into Week 7, Claypool is all of a sudden a shaky flex play for Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley caught five of seven targets for 69 receiving yards and a touchdown in a narrow 23-22 loss to Detroit. Ridley corralled Matt Ryan's lone touchdown throw of the day and made a couple of highlight-reel grabs, including a nifty sideline catch where he got both feet in-bounds. Ridley has produced at least seven targets in all but one game and has eclipsed 100 yards four times already, after doing it twice all of last year. The breakout is in full effect and should continue into Week 8 against the Panthers, who Ridley torched for 136 receiving yards back in Week 6.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski had another terrific performance in Week 7, getting five receptions for 62 yards and a score on eight targets. Gronk is starting to look like himself and that's encouraging for fantasy managers. The big tight end has now scored a touchdown in two straight games. He has also seen at least six targets in the past three games and has gotten over 52 yards in those games as well. Gronk is definitely in the starting conversation going forward.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones paced the team in targets, nine, receptions, eight, and receiving yards, 97, in a 23-22 loss to the Lions. He may not have found the end zone, but it's the kind of consistent performance that fantasy managers have come to expect from the former Alabama star. Jones has now averaged 10.3 targets per game in the contests that he's been healthy for, which places him where he's been for the last seven or so seasons- in the elite WR1 conversation. Week 8 brings a matchup against the Panthers, who have struggled to contain opposing number-one wideouts this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin recorded nine receptions for 88 yards and a score on nine targets in Week 7. The WR finally had his breakout game of the season and proved on Sunday why he was a very high pick in drafts this year. Assuming Godwin stays healthy, he is a solid play each week given his large role in this offense.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner gained 82 yards on 20 carries and added three receptions for 29 yards in a 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. It goes down as the first time Conner has failed to find the end zone since Week 1 this season. To make matters worse for fantasy managers, Conner had to watch as Benny Snell Jr. vultured him with a one-yard touchdown run in the game. Conner has been a reliable fantasy asset this season but he draws a tough matchup against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans had a quiet day in Week 7, grabbing two receptions for 37 yards on two targets. It was certainly a disappointing day for Evans considering several of his teammates had a terrific game. With many mouths to feed on this offense, days like this are bound to happen and the addition of Antonio Brown will only saturate this unit more. Nevertheless, Evans is a top target for Tom Brady and remains in the starting conversation each week given his potential.