Sun Oct 20 4:45pm ET
By KEITH JENKINS
AP Sports Writer
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers reacts after an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 42-24. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Oakland Raiders' Marcell Ateman catches a pass in front of Green Bay Packers' Kevin King during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Green Bay Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling breaks away from Oakland Raiders' Gareon Conley for a touchdown catch during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling celebrates his touchdown catch during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers reacts after throwing a touchdown pass to Jake Kumerow during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Green Bay Packers' Jake Kumerow celebrates his touchdown catch with Jamaal Williams (30) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers gets away from Oakland Raiders' Maurice Hurst during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers had his best game by far under new Packers coach Matt LaFleur, throwing for 429 yards and five touchdowns and running for another as Green Bay beat the Oakland Raiders 42-24 on Sunday.
Rodgers completed 25 of 31 passes to eight different targets and finished with the first perfect passer rating of his career, leading LaFleur's offense to a season high in points.
Even with top target Davante Adams sidelined for the third straight game with turf toe, Rodgers threw for his most touchdowns in a game since Sept. 28, 2015, against the Chiefs.
Derek Carr finished 22-for-28 for 293 yards, two touchdowns and two costly turnovers for the Raiders (3-3), who lost their eighth straight against Green Bay (6-1), dating back to 1990. Most of Carr's completions were to tight ends, with Darren Waller hauling in 8 catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs ran for a 42-yard gain on the opening drive. He finished with 124 yards on 21 carries and has 554 rushing yards this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue wants a long-term deal and is looking for $22 million annually. Ngakoue said he would be unlikely to show up until Aug. 11 if he had to play under the franchise tag. The young pass-rusher has compiled 37.5 sacks (second on the all-time franchise list) since being drafted in the third round of 2016. He also has 14 forced fumbles in that time. If the Jags place the tag on Ngakoue, which ESPN's Mike DiRocco expects, it would be for around $19.3 million in 2020. The 24-year-old (25 next month) had eight sacks, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception last year and is firmly in the mix in IDP leagues with what he's done the last four seasons.
The Indianapolis Colts are unsure if kicker Adam Vinatieri, who will be a free agent next month, will return in 2020. The 47-year-old future Hall of Famer is rehabbing the knee injury that he dealt with last season, and he hasn't decided yet on if he will retire. The 2019 season was the worst year of Vinatieri's long career, as he missed 14 kicks total -- eight field goals and six extra points -- and landed on Injured Reserve in Week 13. The Colts also signed Chase McLaughlin to a one-year extension in January, so Vinatieri might not be back even if he decides to keep playing.
The Atlanta Falcons are expected to pick up quarterback Matt Schaub's $2 million option for the 2020 season, according to a source. Schaub made just one start in 2019 and was underwhelming in place of Matt Ryan. The veteran signal-caller attempted 67 passes for 580 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in parts of six games last season. He'll be 39 in June and is a shaky backup option if Matty Ice were to miss any more games next season due to injury. Even if Schaub is starting games at some point next year, he'd be a shaky second QB in two-quarterback leagues.
Free-agent LB Vontaze Burfict (Raiders) was reinstated by the league in January and has reportedly been working out at his alma mater (Arizona State) in an effort to returning to the NFL in 2020. Burfict was suspended for the final 12 games of the 2019 season after delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit to Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle.
Jacksonville Jaguars impending free-agent DE Yannick Ngakoue is seeking a long-term deal that pays $22 million annually. The franchise tag would be worth around $19.3 million if used on him.
Fantasy Spin: Ngakoue was tied for fifth in fantasy points at the position last season in 15 games. It was a down year that he only had eight sacks, and there is certainly is more in the tank.
Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler needs to see 15 to 20 touches per game, according to head coach Anthony Lynn.
Fantasy Spin: Ekeler is one of the more versatile backs in the NFL, and he finished 2019 with 92 catches and eight receiving touchdowns. There's a good chance he will be he unquestioned top back and a potential RB1 in 2020 if Melvin Gordon doesn't return, but even if Gordon is back, Ekeler can be a RB2 in PPR formats.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said on Sunday that the team isn't pursuing a long-term contract extension with running back Marlon Mack currently. It doesn't mean that it's not on the table or that the Colts don't want to keep Mack around for the long-term, but it's not a pressing issue. The 23-year-old (24 next month) is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2020 season. He's been the starter the last two years and had 247 carries for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019. However, he's also missed eight games the last two seasons, so Indy might be hesitant in thinking he'll continue to be a lead back for years to come. Mack does have a strong offensive line in front of him, but he'll be more of a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 going into the final year of his contract in 2020.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. credits his success in 2019 to an improved commitment to preparation, and Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com believes Chark should deliver 1,000 receiving yards and eight to 10 touchdowns in 2020.
Fantasy Spin: Chark emerged as the top receiver for the Jaguars in 2019, and while Jacksonville is unlikely to have a high-powered passing attack, Chark should be able to deliver WR3 production as the No. 1 option.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster had eight catches on 11 targets in the six quarters he played with QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) in 2019, and Brooke Pryor of ESPN believes Smith-Schuster needs another 'reliable offensive weapon' to be at his best.
Fantasy Spin: While Smith-Schuster's numbers would have been better with a healthy Roethlisberger under center, we still don't know if he can replicate his monster 2018 numbers as the go-to option of the passing attack.
Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki will likely be used as a slot receiver in sets featuring three or more receivers in offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's system, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: After a quiet rookie year, Gesicki showed signs of life in 2019, finishing with 51 catches for 570 yards and five touchdowns. He could be worth a flier as a high-upside TE2.
The Baltimore Ravens are hopeful of re-signing DE/LB Jihad Ward, a pending unrestricted free agent. The team thinks he fits well with them and they like his motor, versatility. The two sides have had discussions over the past week.
New England Patriots FS Devin McCourty might be a candidate for the franchise tag, and he could cost $11.5 million against the cap if that's the route head coach Bill Belichick and company elect.
New England Patriots PK Stephen Gostkowski (hip) has one year remaining on his contract, but he is 36 years old and coming off hip surgery. Releasing him would free up nearly $3.5 million in salary cap space.
Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack is not in line for a contract extension at this time. '(Marlon), we love him, but we love the other two guys. We want him back and he wants to be back, really. There were some mis-reports that we were pursuing an extension there. That's not the case. I don't know where those came from,' team owner Jim Irsay said Sunday, Feb. 23.
Indianapolis Colts PK Adam Vinatieri (knee), set to be an unrestricted free agent March 18, is undergoing rehab after surgery in December to repair a damaged meniscus and patellar tendon in his left knee. 'Adam knows how much I think of him. He's unbelievable. We'll see. He's in rehab mode now and we're in the middle of trying to put the team together,' owner Robert Irsay said Sunday, Feb. 23.
San Francisco 49ers restricted free-agent LB Elijah Lee probably will not receive a tender offer this season but the team may look to sign him to a minimum level contract, in the opinion of NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.
Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett is a player on the rise, but the Colts will consider all options at quarterback this offseason, according to owner Jim Irsay.
Fantasy Spin: The Colts have been linked to Philip Rivers this offseason, but the team can consider several options if they do not want Brissett to be the starter in 2020. The Colts have a solid group of pass catchers, so their starter could be a low-end No. 1 or a No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues depending on the player.
Tennessee Titans impending free-agent QB Marcus Mariota likely will not re-sign with the Titans this offseason, in the opinion of TitansOnline.com's Jim Wyatt.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) had a doctor visit on Friday and said, "It was a good report. I got to bypass the tennis ball throwing for a month and go right to the football. Still going to be about 2.5-3 months until I get total clearance from doc but we are doing good!" The Steelers posted a video on Twitter of Roethlisberger lightly tossing a football in a gym on Saturday. The veteran gunslinger played in just two games in 2019 before needing season-ending right elbow surgery. He seems to be coming along well and should be ready for the season opener in 2020, barring any setbacks. Big Ben is injury prone at his age, but he put up career highs in passing yards and touchdowns in 2018 and will be a QB2 with QB1 upside if he can stay healthy.
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) said he has been cleared to start throwing a football but is still about two and a half to three months away from receiving full clearance.
Fantasy Spin: Roethlisberger probably will not do much during offseason workouts but appears to have a good chance to be ready for training camp. He has posted very good numbers over the last several seasons and could be a low-end No. 1 fantasy quarterback if he is healthy.