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Brady, Barrett lead Buccaneers past Broncos 28-10

Sun Sep 27 7:41pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, right, celebrates with quarterback Tom Brady, left, after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Scott Miller (10) make a catch as Denver Broncos free safety Justin Simmons defends during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass under pressure from Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris, right, during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin, right, scores a touchdown as Denver Broncos defensive back Essang Bassey defends during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform as two fans sit among cardboard characters from the show South Park during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


DENVER (AP) Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes and Shaq Barrett celebrated his homecoming with a pair of sacks, one for a safety, in Tampa Bay's 28-10 victory over the winless Denver Broncos on Sunday.

With his first road win for the Bucs (2-1), Brady evened his career record against the Broncos at 9-9 with just his fifth win in a dozen trips to Denver.

Before Sunday, the Broncos were the only team in the NFL with a winning record against the six-time Super Bowl champion.

This also marked the first time since in almost a decade - Nov. 14-21, 2010 - that the Buccaneers won back-to-back games by 14 or more points.

The Broncos (0-3) completed a second straight winless September under head coach Vic Fangio, who donned a face shield a la Andy Reid after getting fined $100,000 for failing to wear a face mask last week.

Barrett, who led the league last year with 19 1/2 sacks in his first season in Tampa, picked up his first sacks of this season in the city where he played from 2014-18 after starring at Colorado State.

His second sack of Jeff Driskel, who started in place of Drew Lock (shoulder), came in the end zone for a safety that pushed the Bucs' lead to 25-10.

Afterward, Barrett performed the signature sack dance of Bradley Chubb, a friendly jab at the 2018 first-round pick whose selection helped Barrett decide to leave Denver after that season.

With his full complement of receivers finally available, Brady looked like the methodical QB he was for two decades in New England, driving the Buccaneers on scoring drives on four of five first-half drives.

Chris Godwin caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in his return from a concussion before leaving in the second half with a hamstring injury and Mike Evans had two 1-yard TD grabs as the Bucs took a 23-10 halftime lead.

And just days after insisting he was in Tampa to serve as ''a blocking tight end,'' Rob Gronkowski caught six passes for 48 yards after getting shut out last week and coming into the game with just two receptions for 11 yards.

Denver special teams coach Tom McMahon, who described his unit's play at Pittsburgh as ''one word: terrible,'' won't need a Thesaurus for this one.

Sam Martin, who fumbled away the snap for a costly safety against the Steelers, was blocked on his first punt Sunday when rookie long snapper Jacob Bobenmoyer didn't rise out of his stance fast enough to block Patrick O'Connor.

O'Connor swept past the snapper to block the pun t, then recovered the ball at the Broncos 10-yard line. Three plays later, Godwin reached over the goal line for Tampa Bay's first score.

After a trio of three-and-outs and a field-goal drive, Driskel suddenly did an imitation of Brady and drove the Broncos 75 yards in eight plays, hitting Tim Patrick from 7 yards with 14 seconds left in the half to pull the Broncos to 23-10.

But Driskel, who fell to 1-8 as a starter in the pros, gave way to Brett Rypien in the fourth quarter with the score 28-10. He completed his first eight passes for 53 yards before Mike Edwards stepped in front of Jerry Jeudy at the goal line for a one-handed interception on fourth-and-1 from the 13.

INJURIES

Bucs' WR Godwin left with a hamstring injury in the second half and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting was ruled out with a groin/hamstring injury.

RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!

In addition to the 5,700 fans that were allowed into Empower Field, the Broncos put more than 1,800 cardboard cutouts of the characters from ''South Park'' in the south stands on Sunday. Cartman, Kenny et. al were masked up and socially distanced just like the real fans in the lower four levels of the Broncos' 77,000-seat stadium.

MARQUEE MATCHUP DENIED

Brady lamented during the week that he wouldn't get to face Von Miller, who is out indefinitely after a freak ankle injury.

''I've played a lot of meaningful games against him and there is nobody that's more of an incredible player than him,'' Brady said, adding that Miller is ''as good of a player as there is on the defensive side of the ball in NFL history. He's just exceptional in every way.''

UP NEXT

Buccaneers host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Broncos have a short week with Thursday night game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Player Notes
Philadelphia Eagles Oct 23 12:50am ET

The Philadelphia Eagles Defense played well on Thursday Night Football in a Week 7 win over the New York Giants. They allowed 21 points but recorded three sacks, an interception, and two fumble recoveries. In standard formats, the Eagles defense scored nine fantasy points, their second-best showing of the season. The Eagles defense will be a middling option next week in what will likely be a shootout against the Dallas Cowboys.

From RotoBaller

Sterling Shepard Oct 23 12:40am ET

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard returned from toe injury with six catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. Shepard hasn't played since Week 2, but made his return to the lineup felt as adding another weapon in the passing game helped the New York offense after they put up just 112 passing yards last week. Shepard can be added in 12-team fantasy leagues for those seeking WR help, but he draws a tough matchup with Tampa Bay in Week 8.

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John Hightower Oct 23 12:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver John Hightower only made one catch in Week 7, but he gained 59 yards on it and helped set up the Eagles for a comeback victory over the New York Giants. Hightower was targeted twice, both coming in the fourth quarter of the game. He looks like he's settling into a low-volume deep threat role, making him unreliable in most fantasy formats despite his potential for high-scoring individual plays. He's a worthwhile investment in best-ball formats but not a strong head-to-head or points league play yet.

From RotoBaller

Greg Ward Oct 23 12:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward scored a touchdown in Week 7, helping the Eagles to a win over their division rival New York Giants. Ward caught a total of five passes, gaining 42 yards on six targets. His touchdown came on a short three-yard pass from quarterback Carson Wentz in the fourth quarter, putting the Eagles within one score. Ward was third on the team in targets and could have decent PPR value if the Eagles offense starts to get its bearings. Week 8 against the Cowboys "defense" could be a good time for that to happen.

From RotoBaller

New York Giants Oct 23 12:40am ET

The New York Giants Defense had a strong game for fantasy managers despite costing the Giants late as Carson Wentz marched the Eagles down the field for the win. Star cornerback James Bradberry led the unit with a key interception in the end zone in the first half. New York added three sacks to put up a respectable line for fantasy managers. After two good matchups, New York will face a stiff test in Week 8 against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

From RotoBaller

JJ Arcega-Whiteside Oct 23 12:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside showed up in the Week 7 box score, catching his lone target for an eight yard gain. Arcega-Whiteside recovered a fumble and scored a touchdown last week, but has overall been one of the most disappointing second-round picks in recent history. For the season, the second-year receiver has two catches for 45 yards. He's well off the fantasy radar in all but Eagles-only fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

Jake Elliott Oct 23 12:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott made his only extra point try and made one of his two field goal attempts in Week 7. Elliott made his kick from 31 yards out then missed one from just 29 yards out. Elliott has turned into a mostly low-volume kicker and the consistency he's had in the past seems to be gone. Elliott is not a recommended kicker in standard formats going forward, although he may have a few more opportunities next week against the Cowboys.

From RotoBaller

Darius Slayton Oct 23 12:30am ET

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton had a quiet night on Thursday as he was blanketed by Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay. Slayton caught just two passes for 23 yards as New York's leading receiver was targeted just four times by QB Daniel Jones. Slayton has had big games this season, but has also gone silent at times as the second-year receiver has earned the dreaded boom/bust label in fantasy. He'll draw another tough matchup in Week 8 versus the Buccaneers.

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Corey Clement Oct 23 12:30am ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement only recorded three touches in a Week 7 win against the New York Giants. Clement was thought to possibly have a larger role with starter Miles Sanders (knee) out, but Boston Scott took over the Eagles backfield and Clement was nothing more than a change of pace. Clement ended up running the ball twice for nine yards and made one catch for a 12 yard game. He was only targeted that one time. Jason Huntley and Jalen Hurts received the same number of carries as Clement in this one. He'll be firmly off the fantasy radar regardless of the status of Miles Sanders in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Richard Rodgers Oct 23 12:30am ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers led the Eagles in receiving in a Week 7 win over the New York Giants. Rodgers had the most catches, gained the most yards, and was targeted the second-most on the team. The only thing he didn't do was find the end zone. Rodgers caught six passes on eight targets, gaining 85 yards. With Zach Ertz (ankle) and Dallas Goedert (ankle) both out, Rodgers ran as the primary tight end in an offense accustomed to involving their tight end in the passing game. With Ertz and Goedert both on IR, Rodgers could have another week of low-end TE1 value coming up in Week 8 against a very soft Cowboys Defense.

From RotoBaller

Travis Fulgham Oct 23 12:30am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Travis Fulgham remained very heavily involved in the Eagles offense in a Week 7 win. Fulgham was targeted a team-high 11 times, making five catches for 73 yards. It was the first week that Fulgham was on the active roster where he did not score a touchdown, but he continued to operate as the surprising WR1 on the Eagles offense. With DeSean Jackson injured once again and looking like he'll miss even more time, Fulgham season looks like it will continue in Week 8 against the Cowboys.

From RotoBaller

Evan Engram Oct 23 12:20am ET

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram tied his season-high with six catches Thursday night that he turned into 46 yards. Engram added three rushing yards on two carries. The 46 yards are his second-highest total of the season and while he hasn't found the end zone, things are trending up for the fourth-year tight end. Engram had nine targets in this game after having just five in the previous two games. The Giants gave him a carry inside the five-yard line on their first drive as the offense needs Engram to get going. With the tight end position being a wasteland of fantasy football, Engram offers upside few others can match and has a high target-share in the New York offense. He's a startable tight end in 10-team leagues and larger.

From RotoBaller

Golden Tate Oct 23 12:20am ET

New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate scored his first touchdown of the season and did nothing else on Thursday night in Philadelphia. Tate made a contested-catch which he took in for a 39-yard touchdown early in the game and was invisible from there as the veteran receiver didn't record another catch. Tate had just two targets on the night and should not be trusted unless his target-share increases. With Sterling Shepard back in the lineup, fantasy managers shouldn't bet on that happening.

From RotoBaller

Denver Broncos Oct 23 12:20am ET

The Denver Broncos Defense had one of their best performances of the season in the 18-12 upset win over the Patriots in Week 6. But even after turning the ball over three times last weekend and holding New England to only 12 points, Denver's D still ranks only 20th in the league with 4.8 fantasy points per game. They have only five total turnovers in five games (two fumble recoveries, three interceptions) but have been a bit above average with 14 sacks despite missing All-Pro pass-rusher Von Miller (ankle), who is out for the year. Against one of the highest-scoring offenses in the NFL in Kansas City, you should be looking to avoid the Broncos defense this week. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has thrown 15 touchdowns to just one interception in six games this year, adding two touchdowns on the ground.

From RotoBaller

Albert Okwuegbunam Oct 23 12:10am ET

Denver Broncos rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was second on the team with six targets in his NFL debut in the Week 6 win over the Patriots, catching two passes for 45 yards. It was a nice showing for the large-bodied and speedy tight end in his first-ever NFL game. But with Noah Fant (ankle) trending up to return in Week 7 against the Chiefs, the 22-year-old Missouri product could go back to being a healthy inactive this Sunday. When Fant is healthy, he's been one of quarterback Drew Lock's favorite targets, and that is especially true with receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) out for the year. Even if Fant misses another game, Okwuegbunam would be a desperation low-end TE2 in the deepest of leagues.

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Dion Lewis Oct 23 12:10am ET

New York Giants running back Dion Lewis handled three carries for 23 yards in a loss to the Eagles on Thursday. Despite starting running back Devonta Freeman (ankle) leaving after only three carries, Lewis was not a big part of the Giants' game plan as Wayne Gallman handled the bulk of the work in the Big Blue backfield. New York hasn't had enough success rushing the ball this season for Lewis to be a fantasy asset in most fantasy leagues.

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Brandon McManus Oct 23 12:10am ET

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus was the hero for both the Broncos and for fantasy managers that started him in the Week 6 win over the Patriots. He accounted for all of the team's 18 points on his six made kicks, including two from 50-plus yards out and two from 40-plus yards. McManus has one of the strongest legs in the NFL, but his Week 6 performance was his only real fantasy relevant one of the year because of the inconsistent nature of the offense in which he resides. The 29-year-old certainly won't be able to win the game himself in Week 7 against the high-flying Chiefs offensive attack, which makes McManus one to avoid for lineups this weekend. KC has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to the kicking position as well.

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Wayne Gallman Oct 23 12:00am ET

New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman came off the bench to have a productive game in a one-point loss to the Eagles on Thursday. Starting running back Devonta Freeman (ankle) exited with an injury after three carries and Gallman led the backfield from there. Gallman handled 10 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown while adding five catches for 20 receiving yards. The touchdown came from one-yard away as Gallman handled the goal-line work and fourth-quarter carries while the Giants thought they were salting away a win. If Freeman misses time, Gallman will be a hot waiver-wire addition as his role in this offense should make him the RB to own in New York.

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Carson Wentz Oct 22 11:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz had his best game in a long time in a Week 7 comeback win over the division rival New York Giants. Wentz led a fourth quarter game-winning drive and in total completed 25 of his 43 passes for 359 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also ran the ball seven times for 14 yards and another score. Wentz looked like Carson Wentz in a lot of this one, but there were still quite a few of the warning signs that he's shown all season. Still, those brave enough to have him in their starting lineups were certainly happy with what he did on the field tonight. Wentz may sneak into the lower end of QB1 consideration next week when he takes on what the Cowboys call a defense.

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Boston Scott Oct 22 11:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott played well in place of the injured Miles Sanders (knee) in a Week 7 win over the New York Giants. Scott ran the ball 12 times for 46 yards and also caught three passes for another 46 yards and a touchdown. Scott was targeted five times in the passing game, and his touchdown came on an 18-yard pass from Carson Wentz that completed the Eagles comeback in the fourth quarter. Scott might get another chance to lead the backfield next week if the Eagles choose to keep Sanders out through their Week 9 bye. If so, Scott will be a solid RB2 against a Cowboys Defense that can't do anything right.

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