Sun Sep 27 4:39pm ET
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates his touchdown pass to running back Rex Burkhead (34) in the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
The New England Patriots and the Las Vegas Raiders play in an empty Gillette Stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, left, gives running back Rex Burkhead a lift after Burkhead's touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead falls backward toward the end zone for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden works along the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick works along the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Foster Moreau (87) catches a pass for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, center, runs with the ball against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram (24) celebrates his interception with teammates in the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Maurice Hurst (73) tackles New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) gets a poke in the eye as he closes in to sack New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) passes under pressure in the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) hands off to running back Josh Jacobs (28) in the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) passes against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
The New England Patriots run onto the field surrounded by empty Gillette Stadium seats, absent of fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic ,before an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) gives a shout as the team warms up before an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Rex Burkhead scored three touchdowns and Bill Belichick became the third coach in NFL history to reach 275 regular-season victories in the New England Patriots' 36-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
Sony Michel finished with nine carries for 117 yards. Burkhead had two rushing scores and an 11-yard TD reception.
Cam Newton was 17 of 28 passing for 162 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Shilique Calhoun had two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a score.
The Patriots have won the last six meetings with the Raiders and improved to 47-9 in regular-season games following a loss. Raiders coach Jon Gruden dropped to 0-3 against Belichick.
Derek Carr finished 24 of 32 for 261 yards and a two TDs for Las Vegas. But he had two fumbles which led to a New England field goal and a late touchdown when he lost the ball in the end zone and it was recovered by Calhoun. Josh Jacobs also had a fumble.
Las Vegas opened the season by scoring at least 34 points in its first two games with six red zone touchdowns. The Raiders were also second in the NFL, converting on 57 percent of third downs.
They went just 2 for 5 in the red zone and 3 of 9 on third down Sunday.
The offenses were stagnant early as both teams struggled to get into a groove because of turnovers and poor performance on third down.
Things changed for the Patriots on their first drive of the third quarter when Michel, who struggled in the first two games, broke free for a 38-yard run.
A 15-yard pass from Newton to Burkhead got the Patriots into the red zone. Three plays later Burkhead capped the drive with a spinning 5-yard TD run to stretch New England's lead to 20-10.
After both teams traded field goals, the Patriots took over with 11:22 remaining and ate up more than five minutes of clock with a 10-play, 86-yard drive that was capped with a 5-yard TD plunge by Burkhead.
FAST AND FURIOUS
It took until the final minute of the first half for both teams to reach the end zone.
Leading 6-3, Newton found Burkhead over the middle for a short pass, which he carried the rest of the way for a leaping 11-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left.
Following the kickoff, the Raiders got help from a pass interference call on Stephon Gilmore to get into Patriots territory. Two plays later Carr hooked up with Hunter Renfrow for a 26-yard completion to get to the 1. He then found tight end Foster Moreau for a 1-yard TD to trim New England's lead to 13-10.
Both teams were missing key starters.
The Raiders played without speedy rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III because of injuries to his knee and hamstring. Also sidelined were starting right tackle Trent Brown (calf) and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral muscle). Left guard Richie Incognito (Achilles tendon) went on injured reserve Wednesday. Agholor started at receiver, rookie John Simpson at left guard and Denzelle Good at right tackle.
The Patriots were down center David Andrews and rookie linebacker Josh Uche after both were placed on IR Saturday. Running back James White was also out for the second straight game following the passing of his father. Joe Thuney shifted over to center, and rookie Michael Onwenu started at left guard.
Raiders: Cornerback Damon Arnette left with a thumb injury.
Raiders: Host Buffalo next Sunday.
Patriots: Visit defending champion Kansas City next Sunday.
Five Hot Plays: Week 7
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones had his best statistical performance of the season on Thursday night, but still came up short in a one-point loss to the Eagles. Jones was 20-for-30 passing for 187 yards and two touchdowns while also adding 92 rushing yards. While those were positives for the second-year QB, Jones had his share of shortcomings as well. Jones should've had a touchdown on a perfectly-executed read-option in the third quarter, but stumbled five yards short of the end zone. Other negatives for Jones included an interception and a fumble as he has not had a turnover-free game this season. His rushing upside gives him QB2 appeal in superflex leagues, but Jones hasn't put up good enough numbers to start in one-QB formats.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (leg) had to be helped off the field late in the fourth quarter of the Thursday night game against the Giants after suffering an apparent leg injury on a punt return. Jackson just has not been able to stay healthy the last two years with Philadelphia. He was finally active on Thursday after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury, and it looks like he'll be missing more time moving forward. D-Jax ran the ball once for 12 yards and caught three of his five targets for 34 yards before leaving with his injury. He's been a disappointment when active, considering how many offensive pieces the Eagles have been missing due to injury. Fantasy managers should prepare for Jackson to miss Week 8 against the Cowboys.
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler (hamstring) was limited in practice for the second straight day on Thursday, giving him a chance to return to action in Week 7 against the Chiefs. Hamler was injured in the Week 4 win over the Jets and hasn't played since. There's a good chance he'll be listed as questionable on the final injury report. But even if the 21-year-old first-year player is active against Kansas City, he cannot be trusted in starting lineups after catching half of his 12 targets for 78 yards in his three games played in 2020. The 5-foot-9, 176-pound slot guy is explosive and will become a nice deep threat for Denver eventually, but he hasn't been a big enough part of the offense yet in his first year. Hamler remains strictly a dynasty/keeper league stash.
New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman (ankle) is questionable to return to the Monday night game against the Eagles with an ankle injury. Freeman rushed the ball just three times for eight yards in the contest before leaving the game with his injury. He was targeted once in the passing game but came up empty. Coming into the Thursday night game, Freeman had seen double-digit carries in each of the last three games. He had a season-high 18 totes for 61 yards in the Week 6 win over Washington. The veteran running back is averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per carry, though, and is also losing some touches to both Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman. He's been a touchdown-dependent RB2, but if his injury is serious enough, Lewis and Gallman could see more playing time in Week 8 on Monday night against the Buccaneers.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) is in doubt for Week 7 against the Panthers after missing practice on Thursday due to a new hamstring injury suffered in practice. Thomas suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 1 and could now miss his fifth straight game. He was benched in Week 5 for disciplinary reasons after punching a teammate in practice. New Orleans' offense has been up and down without their All-Pro receiver in the lineup, but quarterback Drew Brees did find Emmanuel Sanders for a career-high 12 catches in Week 5. Sanders will be a WR3 with upside if Thomas is forced to miss another game. But if Thomas is active, he's a must-start WR1.
The Las Vegas Raiders placed four starting offensive lineman on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday. Center Rodney Hudson, guards Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good and tackle Kolton Miller were deemed high-risk contacts, according to sources. Tackle Trent Brown is already on the COVID-19 list, so the Raiders could be without all five starting offensive linemen in Week 7 against the Buccaneers. Las Vegas has just five remaining offensive linemen on their 53-man active roster, along with two practice-squad linemen. The offensive linemen must quarantine for five days plus their last day of contact (Monday), so they could be cleared Sunday morning. If the Raiders are without their entire starting offensive line this Sunday, that would spell bad news for both quarterback Derek Carr and running back Josh Jacobs against a stout Tampa defense.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he thinks that free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown deserves another chance in the NFL and is hoping that the Seahawks sign him. "From the conversations I've had with him, he's really been remorseful and he's been humbled along the way. Like I said, I pray that he can continue to grow, just like anybody," Wilson said. Brown and Wilson worked out together this summer and Brown is also close with backup Geno Smith. The 32-year-old Brown is serving an eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's personal-conduct policy. There is potential for further discipline from the league, though, so it isn't a guarantee that Brown will return after Week 8. Wilson has been an MVP candidate through six weeks and the Seahawks offense is the highest-scoring in the league, but Wilson is campaigning for another weapon. Brown is certainly worth a stash if you have the room, but there's no guarantee he'll play for Seattle or anyone else this year.