Sun Sep 27 11:53pm ET
By BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer
Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55)c elaborates his fumble recovery in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) pulls in a 72 yard pass completion in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) reacts after a 72 year pass completion setting up a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (17) pulls in a touchdown reception over Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King (20) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray (28) is hit by Green Bay Packers linebacker Ty Summers (44) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes under pressure from Green Bay Packers defensive end Billy Winn (93) and nose tackle Tyler Lancaster (95) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass under pressure from New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Malcom Roach in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) carries in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) is tackled by Green Bay Packers strong safety Adrian Amos on a 49 yard run in the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Aaron Rodgers passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns, and the Green Bay Packers remained unbeaten with a 37-30 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.
With Packers top receiver Davante Adams unable to play because of a hamstring injury, Rodgers nonetheless found ways to attack New Orleans (1-2) with a variety of passes, short and long.
Allen Lazard caught six passes for 146 yards for Green Bay (3-0), including gains of 48 and 72 yards on throws deep downfield that each set up touchdowns.
Rodgers' scoring passes went for 5 yards to Lazard, 18 yards to tight end Marcedes Lewis and 1 yard to tight end Robert Tonyan. Lazard's longest catch set up Aaron Jones' 1-yard TD run.
The decisive drive got going when Rodgers hit tight end Jace Sternberger for a 23-yard gain and later drew a pass interference calls in the end zone on a third-down play, which set up the Tonyan TD with two minutes left.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara built on a sensational start to the season, gaining 197 yards from scrimmage and scoring twice on short passes from Brees, with shifty, tackle-slipping runs after the catch.
His scoring plays included a 52-yarder in which he took a pass near the line of scrimmage and broke four tackles, including one that forced him to balance along the sideline before he cut back inside for the final yards. That play, which tied the score at 27, might have wound a typical Superdome crowd into a wild, stadium-vibrating frenzy. But the stands were virtually empty, with the exception of fewer than 1,000 Saints player and staff guests.
Brees completed 29 of 36 passes for 288 yards and three TDs. Emmanuel Sanders caught a 10-yard scoring pass at the end of the first half that gave the Saints a 17-13 lead.
The game featured a quick sequence of defensive highlights while the game was tied at 27 early in the fourth quarter.
Just two plays after Saints defensive backs Malcolm Jenkins and Marshon Lattimore combined to stop running back Aaron Jones short on fourth-and-1, Za'Darius Smith stripped Taysom Hill on a read-option run and recovered the fumble to give Green Bay possession again near midfield.
The Packers parlayed the turnover into a go-ahead, 49-yard field goal by Mason Crosby with 8:47 to play.
Wil Lutz' third field goal of the game in the final minute allowed the Saints to set up an onside kick in hopes of recovering and driving for a tying touchdown, but the kick went out of bounds and the Packers were able to run out the clock.
Packers: LB Christian Kirksey injured his shoulder during the second quarter and did not return.
Saints: LG Andrus Peat was carted off the field after Kamara was tackled into the offensive lineman's lower legs late in the second quarter. The Saints said Peat injured his ankle.
Packers: Host Atlanta in a Monday night game on Oct. 5.
Saints: Visit Detroit on Sunday.
Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 3
Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman tallied only four touches -- two carries for four yards and two catches for 31 yards -- in the 28-10 Week 3 loss to the Buccaneers. Even with Phillip Lindsay (toe) sidelined by turf toe, Freeman continues to be an afterthought in this offense behind Melvin Gordon III, and it didn't help that the Broncos were down by multiple scores throughout the day against Tampa. There might be more chances for Freeman to make some noise this Thursday night against a woeful Jets team, but fantasy managers shouldn't count on it. Freeman just isn't seeing enough snaps or touches to merit a roster spot on your fantasy squad.
Denver Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel looked like a backup in the 28-10 Week 3 loss to the Buccaneers, completing just 17 of his 30 passes for 176 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked five times and has been sacked a whopping 11 times in the last two weeks after being forced into action because of Drew Lock's (shoulder) injury. It got so bad that Brett Rypien came into the contest in the fourth quarter. Even though Driskel is set to get another start this Thursday against the similarly 0-3 Jets, he should be avoided in fantasy leagues, even those that start two quarterbacks.
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III carried the ball just eight times for 26 yards and caught four of his six targets for an additional 12 yards in the Week 3 loss to the Buccaneers. The Broncos weren't able to get anything going on offense under backup quarterback Jeff Driskel and were playing from behind all day, which led to single-digit carries for Gordon. He was more involved in the passing game, but Gordon still disappointed his fantasy managers in this tough matchup. Things will get a lot easier this Thursday against the winless Jets, but Denver's offense doesn't have much upside as long as Drew Lock (shoulder) remains sidelined.
Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson's (knee) MRI exam on Monday confirmed that his ligaments are intact and he's dealing with just a minor knee sprain, according to a source. Carson has a chance to be ready for the Week 4 contest against the Dolphins. The 26-year-old will remain a strong RB2 fantasy play as long as he's on the field in this high-scoring Seattle offense, even if they've shifted a bit more away from the run to the pass through three games in 2020. Carson has 37 carries for 157 yards and 12 catches on 12 targets for 93 yards and three touchdowns in the first three weeks. If he isn't up to speed by this Sunday, Carlos Hyde and Travis Homer would likely share the backfield touches.
Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines had more of a performance you can expect to see going forward in the Week 3 win over the Jets on Sunday with seven carries for 28 yards and four catches for 40 yards. Hines did not do much of anything in Week 2 but bounced back in Week 3. Most of his value rests in the passing game, but it was good to see him chip in running the ball as well. Hines has averaged a little over three catches and four rushing attempts per game throughout his career, so his 11 touches in Week 3 are probably about the most fantasy owners can expect to see going forward. He will look to replicate this performance in Week 4 against the Bears.
The Indianapolis Colts Defense dominated the Jets, as expected, in Week 3. They allowed just seven points, grabbed three interceptions and had two defensive touchdowns. After the Jets scored their first touchdown, the Colts locked in and controlled the rest of the game. It was the Colts second straight game where they forced the opposing quarterback to throw three interceptions. The Jets have been one of the worst teams in the NFL through three weeks, so it is tough to gauge the overall value of the Colts defense going forward. However, there is something to be said for doing what is expected of you. They will take on the Bears new-look offense next week, with quarterbackNick Foles looking like the new starter under center.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had another average performance in Week 3 against the lowly Jets, catching just three passes for 52 yards on three targets. Hilton led the team in yards, but it is not the fantasy performance you would like to see from a perennial 1,000-yard receiver. Part of this performance is due to the Colts getting ahead fairly early and not needing to throw the ball much, but Hilton has failed to catch more than five passes in each of the first three weeks. His lack of targets should also be concerning, as he's averaging just a little over five targets through the first few weeks. He will go against a solid Bears secondary in Week 4, where he'll be looking for his first strong performance of the year.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox grabbed three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown in a Sunday win against the Jets. Alie-Cox had some bust potential coming into the week, but a 45-yard reception and a touchdown made him a valuable fantasy play at tight end. Alie-Cox played 60 percent of the team's offensive snaps, and he is certainly taking advantage of the opportunity with Jack Doyle out of the lineup because of an injury. His sample size is small, so it is tough to say what his value is going forward. It could be a couple good weeks and then he disappears, but he is showing that he is worthy of a roster spot on any fantasy team as long as Doyle remains out. Alie-Cox will look to have another strong performance in Week 4 against the Bears.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers had an efficient performance Sunday against the Jets, throwing for 217 yards, completing over 80 percent of his passes and tossing one touchdown. The low amount of pass attempts was expected coming into the week. The Colts were tied with the Jets early in the game but blew them out after that, scoring 29 unanswered points en route to a win. Therefore, Rivers did not need to throw the ball too much, and the game was controlled by the defense and running the clock. This marks two straight games in which Rivers has recorded less than 30 pass attempts, so his fantasy stock is not too high at the moment. He will likely have to throw more next week against the Bears, but Rivers is more of a bench option in single-QB leagues until there is reason to think otherwise.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (hamstring) is undergoing tests on his hamstring on Monday, but the belief is that he's dealing with a minor strain, according to sources. The Eagles were extra cautious with the oft-injured speedster in the Week 3 tie against the Bengals. However, his availability for Week 4 against the 49ers is up in the air this early in the week. Jackson had another disappointing week on Sunday, catching just two of his four targets for 11 yards before suffering the injury and leaving the game. The veteran wideout just hasn't taken advantage of the injuries to Alshon Jeffery and rookie Jalen Reagor. If D-Jax misses Week 4, the Eagles will really be struggling for pass-catchers after tight end Dallas Goedert also left Sunday's game with a potentially serious injury.
Washington Football Team rookie defensive end Chase Young's (groin) injury is not believed to be serious, but he'll undergo tests on Monday to make sure. It looks like Washington has dodged a bullet with the second overall pick in the draft. They'll definitely need the young pass-rusher if they hope to slow down Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in a daunting Week 4 matchup. The 21-year-old from Ohio State didn't tally and tackles or sacks against the Browns on Sunday, but he does have eight combined tackles, two tackles for loss, two QB hits, one forced fumble and 2.5 sacks in his first three games. Young is the real deal rushing the passer and should already be in consideration in IDP leagues at his position.
New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers (ankle), who limped off the field in pain in the Week 3 loss to the 49ers, is believed to have suffered a low ankle sprain, according to a source. The injury looked bad on Sunday, but it appeared worse than it is. Julian Love replaced Peppers in the secondary when Peppers exited the game, but it's unclear if Peppers will have to miss any time moving forward. Consider him questionable for Week 4 against the Rams for now and monitor his practice status throughout the week. The Giants Defense should definitely be faded in a tough matchup with the Rams offense in Week 4, regardless of Peppers' status.
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson (knee) is believed to have suffered a sprained knee in the Week 3 win over the Cowboys, according to a source. The injury should allow him to return to the field shortly, pending the results of his MRI exam on Monday. Before going down in the fourth quarter, Carson had 14 carries for 64 yards and three catches for 12 yards. He has three touchdowns on the season through three weeks (all through the air) and will continue to have solid fantasy value in Seattle's high-octane offense, but it remains to be seen if he'll be ready for a good matchup in Week 4 against the Dolphins. If Carson has to miss time, it will be Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer and rookie DeeJay Dallas splitting the backfield repetitions.
New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz made all three field-goal attempts and all three extra-points in a Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Lutz was busy in a game that saw a combined 67 points put on the board. His night included a couple 30-yarders and a 45-yard kick late in the game that brought the Saints within a touchdown. The 26-year-old has yet to miss a kick and has been fantastic to start the 2020 season. He might be the best kicker to roster in fantasy football right now so keep him in lineups as an every-week starter.
The New Orleans Saints Defense did not look particularly good in a 37-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Not only did they allow 30-plus points for the second straight game but the pass rush only mustered one sack of opposing quarterback Aaron Rodgers. For much of the night, the Saints couldn't get near the veteran signal-caller. It's a disappointing performance for a unit that had high expectations coming into the season. Fortunately, there are some better matchups coming up against the Lions and Chargers, so maybe they can turn it around.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook (groin) caught two of three targets for 21 receiving yards in a 37-30 loss to the Packers. Cook saw only three targets as he was blanketed by the Packers Defense and then left the game late in the third quarter with a groin injury. There's no word yet on the severity of the injury, but Cook was limping badly as he left the field. If he is forced to miss time, rookie Adam Trautman could see some more playing time. All other Saints pass-catchers would get a slight boost if Cook misses time, though we need to see a little more from Drew Brees in this offense to confidently use any secondary options.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith had a quiet day in a Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Smith saw the second-most targets on the team but could only muster four catches for 42 receiving yards. It was a disappointing performance considering the number of targets that were potentially available, though most of them were gobbled up by Alvin Kamara in the short, passing game. Most of Smith's potential fantasy value will hinge on the Week 4 status of Michael Thomas (ankle), though the matchup against the Lions is certainly an enticing one. Even so, Smith will be harder to trust after burning fantasy managers in this one.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught four of five targets for 56 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Packers. Sanders enjoyed his best game of the season in Week 3, as he was Drew Brees' favorite pass-catcher besides Alvin Kamara. Brees found Sanders in the end zone for a touchdown right before the end of the first half. The veteran wideout probably could have had more if Brees had been able to get the ball downfield to him, though it's still a solid performance for him to build upon. Depending on the status of Michael Thomas (ankle), Sanders could have flex value against a struggling Lions Defense.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis recorded five receptions on six targets for 69 yards in Week three against the Vikings. Despite finishing second on the team in targets, Davis led the team in receiving yards in the absence of A.J. Brown (knee). The majority of his production came on a 38-yard reception that ultimately set up a one-yard rushing score for Derrick Henry late in the third quarter. Davis may be heading toward a fourth-year breakout. He has 206 yards and a touchdown across three games and should continue to be valuable as long as A.J. Brown remains sidelined. He faces a stingy Steelers Defense in Week four.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 23 of his 37 pass attempts for 321 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Week three against Minnesota. Tannehill topped 300 yards for the first time this season. In particular, he showed a connection on deep passes with Kalif Raymond, logging completions of 61 and 44 yards. The negative -- Tannehill failed to find the end zone for the first time this season as the team settled for six field goals. He and the Titans will face a stiff test in week four when they take on the Steelers. He will be a low-end QB2 in that contest.