Sun Dec 8 5:14pm ET
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) celebrates on a defensive play against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) celebrtates a tackle against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley (44) causes Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) to fumble during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo (7) jumps into Atlanta Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver (26) after Koo recovered a fumble against the Carolina Panthersduring the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) hits Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Greg Dortch (14) misses the ball against Atlanta Falcons defensive back Kemal Ishmael (36) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus (17) celebrates his touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Carolina Panthers interim head coach Perry Fewell speaks with an offical during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) misses the catch against Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson (26) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works in the pocket against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid (25) hits Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
ATLANTA (AP) Matt Ryan threw the longest touchdown pass of his career and became the 10th quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 yards, leading the Atlanta Falcons to another dominating win over Carolina, 40-20 Sunday.
The Panthers (5-8) were officially eliminated from playoff contention with their fifth straight loss, which ruined the debut of interim coach Perry Fewell. He took over at the beginning of the week after longtime coach Ron Rivera was fired.
Atlanta (4-9) snapped a two-game losing streak and swept the season series with their I-85 rival. The Falcons won the first meeting 29-3 at Charlotte on Nov. 17.
Throwing from his own end zone, Ryan finished off the Panthers with a 93-yard touchdown pass to little-used Olamide Zaccheaus in the third quarter. It was a milestone play for both - the longest TD of Ryan's 12-year career, and the first career reception for Zaccheaus, an undrafted rookie.
Fewell and the Panthers endured a thoroughly miserable game. Kyle Allen was picked off twice and lost a fumble. Carolina fumbled another one away on a kickoff return, the ball deflecting into the arms of kicker Younghoe Koo, setting off a wild celebration as Koo bounced toward the sideline.
Koo also booted four field goals, including a 35-yard field goal on the final play of the first half put the Falcons ahead to stay at 13-10. The home team thoroughly dominated the final two quarters, outscoring Carolina 27-10 while piling up a season high for points.
Devonta' Freeman's 13-yard touchdown run extended Atlanta's lead, before Ryan delivered the pass to Zaccheaus that finished off the Panthers. The 5-foot-8 rookie beat Donte Jackson, hauled in the thrown near the midfield logo and breezed to the end zone, with Jackson sprawled out on the turf behind him and no other Carolina player around.
Ryan finished 20 of 34 for 313 yards, also throwing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley late in the second quarter.
Ryan increased his passing total to 50,279 yards. His next target on the career list is John Elway, the NFL's ninth-leading passer with 51,475 yards.
Allen connected with Ian Thomas on a 1-yard scoring pass and tacked on a meaningless touchdown in the closing minutes with a 1-yard dive.
Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant added another ailment to his injury plagued year.
Trufant went out in the first half with a forearm injury and didn't return. He already missed four games this season with a toe injury.
Ridley also left the game with abdominal pain, while the Panthers lost backup linebacker Marquis Haynes with a knee injury.
Carolina: Return home next Sunday to face the Seattle Seahawks in the penultimate home game of the season.
Atlanta: Head west Sunday to meet the San Francisco 49ers, who are coached by former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 26 of 35 passes for 349 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. In arguably his biggest start, Garoppolo answered the bell, going tit-for-tat with a smoking Saints offense in a 48-46 shootout. With the Niners falling behind early, Garoppolo was tasked with a large workload and delivered two scores on each side of the halves, consistently shredding a tough Saints secondary all game. Garoppolo led a walk-of field goal drive with 53 seconds remaining, aided by a rumbling 39-yard catch by trusty tight end George Kittle. After leaning on the running attack most of the season, Sunday marked Garoppolos third four-touchdown game, all in the past six contests. His fantasy stock on the rise, Garoppolo is an upside QB2 against a subpar Atlanta Falcons secondary on Week 15.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham hauled in three of five targets for 49 receiving yards in a 20-15 win over the Washington Redskins. It was a decent day for Graham, though he again had to watch as one of his backups snatched a touchdown away from him. This time, the vulture was Robert Tonyan. The positive side for Graham is that he saw the most targets in a game since Week 8. He'll look to build on this performance in Week 15 against the Chicago Bears, who have been surprisingly susceptible to the tight end position.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle collected six of eight targets for 67 yards and a touchdown in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. Kittle was contained most of the day but cashed in on a five-yard score in the third quarter. His biggest impact came in the closing seconds, as he converted a fourth and two by way of a 39-yard catch-and-rumble to set up the walk-off field goal. Playing with a more talented pass-catching corps in 2019, Kittles ceiling has fallen slightly but he still has a shot at 1,000 yards and is now up to four touchdowns. Still the focal point of the offense, Kittle is a no-brainer premium TE1 in Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas caught five of his 10 targets for 57 yards and a touchdown during the loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Thomas filled in for Greg Olsen (concussion) and made the most of it by finding the end zone for the first time this season. With Olsen's status up in the air from now until the end of the year, he will be a priority waiver target this upcoming week as leagues progress through the fantasy playoffs.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison caught his lone target for 11 yards in a 20-15 win over the Washington Redskins. Another game, another poor performance for Allison, who's been a fantasy bust this year. The 25-year-old has now failed to eclipse 50 receiving yards in all but one game. He is firmly off the fantasy radar.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey ran for 53 yards on 11 carries to go along with 82 yards on 11 catches during the loss to the Falcons on Sunday. For only the fourth time this season, McCaffrey failed to find the end zone, and while the team has virtually nothing to play for, the 23-year-old should stay active as he attempts to make a case to be named the league's MVP. Consider him a must-start, obviously, throughout the remainder of the season.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard caught two of three targets for 19 receiving yards in a 20-15 victory over the Washington Redskins. Lazard fell back down to earth after exploding for a career-high 103 yards against the Giants last week. The rookie fell victim to a bad performance by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, though the Redskins deserve credit for limiting his big-play potential. Lazard can't be trusted unless the matchup is especially juicy, as he's failed to exceed 50 receiving yards in six of eight games this year. Up next is a Week 15 matchup with the Chicago Bears' strong defense.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne snatched three of four targets for 18 yards and two touchdowns in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. Bourne once again operated as the Niners third receiver and red zone weapon, converting a pair of six-yard touchdown grabs. With five scores in his last six contests, the reliable Bourne has the trust of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo but his light volume translates into risky fantasy value. Hell be a touchdown-dependent WR5 in Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons.
San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert handled 10 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. He also caught two balls for 40 yards and a second score. For the second consecutive week, Mostert dominated backfield snaps and was a beast after first contact. His touchdown catch came in the second quarter on a 35-yard trick play from wideout Emmanuel Sanders. Mostert later exploded through a hole for a 10-yard running score to close out the half. Playing the best football of his five-year career, Mostert has assumed firm control over the Niners rushing committee, outplaying both Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. He deserves RB2 consideration in Week 15s favorable matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders recorded 157 yards and a touchdown on seven catches in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. He also threw a 35-yard touchdown pass. After battling a rib injury the past few weeks, Sanders looked fully healthy in Sundays shootout, leading the team in catches, targets and yards. His touchdown came on a 75-yard bomb in the second quarter when he smartly got up from the turf and raced to the house. His passing score came later in the quarter on a nifty trick play to running back Raheem Mostert. With the Niners clicking offensively, Sanders fantasy value appears supported despite the emergence of wideout Deebo Samuel and Mostert. Hell carry WR3 value in Week 15 against a weak Atlanta Falcons secondary.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen threw for 293 yards and a touchdown on 28-for-41 passing during the loss to the Falcons. He also had two interceptions and fumbled twice. After not throwing a pick in his first four games after taking over Cam Newton (foot), the 23-year-old now has 12 throughout his last seven games. Don't expect much from Allen moving ahead as the team enters survival mode to finish out the year.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught four of six targets for 41 yards in a 20-15 win over the Washington Redskins. It didn't help that quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for only 195 yards and one touchdown. Rodgers' poor performance and game script are likely why Adams saw a season-low six targets after compiling double-digit opportunities from Rodgers in four straight contests. Adams will look to be more involved in Week 15 against the stingy Chicago Bears.
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman toted just three carries for six yards in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. In a 48-46 thriller, Colemans second consecutive bust confirms that hes been sidelined for Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida. He was seen early in the game but not much afterwards. After accruing just 128 rush yards in his last six games, Coleman is impossible to start heading into Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald (concussion) left Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals for further testing and is listed as questionable to return. The 29-year-old caught his only target for three yards in the game, which is a disappointing performance against the defense who has allowed 13 touchdowns to tight ends. It will be interesting to see if he passes protocol before next Sunday's game against the Bills, where he would likely be a non-fantasy factor.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate was forced to exit Sunday's loss to the Browns with an apparent knee injury. After recording his first and only catch of the game, the 22-year-old limped his way back to the locker room after initially being evaluated in the medical tent. Tate has been a semi-regular target for the team this year, logging 39 catches for 559 yards and a touchdown on 76 targets. While he wasn't a consistent source of production, he does have value in deeper leagues. Look for an update regarding his status for the Week 15 encounter with the Patriots, but if he is out, look for the recently-returned John Ross to serve as the primary beneficiary.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead was having a below-average performance in Week 14's matchup with the Buffalo Bills before reeling in a four-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Snead caught 3-of-4 targets for a measly 13 yards but was quarterback Lamar Jackson's most impactful receiver in the game. If tight end Mark Andrews, who exited the game in the first quarter with a knee injury, is unable to go Thursday Night, Snead could see more involvement in the offense. Baltimore matches up against a Jets Defense in Week 15 that has been relatively vulnerable against opposing wide receivers in 2019.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert caught all four of his targets for 49 yards during the loss to Cleveland on Sunday. After failing to surpass 21 receiving yards in each of his last four outings, this was one of the most efficient performances from the veteran on the year. Nonetheless, this season has still been a major disappointment for 29-year-old, with not much expected to change moving forward, especially in Week 15 against a rough Patriots Defense.
Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram rushed for 50 yards on 15 carries in Week 14's win over the Buffalo Bills. Ingram added 29 yards on three receptions as a pass-catcher. The veteran struggled to break free, averaging 3.3 yards per carry with his longest gain being just nine yards. With Lamar Jackson clogging up the run game for Baltimore, it will be hard to view Ingram as anything more than a low-end RB2 against the New York Jets in Week 15. Ingram will look to bounce back next week against a Jets Defense that's allowing just 63 yards per game to opposing running backs in 2019.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams picked up 24 rushing yards on seven carries and failed to register a reception on one target. Williams played second fiddle to Aaron Jones, who exploded for 192 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. It's entirely possible that Williams, who was a late addition to the injury report on Thursday, was battling through a sore knee in this one. Perhaps that would explain why he was out-touched 22-seven by Jones. Still, Williams was in for 42 percent of the snaps, indicating that he'll maintain his role in the offense going forward. Williams and the Pack will take on the stingy Chicago Bears in Week 15.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross had two catches for 28 yards during the loss to the Browns on Sunday. Ross made his return to the lineup for the first time since Week 4 after missing some time with a chest injury. The upside is there, but his outlook for the remainder of the season is less than favorable, especially in Week 15, against a problematic Patriots Defense. Nonetheless, he still has value in deeper formats for those who are looking for the 24-year-old to duplicate the success that he had through the first two weeks of the year.