Sun Sep 15 4:58pm ET
By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles away from Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) on his way to a first down in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (88) celebrates with teammates after making a touchdown catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) deflects a pass by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) as he is blocked by offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva (78) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) sacks Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Rasheem Green (98) and Jadeveon Clowney in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
PITTSBURGH (AP) Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns, including a 28-yard rainbow to DK Metcalf midway through the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Seahawks held off the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-26 on Sunday.
The Steelers lost starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a right elbow injury late in the first half and fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2013 despite solid play from backup Mason Rudolph, who threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes to Vance McDonald in relief.
Roethlisberger began flexing his right arm after an incompletion late in the second quarter. He stayed in to finish the drive before jogging to the locker room. When the 37-year-old QB emerged for the second half, he was wearing a white cap while Rudolph, taken in the third round of the 2018 draft, took the first meaningful snaps of his career.
Rudolph completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards, the two scores and an interception but couldn't quite keep pace with Wilson and the Seahawks (2-0).
Wilson was 29 of 35 for 300 yards and the three TDs, becoming the fifth-fastest quarterback in league history to reach 200 career touchdown passes (114 games). Wilson also ran four times for 24 yards, most of it coming on Seattle's final drive as the Seahawks protected a two-point lead.
A week after escaping Cincinnati with a one-point win, a game in which coach Pete Carroll said his team wasn't particularly crisp, the Seahawks took advantage of a series of mental mistakes by the Steelers to win in Pittsburgh for the first time in 20 years.
Wilson's first touchdown pass to Will Dissly - a 14-yarder in the second quarter - came after Steelers defensive tackle Dan McCullers was called for a personal foul on a field goal attempt by Seattle. The Seahawks took the first down instead of the points, and on the next snap Wilson hit a soaring Dissly for the score.
Seattle went in front early in the second half when a pass from Rudolph to Donte Moncrief went through the receiver's hands, smacked off his facemask and landed in the arms of Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald. Wilson found Dissly again for a 12-yard score seven plays later.
A 37-yard touchdown sprint by Rashaad Penny put Seattle up 21-13 late in the third quarter before Rudolph guided Pittsburgh 75 yards for a score, ending a 12-play drive with an 8-yard flip to get the Steelers within 21-19.
Rudolph tried to hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on the 2-point conversion attempt, but it was picked off.
Pittsburgh had the Seahawks backed up on Seattle's ensuing possession. The Seahawks had a third-and-20 when Wilson flung it deep for Tyler Lockett. The pass fell incomplete, but Carroll challenged the play, claiming Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds interfered with Lockett. The 38-yard penalty was enforced after review. Three plays later, Wilson found Metcalfe streaking into the end zone to restore Seattle's nine-point lead.
It was just enough to give the Seahawks their first 2-0 start since 2013, when they went on to win the Super Bowl.
Seahawks: RG D.J. Fluker left in the second quarter with an ankle injury, but returned in the second half.
Steelers: ILB Vince Williams exited in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
Seahawks: Host New Orleans next Sunday. Seattle has won last three home meetings with Saints.
Steelers: Head west to face San Francisco next Sunday. Pittsburgh hasn't beaten the 49ers on the road since 1999.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (quadriceps) has a chance to return in Week 7, and the team hasn't ruled him out. However, the injury is on the same leg as his troublesome knee, which doesn't allow for a lot of stability.
Fantasy Spin: The Atlanta Falcons have been good against the run, and Gurley would be a high-end RB2 if he's fit to go. Malcolm Brown would be a flex option in either event.
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (thigh) was diagnosed with a thigh bruise, which can be painful, but isn't considered serious.
Fantasy Spin: Cooper was knocked out of the game after just one catch for three yards. He'll have a superb matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, and he'll return to WR1 status.
Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu caught three of his four targets for 29 scoreless yards in Week 6 versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu had established himself a nice fantasy WR3 floor over the previous three weeks, so owners counting on him for another five or six catches and about 60 yards came away disappointed. Making matters worse is Matt Ryan threw for 356 yards. Nevertheless, Sanu makes for a decent floor play in the flex in Week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Atlanta Falcons RB Ito Smith managed only six yards on three carries and was not targeted in the passing game in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Fantasy Spin: Smith had been a bit of a nuisance to fantasy owners of Devonta Freeman in recent weeks, but that was not the case versus the Cardinals. The fact Smith was hardly involved in this contest likely had to do with the fact Freeman was playing well (88 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving). Smith figures to make for a weak flex option in Week 8 versus the Los Angeles Rams.
Minnesota Vikings LB Eric Kendricks logged 10 tackles (eight solo), a tackle for loss, a half-sack and two passes defended in Week 6 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr logged 10 tackles (eight solo), a tackle for loss and one pass defended in Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Los Angeles Chargers backup kicker Chase McLaughlin did about as well as could be expected on Sunday as he was able to knock through one of the two field goal tries he was given. His other attempt glanced off the left upright, skittering across the end zone. McLaughlin shouldn't be expected to have much of a future with LA, but with primary kicker Michael Badgley still considered week-to-week with a groin injury, he may have a little play. Unfortunately, LA's offense has struggled mightily as of late, so even if McLaughlin does get the job for a while, he's probably not interesting to the vast majority of the fantasy community.
Coming off of a bye and facing one of the league's most generous defenses, the stars seemed to be aligned for Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen to show his true talent in Week 6. Rosen was instead benched to start the fourth quarter after throwing for just 85 yards on 15-of-25 passing, leading Miami to only three points before departing with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. While head coach Brian Flores did confirm after the game that Rosen is still the starter, the second-year quarterback on his second team just simply isn't viable in any format. Rosen should be left on the waiver wire again next week, as he and the Dolphins have a tough matchup against a stingy Buffalo defense.
Denver Broncos QB Joe Flacco completed 18 of 28 passes for 177 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in a Week 6 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Fantasy Spin: Flacco has thrown for less than 200 yards in each of the last two games, but Denver has won both so you can bet they won't willingly shy away from that formula. The veteran isn't worth owning in most leagues.
For the third straight week, Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen was effectively neutralized. Allen caught just three passes for 33 yards as Pittsburgh basically removed him from the action. This now makes three straight games in which Allen has been held under 50 yards receiving, and LA has gone on to lose two of those matchups. It appears opposing defenses are starting to key in on Allen as a catalyst for the offense, and the Chargers haven't been able to make them pay in the process. Allen got off to a quick start this season and looked like he'd be in the running for the top wideout in the league, but now it's just up in the air whether he's worthy of starting week in and week out.
Los Angeles Chargers safety Rayshawn Jenkins was able to provide a moment of happiness for Chargers fans on Sunday when he made a beautiful diving stab to snatch an interception away on a deep pass. Jenkins' play helped act as a catalyst to allow LA to get back into the game when they were down by three touchdowns, and the offense was able to turn the change in possession into a touchdown a few minutes later. Jenkins and the rest of the Chargers Defense played a decent game against Pittsburgh and their third-string quarterback getting his first ever start, but they still struggled to generate any pressure on the quarterback. After a second straight loss, they'll need to step it up over the next few weeks if they want to stop the slide.
Tennessee Titans LB Rashaan Evans was credited with 10 tackles (six solo) against the Denver Broncos in Week 6.
Miami Dolphins QB Josh Rosen was benched at the start of the fourth quarter in Week 6 against the Washington Redskins after going 15-of-25 for 85 yards and two interceptions.
Fantasy Spin: On a positive note, head coach Brian Flores told reporters Rosen will remain the starter and that Ryan Fitzpatrick's entrance into the game was merely to spark the offense. Nevertheless, fantasy owners have seen this will be enough times to know this probably won't be the only occasion in which the Miami offense needs a spark. Outside of truly desperate owners in two-quarterback leagues, neither player should see much time in fantasy lineups.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams was Philip Rivers' favorite target on Sunday night, but he was only able to haul in half the throws. Rivers struggled mightily from the pocket, but Williams worked well as an outlet while No. 1 wideout Keenan Allen seemed to be focused on by the defense. Williams finished with 72 yards receiving, and while he didn't find the end zone, he came up just short on multiple occasions. The return of Hunter Henry will only further cut into Williams' targets in most games, but now that teams have seen LA's offense struggle two weeks in a row when Allen was neutralized, Williams may see an uptick as a way to try to counteract how teams scheme for the Chargers.
The Denver Broncos Defense had their best game of the season so far, as they blanked the Tennessee Titans in a shutout win. The Broncos were all over the field, forcing seven sacks and three interceptions while holding the Titans to just over 200 yards. This is has been the most impressive performance from the Denver Defense this year, but they have no easy task ahead of them as they face the lethal Patrick Mahomes led Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler was already expected to see a drop in usage due to the full return of Melvin Gordon, but he was further buried when the team was suddenly down 14 points before the end of the first quarter. While Ekeler has the ability to be a star, and he showed that ability in the first few games of the season, he's held down by the situation he's in. Gordon will see the majority of carries, and Ekeler will easily become a victim of circumstances. This game isn't enough to predict his entire future since the whole team played terribly, but anyone still holding on to Ekeler should be very concerned about what lies ahead.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry was everything people thought he would be and more. Henry was basically the only bright spot for the Chargers on Sunday night as he snagged eight of the nine passes sent in his direction and tallied 100 yards and two touchdowns. Henry showed off some incredible awareness on his first touchdown catch, getting his second foot down just centimeters from the back line of the end zone. His second was a bit easier, mostly because Pittsburgh went into a very soft defense since LA was down by two touchdowns with less than 90 seconds left in the game. It's highly unlikely Henry can put up these kinds of numbers every week, but Philip Rivers has wonderful history with his tight ends. Henry is a good target for fantasy owners.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had his game shortened this afternoon as he exited with a knee injury. Before leaving the contest, Sanders only managed to haul in one catch for zero yards. It is not believed that the veteran receiver's injury is serious, and despite having a short week ahead of him there is a chance that Sanders returns to action next week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played poorly on Sunday as the Chargers lost to the Steelers. Rivers was responsible for turnovers on back-to-back drives in the first quarter when he overthrew Melvin Gordon on a backwards pass that was recovered and returned for a touchdown and had a tipped pass intercepted four plays later. With the Chargers in a 14-0 hole before the end of the first quarter, Rivers settled down and racked up a ton of yards through the air, finishing with 320. Unfortunately, the team wouldn't actually get on the board until the end of the third quarter, and Rivers would float a desperation pass at the end of the fourth quarter that would be intercepted to end the comeback. Rivers did tally a pair of passing touchdowns on the day, but his poor play was a major reason why LA lost on Sunday.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon was a bit of an afterthought in Sunday's game against the Steelers. He was likely a major part of the original gameplan, but before the offense could run their 11th play from scrimmage, they had already turned the ball over twice and were down 14 points. At that point, the gameplan changed and Philip Rivers was tapped to air it out. Gordon would only touch the ball seven more times for the rest of the game. To compound his uselessness, Gordon wasn't very productive in his limited touches, but it's hard to figure out who to pin the blame on when the offensive line is a mix of bad players and backups who are in because of injuries and the running back is still getting his sea legs under him. Don't be surprised if there are more growing pains ahead.