Sun Sep 22 4:56pm ET
By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass for a touchdown to Joe Mixon during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Buffalo Bills' Kevin Johnson (29) tackles Cincinnati Bengals' Auden Tate (19) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
CORRECTS DATE - Buffalo Bills' Dawson Knox (88) celebrates with teammates Lee Smith (85) and Josh Allen (17) after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)
CORRECTS DATE - Buffalo Bills' Dawson Knox, right, catches a pass for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game as Cincinnati Bengals free safety Jessie Bates (30) watches Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Frank Gore scored on a 1-yard run with 1:50 remaining in rallying the Buffalo Bills to a home-opening 21-17 victory over the winless Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Tight end Dawson Knox set up the score by bowling over two Bengals for a 49-yard gain. And cornerback Tre'Davious White sealed the win by intercepting Andy Dalton's tipped pass on third-and-5 from Buffalo's 28 with 12 seconds remaining.
The Bills squandered a 14-0 lead and were forced to rally back after the Bengals scored 17 points to take the lead on three consecutive possessions.
Buffalo improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2011 and only third time in 26 years. The Bengals fell to 0-3.
Frank Gore also scored on a 1-yard run and finished 76 yards rushing.
Bills starter Josh Allen finished 23 of 36 for 243 yards with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Knox and a costly interception, which set up the Bengals' first touchdown. Allen was nearly picked off two more times and almost lost a fumble before being ruled he was out of bounds.
Buffalo's defense came to the rescue after appearing winded on a hot afternoon with temperatures in the 80s.
The Bills forced four turnovers, with White finishing with two interceptions.
Andy Dalton went 20 of 36 for 249 yards and two interceptions.
Dalton and the Bengals' offense overcame a dreadful start by coming alive midway through the third quarter - and after Cincinnati got the ball on Buffalo's 22 following Darius Phillips interception.
Dalton scored on a 1-yard run three plays later to cut Buffalo's lead to 14-7.
On the Bengals' next possession, Dalton capped an 11-play, 82-yard drive with a 1-yard pass to Joe Mixon.
Cincinnati then went ahead 17-14 when Randy Bullock hit a 43-yard field goal with 4:54 left.
Allen responded with a seven-play 78-yard drive in producing his fourth career winning drive and second this season. Buffalo overcame a 16-0 deficit to beat the New York Jets to open the season.
Knox, a rookie, played a huge role on the decisive drive. On the second play from scrimmage, Allen hit Knox, who was wide open at midfield near the left sideline. Spinning to run upfield, Knox bowled over safety Shawn Williams and then shed Jessie Bates' attempt to tackle him before finally being brought down at the Bengals 22.
Mixon finished with 61 yards rushing, more than doubling the 27 yards he managed in his first two games. He also topped the Bengals' two-game total of 59 yards entering the game.
Bengals rookie coach Zac Taylor, who took over after Marvin Lewis was fired this offseason, became the fifth of Cincinnati's 10 coaches to open his first season 0-3, and third in a row. The worst start by a first-year Bengals coach was Sam Wyche losing his first five in 1984.
The Bills honored late superfan Ezra ''Pancho Billa'' Castro during a pregame ceremony. Castro, a mortician from El Paso, Texas, regularly attended Bills games at home on the road, and died in May after a lengthy battle with cancer. Shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, the Bills honored Castro's wish by bringing him to Dallas to announce their third-round selection of defensive tackle Harrison Phillips at the 2018 NFL draft.
Phillips paid tribute to Castro by wearing a Bills-colored sombrero, which Castro made famous for wearing at games.
Bengals: none reported.
Bills: Starting right guard Jon Feliciano did not return after sustaining a neck injury in the first quarter.
Bengals: prime-time matchup at Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 30.
Bills: host New England Patriots on Sept. 29.
Baltimore Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst had one reception for 10 yards on two targets in Sunday's Week 7 win against the Seahawks. Hurst has 14 receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown in 2019 and hasn't seen the end zone since Week 2. With Mark Andrews seeing the bulk of Lamar Jackson's targets, Hurst is best left off your bench unless Andrews misses time.
Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards carried the ball 8 times for 35 yards in Sunday's Week 7 win against Seattle. Edwards has 52 rushing attempts for 234 yards but has failed to get into the end zone in 2019. Edwards is the clear handcuff to Mark Ingram with Justice Hill barely getting touches, but he isn't worth a spot in your lineup unless Ingram misses time.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead did not record a catch on his only target and rushed once for two yards in Sunday's Week 7 win against the Seattle Seahawks. Snead has 15 receptions for 223 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. Even with receiver Marquise Brown recovering from an ankle injury, Snead hasn't proven himself to be fantasy relevant at this point in the season. Leave him off your rosters for now.
Baltimore Ravens running back Justice Hill returned two kicks for 21 yards but did not record a carry in Sunday's Week 7 win against the Seahawks. Hill has 18 rushing attempts for 78 yards in 2019 and has been a non-factor in fantasy. In the event that running back Mark Ingram misses time, it will be Gus Edwards who will see the bulk of carries. Keep the rookie off your rosters moving forward.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) is unlikely to suit up for Thursday Night Football against the Washington Redskins in Week 8. The 29-year-old seems to think he is capable of playing, but the Vikings will likely rest their ailing star against a mediocre opponent on a short week. In his absence, rookie Olabisi Johnson will likely serve as the WR2. Johnson, who had 40 yards and a touchdown in Week 7, is a viable streaming option for fantasy managers that are desperate for a receiver in Week 8.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller is expected to miss several weeks with a significant hamstring strain, per Ian Rapoport. Fuller suffered the injury against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7. With Fuller sidelined, Kenny Stills becomes a must-add asset in almost all formats. The 27-year-old produced 105 yards on four catches against the Colts after Fuller exited the game. Stills can be considered a mid-tier WR3 against the Oakland Raiders in Week 8.
Seattle Seahawks S Bradley McDougald (back) sat out of practice all week after suffering from back spasms and was unable to play in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, but head coach Pete Carroll told reporters during his postgame press conference that he believes McDougald will be able to make it back for Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen only hauled in 4-of-11 targets for 61 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Despite having a positive pass-catching game script, Allen and Philip Rivers failed to connect on several deep balls. Luckily, due to the Chargers' uninspiring defensive unit, the game script is almost always positive for the passing attack. Allen remains a mid-tier WR1 against the Chicago Bears in Week 8.
Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints CB Eli Apple (knee) likely suffered a hyperextended knee late in the team's Week 7 game versus the Chicago Bears, although more tests are scheduled to determine the extent of his injury Monday, Oct. 21.
Updating previous reports, Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss 'several weeks' after suffering 'a rather significant hamstring pull,' according to a source via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller hasn't come close to playing a full season in four years in the NFL, so fantasy owners can't exactly be shocked by this development. While the Texans will miss his ability to stretch the field, Fuller's lack of durability was probably one of the biggest reasons Houston made sure to land Kenny Stills in the Laremy Tunsil trade this summer. Stills should be able to fill in nicely and serve as a high-upside WR3 for however long Fuller is sidelined.
Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins S Montae Nicholson (ankle) was seen walking around in a boot Monday, Oct. 21, after injuring his right ankle in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Free-agent CB Kayvon Webster (Saints) worked out for the New Orleans Saints on Monday, Oct. 21.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry caught six passes for 97 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. The 24-year-old has seen 17 targets over his past two games. Now fully healthy, Henry is unquestionably a top-tier tight end for the remainder of the season. He has a tougher matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 8, but he is still an undisputed TE1 for the contest.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert pulled in just two receptions for 10 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. The veteran has been a huge fantasy disappointment this season, and with rumblings of a trade before the deadline, Eifert's days in Cincy may be over soon. He has the potential to produce, and if you're able, he is worth a stash in deeper formats, at least for now.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt (abdomen) has been cleared by the NFL to rejoin the team and begin practicing with them Monday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: Hunt has been sidelined all season recovering from sports hernia surgery and serving an eight-game suspension for domestic abuse for an incident that occurred during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. The former rushing champion is not eligible to return to game action until Week 10, so Nick Chubb will serve as a team's featured back for at least two more weeks. It's expected Hunt will serve as the change-of-pace back when he returns.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler only produced seven rushing yards on five carries in Week 7, but he salvaged the day by catching seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Melvin Gordon had 16 carries in the contest despite being outplayed by Ekeler, but the Chargers continue to let Gordon dominate the ground game. Nevertheless, Ekeler's ability as a receiver continues to give him value as a fantasy asset. He is an above-average flex option against the dominant Chicago Bears' defense in Week 8.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate finished with three catches (six targets) for 65 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. After getting 11 looks from quarterback Andy Dalton against the Ravens in Week 6, Tate's production was yielded by Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight receptions for 137 yards on the day. With A.J. Green (ankle) expected to return soon, Tate will likely be relegated to backing up Green and Tyler Boyd moving forward. Keep an eye on Green's status for Week 8 and plan accordingly.
Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, Oct. 21, but he faces the 'real possibility' of not playing in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.
Fantasy Spin: While everyone around the team believes the injury is not serious, the Vikings play on Thursday, making it an almost impossible turnaround for Thielen. In theory, Minnesota should not need him against the Redskins, but the Vikings' passing attack is not so deep and talented that it can just assume it will thrive without Kirk Cousins' favorite receiver. If Thielen sits, it will be the first game he's missed in his NFL career. Fantasy owners should feel free to bump up Stefon Diggs in their weekly rankings as well.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon produced 32 yards on 16 carries during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. While he caught a one-yard touchdown pass, he also lost a fumble at the goal line in the final seconds of the game to drop the Chargers to 2-4 on the season. The 26-year-old continues to be outplayed by Austin Ekeler, but Gordon continues to get the majority of the touches. As long as he remains the workhorse in the offense, he is a worthy RB2 in fantasy formats. Unfortunately, he has a tough matchup in Week 8 against the daunting Chicago Bears Defense, which likely makes him a flex play at best.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd finished with five receptions for 55 yards against Jacksonville on Sunday. With 14 targets on the day, which was tied with Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight catches for 137 yards, Boyd wasn't able to get anything going against a Jaguars Defense that was all over quarterback Andy Dalton. A.J. Green (ankle) is expected to return within the next week or so, and while it may decrease Boyd's looks, Green's presence back in the lineup may open things up for 24-year-old moving forward.