Mon Feb 4 3:08am ET
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
Los Angeles Rams' Cory Littleton (58) intercepts a pass as New England Patriots' Julian Edelman (11) attempts the tackle, during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Los Angeles Rams' Cory Littleton celebrates after his interception against the New England Patriots during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald (99) hits New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay speaks to the media after the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. The Patriots won 13-3. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
New England Patriots' Julian Edelman, center, runs from Los Angeles Rams' Cory Littleton (58) and Dante Fowler (56) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) talks to Los Angeles Rams' Dante Fowler (56), after the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. The Patriots won 13-3. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) passes under pressure form Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald (99) during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
ATLANTA (AP) After keeping Tom Brady out of the end zone for three and a half quarters, the Los Angeles Rams' defense finally blinked.
In this Super Bowl, that one brief lapse was too much to overcome. Even holding the New England Patriots to one field goal until midway through the fourth quarter wasn't good enough.
For the sixth time in his career, Brady found a way to win the Super Bowl. The Rams defense had done enough to win most games, but the Los Angeles offense didn't do its part.
That gave Brady a chance for one touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, and he delivered.
''That's our role, to disrupt the passer and disrupt the running game,'' said Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh following New England's 13-3 win on Sunday night. ''For the most part we did that, but we just didn't close it out. That's on us.''
The low scoring total in any game with the powerful Patriots was a surprise.
''They hardly scored and we were in this game until the end of the fourth quarter,'' said linebacker Cory Littleton. ''We were doing everything just fine and we just made mistakes at the end and they capitalized.''
Littleton helped set the tone for the Rams' strong defensive game with his first-quarter interception after Brady's first pass was deflected.
''We were in a zone defense,'' Littleton said. ''I'm a hustle player. I'm reading the quarterback ... (Nickell) Robey-Coleman makes a great deflection, ball is in the air and I pick it off.''
After being contained most of the game, Brady struck quickly when he suddenly solved the Rams' defense in the decisive fourth-quarter touchdown drive.
Brady completed four straight passes, including 18- and 29-yard strikes to Rob Gronkowski. The last catch set up Sony Michel's 2-yard scoring run. The game's only touchdown left the Rams with a deficit they wouldn't overcome.
''It was a hell of a game,'' said Rams cornerback Marcus Peters. ''We just didn't get it done.''
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was frustrated by Brady's crucial 29-yard pass to Gronkowski.
''I had an opportunity there on a one-on-one,'' Donald said. ''I got off my one-on-one clean. (Brady) was sitting back there and had time to make a good pass. He made a good play.''
The Rams held New England to 13 points despite giving up 407 total yards and 22 first downs.
''I thought our defense did a nice job, but they were able to make some plays here and there,'' said Rams coach Sean McVay, who gave credit to Brady and the Patriots. ''You see why they are a great football team.''
August 5th: ADP Value
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and has a high ceiling without a doubt, especially since he will be catching passes from No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow. Both rookies have built a rapport already as the duo conducted workouts together during the offseason. Higgins finished his final season at Clemson with 59 catches and 13 touchdowns off of 1,167 yards. While he is a risky selection in redraft leagues this season due to his potential limited playing time, he is surely worth a first-round pick in dynasty formats as he will likely rack up plenty of receptions from Burrow for years to come.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has begun catching passes from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow as the team kicks off training camp. The 25-year-old has plenty of hype heading into the 2020 season after racking up over 1,000 yards in his previous two seasons. With A.J. Green seemingly healthy along with the addition of Clemson wideout Tee Higgins, Boyd could see things open up more on the offensive end, while also remaining the team's top pass-catcher.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green went through his first walkthrough under second-year head coach Zac Taylor on Tuesday. The veteran, who recently signed a one-year tender a few weeks ago, missed all of 2019 after injuring his ankle during training camp. While consistent ailments have been the theme for the 32-year-old over the past seasons, there is no denying his ability when healthy. He is no longer considered an elite wideout, however, he is worth a mid-round pick for those looking for an option with an enormous upside.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is still without a new deal as the team heads toward the 2020 season. However, according to director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, the organization views the 24-year-old as a "cornerstone piece of the franchise." Mixon is looking for a contract that would pay him north of $8 million per year, a significant increase from the $1.2 million that he is expected to earn in the final year of his rookie deal. The former Sooner is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and is projected by many to be a fantasy breakout by year's end.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was quick to respond to Ed Werder's Twitter post regarding a potentially reduced role for the former rushing champ, quipping "we all gonna eat." Though Elliott is a shoo-in, first-round pick in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign, many still wonder how he will co-exist on an offense that has plenty of mouths to feed, notably Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and 17th overall pick, CeeDee Lamb. Elliott finished 2019 as a top-five back in the majority of formats. Under new head coach Mike McCarthy, who has overseen some productive runners throughout his career, the 25-year-old could be in store for another productive year.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas broke the single-season receptions record last year by racking up 149 catches, surpassing Marvin Harrison's 2002 mark of 143. While that accomplishment would be good enough for most throughout the league, the 27-year-old is aiming to exceed his 2019 total heading into the 2020 campaign. Thomas convincingly dominated the fantasy picture last season, and in addition to his catch total, he also accumulated over 1,700 yards while finishing fifth in yards after the catch. He is expected to finish as the top fantasy wideout this season, and will likely get snagged off the draft board within the top three picks, especially in PPR formats.
Updating a previous story, San Francisco 49ers WR Travis Benjamin was officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Updating a previous story, Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson was officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Miami Dolphins DT Davon Godchaux was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Atlanta Falcons DT Tyeler Davison was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5. LB Ahmad Thomas was released.
Cleveland Browns TE Austin Hooper lived part of the summer with QB Baker Mayfield while the two worked out together.
Fantasy Spin: It certainly could help Hooper to at least be somewhat familiar with his new QB despite all the lost reps from canceled offseason programs following his signing as a free agent. Hooper is expected to be the No. 1 tight end over David Njoku and should be drafted as a top-tier option at his thin position.
Tennessee Titans LB Jayon Brown (undisclosed) passed his physical Wednesday, Aug. 5, and was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs restructured his contract Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to a source. He'll receive an extra $3.3 million in 2020, an extra $7.7 million in guaranteed money but a decrease of $300,000 cash in 2021 and a drop from $25.55 million to $22.67 million in 2022-23 cash.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB LeSean McCoy probably will have a role in the passing game this season, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Fantasy Spin: It appears like McCoy may be in line for the third down back job, but fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation. McCoy probably would see a handful of touches each games if he makes the roster but may only be a depth option in fantasy leagues.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Bears) signed with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, Aug. 5. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
New York Jets LB Avery Williamson (knee) said he expects to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Jeremy Hill was released Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was called "the main guy" in the running back room by his coach Bruce Arians. Arians said he is confident in Jones II and that the other guys are fighting for roles. The other guys include third-round draft pick Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who will lose valuable practice time after he hit the COVID-19 list, and veteran running back LeSean McCoy, who won't challenge for a lead back role at this point in his career. Jones II looks the part after an offseason spent bulking up and catching hundreds of passes to address a weakness in his game. The 23-year-old has RB2 upside in the 7th round but it's likely that Vaughn and McCoy cut into his ceiling in 2020, despite what Arians said.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Bears) is expected to sign with the Arizona Cardinals as long as he passes a physical and tests negative for COVID-19, according to a source.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones will be the main ball carrier for the Buccaneers this season, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Fantasy Spin: Jones rushed for 724 yards and six touchdowns last season and should improve those stats with more playing time and touches. He will be a part of one of the better offenses in the NFL and can be considered a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues.