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Packers ride Rodgers' hot start to 21-16 win over Vikings

Sun Sep 15 5:31pm ET
By KEITH JENKINS
AP Sports Writer

Players: Aaron Rodgers, Dan Bailey, Kirk Cousins, Davante Adams, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Geronimo Allison, Dalvin Cook

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers throws as he's hit by Minnesota Vikings' Everson Griffen during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers celebrates after an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 21-16. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Minnesota Vikings' Trae Waynes breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Minnesota Vikings' Anthony Harris stops Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones after a first down run during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 21-16. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Minnesota Vikings' Kirk Cousins runs past Green Bay Packers' Kenny Clark during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


Green Bay Packers' Kevin King intercepts a pass intended for Minnesota Vikings' Stefon Diggs during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Minnesota Vikings' Trae Waynes breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers threw two early touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers held on for a 21-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

On a day when the Packers honored late Hall of Famer Bart Starr at halftime, Rodgers put on quite a show - particularly early. Rodgers completed nine of his first 10 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and had a perfect 158.3 rating through the first quarter. He finished 22 of 34 for 209 yards.

The Packers improved to 2-0 under new coach Matt LaFleur after opening the NFL's 100th season with a victory at rival Chicago. They also beat the Vikings (1-1) for the fifth time in the past seven games at Lambeau Field.

Kevin King intercepted Cousins late in the end zone to preserve the win.

Minnesota's Dalvin Cook had a career-high 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. It was the third-year back's second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing.

After throwing the ball just 10 times in the season opener, Kirk Cousins finished 14 of 32 with 230 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

Rodgers and Davante Adams connected on a 39-yard completion on the Packers' first offensive play and LaFleur's offense was off and running. Rodgers found running back Jamaal Williams for a 15-yard touchdown to cap a four-play, 75-yard opening drive.

Minnesota had a chance to answer with at least a field goal, but Dan Bailey missed wide left on a 47-yard attempt with about 9 minutes to go in the opening quarter.

It took Green Bay's offense all of 12 minutes to score more points (14) than it did in the season opener at Chicago (10).

After not seeing a single ball against the Bears, receiver Geronimo Allison gave the Packers a two-score advantage on a 12-yard strike from Rodgers.

Green Bay got the ball right back after defensive lineman Kenny Clark sacked Cousins, forcing a fumble. Dean Lowry recovered the ball and the Packers took over at the Vikings 33.

The Packers took a commanding 21-0 lead with 2 minutes to play in the first half on 2-yard run by Aaron Jones. Green Bay never scored again.

After rushing for 111 yards and two touchdowns in a win last week against the Falcons, Cook broke out for a 75-yard score following a missed tackle by rookie safety Darnell Savage.

Stefan Diggs scored the Vikings' other touchdown with 45-yard grab from Cousins with 9:12 to play in the third.

INJURIES

Packers safety Raven Greene was carted off the field with an ankle injury following the first play of the second half. He did not return.

STARR CELEBRATION

The Packers honored Starr during a celebration that included a video tribute, words from Starr's wife, Cherry, and an appearance by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Starr, who died in May at 85, was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls and won the league MVP award in 1966 with the Packers. Starr has the highest postseason passer rating (104.8) of any QB in NFL history and a postseason record of 9-1. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Packers Hall of Fame in 1977.

NEXT UP

Vikings: Host Raiders on Sept. 22.

Packers: Host Broncos on Sept. 22.

Player Notes
San Francisco 49ers Oct 18 1:00am ET

The San Francisco 49ers Defense should continue their dominant run in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. Entering the contest as the second-best defense by DVOA, the Niners should wreak havoc against quarterback Case Keenum and the woeful Skins. Operating as heavy favorites, the defense should steer Washington away from its stagnant run game and put constant pressure on an offensive line thats allowed 15 sacks. Facing one of the sloppier teams in the NFL, the 49ers make for a premium defensive unit this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Oct 18 12:50am ET

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo enters Week 7 against the Washington Redskins with seven turnovers through five games (five picks, two fumbles). While he draws a cake matchup against the one-win Skins, Garoppolo is just an upside QB2 facing a weak pass defense. To climb the ranks of fantasy relevance, Garoppolo needs to stop committing mistakes and opposing teams must force the Niners away from their dominant rushing attack. That probably wont happen in Week 7 with the 49ers heavy favorites. While the run-heavy game plan partially offsets the juicy matchup, Garoppolo could finish the week a top-15 quarterback.

From RotoBaller

Demarcus Robinson Oct 18 12:40am ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson was able to haul in a few receptions after a dud last week. Robinson didn't catch anything in the loss to the Colts during Week 6, but got back on the board in this one. He caught three of his five targets for 31 yards in the Week 7 victory over the Broncos. However, losing quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) is a big concern for the Chiefs offense. Robinson would only be a desperation flex option with veteran Matt Moore at quarterback in Week 8. Fantasy owners will have to wait and see what happens with Mahomes.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Oct 18 12:40am ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce continues to remain a strong and reliable fantasy option each and every week. He caught six of his eight targets for 44 yards in the Week 7 win over Denver. Kelce only has one touchdown this season, but continues to see a high volume of targets. It's unclear if quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) will suit up in Week 8 versus the Packers. However, Kelce is probably the only player on the Chiefs' offense that shouldn't lose value with Matt Moore at quarterback. Fantasy owners should continue to trust Kelce as a top five tight end.

From RotoBaller

Tyreek Hill Oct 18 12:30am ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was having a slow game in the Thursday night matchup versus the Broncos, until one play changed it all. Hill caught a 57-yard touchdown from quarterback Matt Moore late in the third quarter. He finished with three receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown in the Week 7 victory. Patrick Mahomes (knee) going down will hurt the Chiefs offense, assuming he misses time. Hill would be downgraded to a high-end WR2 for Week 8, assuming Mahomes sits out at least one week.

From RotoBaller

Mecole Hardman Oct 18 12:30am ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman was able to save his fantasy value with a touchdown in the Week 7 victory over the Denver Broncos. He caught two of his three targets for 28 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) going down did hurt the Chiefs offense a bit in this one. However, losing Mahomes for multiple games could kill Hardman's fantasy value. Veteran Matt Moore didn't look his way often after he replaced Mahomes in the second quarter. Hardman would have some shaky flex value, assuming Mahomes misses Week 8 versus the Packers.

From RotoBaller

Damien Williams Oct 18 12:20am ET

Kansas City Chiefs running game Damien Williams has been basically a ghost on the field since Week 2. He finished with six total rushing yards during Week 6, but manages to have a worse fantasy game the following week. Williams rushed nine times for seven yards in the Week 7 victory over the Broncos. Williams got negative yards in the passing game, so he can't even be trusted there. Fantasy owners in standard leagues should probably be benching Williams at this point. He'll have low-end flex appeal versus the Green Bay Packers in Week 8. LeSean McCoy is looking like the better running back in KC right now.

From RotoBaller

Matt Moore Oct 18 12:10am ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Moore played surprisingly well after being thrown into the fire during Thursday's Week 7 matchup versus the Denver Broncos. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) exited in the second quarter after suffering a right knee injury. The veteran Moore was asked to take over and run the offense for the rest of the game. Moore completed 10 of 19 passing attempts for 117 yards and one touchdown in the victory. It's unclear if Mahomes is going to miss time yet, but Moore could carry some fantasy value, assuming Mahomes is out at least one week. Moore might have limited fantasy value for QB needy fantasy teams since he's surrounded by such a great offense. Don't expect him to light it up like Mahomes, but Moore looked decent on Thursday.

From RotoBaller

LeSean McCoy Oct 18 12:10am ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy was strong in the running game for the team during their Week 7 victory over the Denver Broncos. McCoy rushed 12 times for 64 yards and caught two passes through the air for 12 extra yards on Thursday. McCoy has been clearly rushing better than lead back Damien Williams over the last few weeks. The Chiefs seem to be leaning more on McCoy than Williams at this point in the season. However, losing quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) could hurt the offense, assuming he misses time. McCoy is on the radar as a flex option for Week 8 versus the Packers.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Oct 18 12:00am ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) was playing well in Thursday's Week 7 matchup against the Denver Broncos. He completed 10 of 11 passing attempts for 76 yards and a touchdown. However, Mahomes was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after suffering a right knee injury. Mahomes was able to walk into the locker room under his own power, so that's a good sign. He reportedly avoided a fracture, but it's unclear if there is any ligament damage. More information should be known in a day or two. Fantasy owners will just have to wait and hope for the best.

From RotoBaller

George Kittle Oct 17 10:20pm ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (groin) was limited in practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. Kittle is perfectly fine to play in Week 7 against the Redskins. Against one of the weaker defenses in the NFL in Washington, Kittle is an easy top-three fantasy tight end this weekend, although the Niners probably won't have to throw a ton to win this game easily.

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Deebo Samuel Oct 17 10:20pm ET

San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) and running back Raheem Mostert (knee) both missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Samuel and Mostert are on the wrong side of questionable to play in Week 7 against the Redskins. On a run-first team, Samuel just hasn't seen enough targets to be fantasy relevant in most redraft leagues in his rookie season. If he sits, it's good news for Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis. Mostert's fantasy value took a huge hit once Tevin Coleman came back from his injury two weeks ago. He belongs on the waiver wire unless you own one of Coleman or Matt Breida.

From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Oct 17 10:10pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) was limited in practice on Thursday. Thomas should be fine to play on Monday night against the Patriots. The 31-year-old is a little bit more attractive to fantasy owners with quarterback Sam Darnold back under center. Thomas has eight catches for 109 scoreless yards the last two weeks, but he's still third on the receiving depth chart behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. The Jets have a tough matchup in the Patriots on Monday night, making Thomas more of a WR5 in fantasy.

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Tyler Eifert Oct 17 10:10pm ET

The New Orleans Saints are doing their due diligence in making phone calls to see what's available on the trade market. Wide receiver and tight end seem to be the most likely options for them on the trade market, and they could be targeting Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert now that he is fully healthy. The Saints already have Jared Cook at tight end, but they could utilize more two-tight end sets if they were to acquire Eifert, especially since they don't have a ton of receiver depth behind Michael Thomas. In a bad Cincy offense this year, Eifert has just 15 receptions (22 targets) for 108 yards and one touchdown. He'd be more attractive in New Orleans in the second half of the season, but he wouldn't be guaranteed to be a TE1 with Cook also in the fold.

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Parris Campbell Oct 17 10:00pm ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron (illness) and rookie wide receiver Parris Campbell (abdomen) both missed practice on Thursday. Campbell also missed practice on Wednesday and is on pace to miss his second straight game. He's well off the fantasy radar for now in redraft leagues. Ebron should be fine to play in Week 7 against the Texans, although he's a low-upside, touchdown-dependent TE2 against a Houston defense that has shut down the tight end position in 2019.

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Will Fuller Oct 17 10:00pm ET

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Darren Waller Oct 17 9:50pm ET

Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller (foot) was limited in practice on Thursday after being a full participant on Wednesday. Waller should be fine for Week 7 against the Packers, but his foot injury is worth watching. The first-year Raider should be targeted heavily with wide receiver Tyrell Williams (foot) out for the foreseeable future, but keep in mind that Waller had his worst game in Week 5 with Williams out of the lineup. The Packers have been pretty stingy against opposing wideouts, too, so they'll likely devote attention to slowing Waller down. His expected high target share should give him a high floor, so continue to roll Waller out there as a strong TE1.

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Case Keenum Oct 17 9:50pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson (quadriceps) and quarterback Case Keenum (foot, shoulder) both returned to a full practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. The Redskins were likely just resting their veterans on Wednesday, so expect Peterson and Keenum to be out there in Week 7 against the 49ers. Peterson had 20-plus carries and over 100 yards against the winless Dolphins in Week 6, but he'll have a much tougher time finding holes against San Fran's strong defense this Sunday. He makes for a low-upside RB3/flex. Keenum has a tough challenge ahead and not many weapons to work with. He's an unattractive low-end QB2.

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Patrick Mahomes Oct 17 9:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes(knee) was ruled out of Thursday night's game after suffering a dislocated knee cap on a fourth-and-one sneak attempt. Everybody is still waiting for more information, but being ruled out so quickly is not encouraging for his availability going forward. If you have Mahomes, you may want to plan ahead at quarterback for the foreseeable future. Matt Moore is Kansas City's backup. All of the Chiefs skill players will take a hit with Mahomes likely to miss some time with this injury.

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Eric Tomlinson Oct 17 9:23pm ET

New England Patriots TE Eric Tomlinson's role within the offense is still being determined, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

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