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Rams defense plays tough but can't overcome only lapse

Mon Feb 4 3:08am ET
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer

Players: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Sony Michel

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.''

Player Notes
Donte Moncrief Sep 22 12:43pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Donte Moncrief will be inactive for the team's Week 3 game.

Fantasy Spin: It appears like the Steelers will be going with the youthful trio of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson and James Washington as their main receivers. Smith-Schuster is a must-start option, while Washington could be a flex option because of previous work with Mason Rudolph. Fantasy players may want to see Johnson play in a game or two before considering him for their lineups.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Sep 22 12:23pm ET

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) has suffered multiple concussions during his career, and some in the Redskins organization as well as around the NFL are worried that Reed may not be able to play again, according to sources.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see if Reed will be cleared to play again at some point. Vernon Davis will continue to serve as the starting tight end for the Redskins but probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end.

From TheHuddle

Kyle Rudolph Sep 22 12:10pm ET

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has caught 3-of-6 targets for nine receiving yards through two weeks. He has fallen into the touchdown-dependent desperation-play territory as he just isn't seeing enough usage to be fantasy-relevant. The Vikings are big favorites (-9) at home, so it seems likely that Rudolph will be run-blocking much more often than running routes. He is still playing every offensive snap so the chance at a random red zone touchdown is there, but there are higher-upside TE2 options than the unexciting Rudolph.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Goedert Sep 22 12:03pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (calf) is active for Week 3's game against the Detroit Lions.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Sep 22 12:03pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy (ankle) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.

Fantasy Spin: It is not known if McCoy will be in the starting lineup, but he should receive a decent amount of touches against the Baltimore Ravens. He can be considered at least a flex option in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Marlon Mack Sep 22 12:03pm ET

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (calf) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.

Fantasy Spin: Mack will receive most of the carries in the running game despite the injury and has played well in the first two games of the season. He can be a No. 2 running back in all fantasy leagues this week.

From TheHuddle

Jarrad Davis Sep 22 12:03pm ET

Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) is active for Week 3's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

From TheHuddle

T Y Hilton Sep 22 12:03pm ET

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.

Fantasy Spin: Hilton has shown solid chemistry with Jacoby Brissett over the first two weeks and will continue to be the focal point in the passing game. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Damien Harris Sep 22 12:00pm ET

After being a healthy scratch through the first two weeks of the season, New England Patriots rookie running back Damien Harris will make his NFL debut on Sunday with James White (personal) out. Harris isn't likely to see enough snaps to be fantasy relevant this week, but if he looks good in his limited role it could bode well for his chances of cracking the rotation moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Sep 22 11:53am ET

The New York Jets have declared QB Sam Darnold, WR Demaryius Thomas, DE John Franklin-Myers, LB Jordan Jenkins, DT Quinnen Williams, DE Jordan Willis and LB C.J. Mosley inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle

A.J. Green Sep 22 11:53am ET

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared WR A.J. Green, QB Jacob Dolegala, OT Mike Jordan, OT Cordy Glenn, CB B.W. Webb, DT Ryan Glasgow and DL Kerry Wynn inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle

Jake Kumerow Sep 22 11:53am ET

The Green Bay Packers have declared OT Cole Madison, OL Adam Pankey, WR Jake Kumerow, RB Dexter Williams, CB Ka'dar Hollman, DT Montravius Adams and LB Oren Burks inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle

Dwayne Harris Sep 22 11:53am ET

The Oakland Raiders have declared OT David Sharpe, QB DeShone Kizer, WR Dwayne Harris, WR Trevor Davis, DL Corey Liuget, OG Gabe Jackson and WR Ryan Grant inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle

Jimmy Graham Sep 22 11:53am ET

Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (groin) is active for Week 3's game against the Denver Broncos.

From TheHuddle

Alshon Jeffery Sep 22 11:53am ET

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (calf) is not active for Week 3's game against the Detroit Lions.

From TheHuddle

Mark Andrews Sep 22 11:53am ET

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews (foot) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.

Fantasy Spin: Andrews has been a big part of the passing game over the first two games and will continue to receive plenty of targets. He should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Sep 22 11:50am ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy is active for the team's Week 3 meeting with the Baltimore Ravens. With Damien Williams out and rain in the forecast, Shady should see a fairly sizable workload. He should be a low-end RB2 for this matchup, but with the upside to outperform that in this Andy Reid offense. Darwin Thompson will get some snaps at running back but isn't a huge threat to McCoy.

From RotoBaller

Marlon Mack Sep 22 11:50am ET

The Indianapolis Colts will have running back Marlon Mack (calf) and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad) will both play against Atlanta in Week 3. Both players were game-time decisions but will be good to go. Fantasy owners should feel comfortable playing Mack, though he's likely to see fewer snaps than he does most weeks. Hilton, meanwhile, is in an offense that isn't nearly as prolific without quarterback Andrew Luck and should be considered a WR3 most weeks, with the quad injury adding in a good amount of uncertainty this time around.

From RotoBaller

Jonathan Williams Sep 22 11:43am ET

The Indianapolis Colts have declared LB Jabaal Sheard, LB Darius Leonard, OT Le'Raven Clark, DL Jihad Ward, S Marvell Tell, RB Jonathan Williams and TE Hale Hentges inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle

Reshad Jones Sep 22 11:43am ET

The Miami Dolphins have declared WR Albert Wilson, SS Reshad Jones, S Doug Middleton, RB Myles Gaskin, DL Tank Carradine, OG Chris Reed and OT Isaiah Prince inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle