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Old guys rule: Belichick, Carroll meet as Pats visit Hawks

Thu Sep 17 6:13pm ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wears a patch honoring Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard on his visor in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. Pollard became the first African American head coach in the American Professional Football Association, renamed the National Football League, in 1921 for the Akron Pros. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, center, speaks to quarterback Cam Newton on the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. At left is head coach Bill Belichick. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


SEATTLE (AP) When Bill Belichick replaced Pete Carroll as head coach in New England 20 years ago, neither could have guessed two decades later they'd be viewed as two of the better coaches during that span.

Yet here they are, leading their teams into Sunday night's matchup between Belichick's Patriots and Carroll's Seattle Seahawks. It's a prime-time showcase featuring two of the league's premier franchises, directed by two of the league's most respected coaches.

''You can't sustain this long and be consistent and win a lot of games for this long unless you got your act together, your game, how you play this game, how it works and all,'' Carroll said.

''Neither one of us are fly-by-night guys. There's a real fundamental connection that we were raised right by the people we grew up under. But I do think also it's a lot easier to stay with it when you win. It's hard if you get your butt kicked week in, week out. Hard to hold onto your jobs and these opportunities.''

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They may be separated by 3,000 miles and have met in the regular season just twice since Carroll returned to the NFL in 2010. But the admiration is obvious for what each has accomplished in their tenures with their current teams.

And while that admiration was clear when their teams met in the Super Bowl nearly six years ago, it seems to have only grown since.

''You're just trying to do a good job in the situation that you're in. The fact that we're still coaching and our paths are still crossing, I guess we've done pretty well or somebody would have replaced us,'' Belichick said. ''I have a ton of respect for all that Pete's accomplished, both at Seattle, USC, and other places in his career as well.''

Sunday's matchup between the 69-year-old Carroll and 68-year-old Belichick will bring together the two oldest coaches currently in the NFL and teams both seeking 2-0 starts after each had impressive debuts in Week 1. Seattle rode the arm of Russell Wilson in one of his best career games, throwing for 322 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-25 romp over Atlanta.

New England leaned on the legs of Cam Newton and a refreshed run game in a 21-11 win over Miami.

''Everybody's talking about me and Cam. I'm thinking about coach Carroll and coach Belichick,'' Wilson said. ''Two of the oldest guys in the game 69 and 68. That's the interesting matchup here.''

MR. ADAMS

Jamal Adams was the best defensive player on the field in Week 1 for Seattle. In his debut with the Seahawks, Adams had a team-high 12 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. He was a disruptive force and managed to take some stress off middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.

The Patriots have seen plenty of Adams in recent seasons when he was with the New York Jets before his trade to Seattle.

''He kind of controls the middle of the field,'' Belichick said.

MIXING IT UP

It was no secret the Patriots would run the ball more from the quarterback position this season with Newton taking over for Tom Brady.

That was the case in their Week 1 win over Miami as Newton racked up 15 carries and a team-high 75 yards rushing. But offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels hinted the Patriots could vary their game plan against a Seahawks defense that presents a much different look.

''I know we did some things that we really haven't done much of around here for a long time, or maybe ever,'' McDaniels said. ''We're going to be in the same boat that we always are, which is we try to adjust appropriately, (and) change week to week based on what we think gives us the best chance to have success.''

KICKING IT

Patriots kicker Nick Folk wasn't perfect in Week 1, but he'll keep the job for now.

Neither Folk nor Justin Rohrwasser, a fifth-round draft pick in April's draft, began last week on the active roster after competing for the job in training camp. Instead, both spent the week on the practice squad before Folk was called up before the opener.

He went 3 for 3 on extra points in the win over the Dolphins, but also badly missed a 45-yard field goal attempt. He was sent back down to the practice squad after the game but signed to the active roster Wednesday.

New England is trying to bring some stability to the position after using three different kickers last season following Stephen Gostkowski's season-ending hip injury.

SOUND OF SILENCE

One of the loudest venues in the NFL will be silent for Seattle's home opener. No fans will be allowed in CenturyLink Field for at least the first three home games for the Seahawks. For a fan base that in the past has created seismic activity inside the stadium, it's a significant absence for the home team.

HEAVY HEART

For the second time in his career, Belichick will be coaching a football game just days after the death of a parent.

Belichick's mother, Jeannette Belichick, died Monday of natural causes in Annapolis, Maryland. His father, Steve Belichick, died in 2005 two days before New England hosted New Orleans. The Patriots won that game, 24-17.

Player Notes
Derek Carr Oct 30 1:30pm ET

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (ankle) was limited in practice on Friday, but head coach Kevin Stefanski expects Garrett to play in Week 8 against the Raiders. Garrett had another two sacks in the Week 7 win over the Bengals and now leads the NFL with nine sacks and four forced fumbles through seven weeks. He's also accumulated 22 combined tackles (19 solo), five tackles for loss, 13 QB hits and two fumble recoveries. The 24-year-old is a must-start IDP option at his position and should be available for fantasy managers this Sunday. His presence on the field will make things difficult for Las Vegas' offensive line and quarterback Derek Carr.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Oct 30 1:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy isn't ready to completely rule out quarterback Andy Dalton (concussion) for Week 8 against the Eagles, but owner Jerry Jones said that Dalton "should be ready to go next week" against the Steelers. Rookie Ben DiNucci has taken all the first-team repetitions in practice this week and is in line to make his first career start after going 2-for-3 for 39 yards in relief of Dalton in Week 7. Dalton would need to practice on Saturday to have a chance at playing this Sunday, but that's a long shot at this point since he's still in the concussion protocol. Garrett Gilbert would serve as DiNucci's backup if Dalton is inactive. DiNucci shouldn't be considered anything more than a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Yannick Ngakoue Oct 30 12:20pm ET

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Todd Davis is being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive on Friday. Davis is being quarantined but the Vikings Week 8 game against the Packers remains on schedule for this Sunday. It's more bad news for a Vikings Defense that has really fallen apart in 2020. They already traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens and rank 22nd in the league with 13 sacks through seven weeks of the season. Fantasy-wise, Minnesota ranks 29th in the NFL in overall fantasy points, which means they should continue to sit on the waiver wire this weekend against the high-scoring Packers attack.

From RotoBaller

Braxton Berrios Oct 30 11:40am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios could be headed towards a big game with the team banged up heading into their Week 8 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. Both Jamison Crowder (groin) and Breshad Perriman (head) are considered questionable for Sunday's matchup. That means, Berrios could be in line for the start and plenty of targets here. He saw seven targets against the Buffalo Bills last week, but hauled in four of them for 35 yards in the loss. Berrios could see a heavy volume of targets this week, but he still remains a desperation deep league option.

From RotoBaller

Chris Carson Oct 30 11:30am ET

The Seattle Seahawks plan to sign running back Alex Collins to their practice squad next week, according to sources. Collins flew in to Seattle on Thursday to start his COVID-19 testing. The 26-year-old was a fifth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2016, but he played just one season for them before landing with the Ravens for two years. He hasn't played in an NFL game since 2018 with Baltimore, however, when he was released following a car accident. Collins averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in his final season with the Ravens and lost his job at the time to Gus Edwards. Seattle is hurting at the position with Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde and Travis Homer all banged up, so Collins will provide some much-needed depth. He can be ignored for fantasy purposes for now.

From RotoBaller

Denzel Mims Oct 30 11:30am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims made his NFL debut against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7. He finished with four receptions on seven targets for 42 yards in the loss. A decent outing for Mims, considering the Jets offensive unit is horrendous. It appears that the Jets want to get Mims heavily involved in the gameplan. His fantasy value is trending up with Jamison Crowder (groin) unlikely to suit up for the Week 8 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mims could make for an interesting PPR streaming option this week.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Oct 30 11:20am ET

X-rays on Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (ankle) came back negative after he was knocked out of the Thursday night win over the Panthers in the second quarter, according to sources informed of the situation. Ridley will undergo an MRI exam to determine if he can return in Week 9 against the Broncos, and the good news is that Atlanta will have extra rest before that contest next Sunday. However, with a bye coming in Week 10, it's possible that the team plays it safe and holds Ridley out. He had three catches for 42 yards before leaving on Thursday and has 43 receptions for 657 yards and six touchdowns in eight games this year. Whenever Ridley is ready to play again, he needs to be in all fantasy lineups.

From RotoBaller

Breshad Perriman Oct 30 11:20am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman (head) entered the league's concussion protocol earlier this week. It's uncertain if Perriman will be cleared in time for the Week 8 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. He hauled in both of his targets for 27 yards last week versus the Buffalo Bills. Perriman has only finished with 30 receiving yards or more in a game once this season. The Jets offensive unit cannot be trusted besides Jamison Crowder. Fantasy owners should consider Perriman a desperation deep league option here.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Oct 30 11:20am ET

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (knee) tweaked his knee in practice on Thursday and underwent an MRI exam. His injury is considered to be minor, but his status for Week 8 against the Bills isn't clear. Losing the 30-year-old All-Pro shutdown cornerback would be a big loss this Sunday against the division-rival Bills and gunslinger quarterback Josh Allen. On the flip side, it would be a boost to the fantasy value of Bills No. 1 receiver Stefon Diggs, who would carry WR1 upside. The Patriots Defense is a streaming option for fantasy managers in a bind this week, but they certainly won't have as much upside if Gilmore cannot play.

From RotoBaller

Ben DiNucci Oct 30 11:10am ET

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said that quarterback Andy Dalton (concussion) remains in the NFL's concussion protocol and that the team is preparing rookie Ben DiNucci to start in Week 8 against the Eagles. A final decision will be made on Saturday. "He's a confident young man. He has a lot of tools to work with," McCarthy said about DiNucci. Dalton is a long shot at this point to play against the division-rival Eagles, so DiNucci looks set to make his first career NFL start. He should be considered a desperation low-end QB2 for superflex leagues, while receivers Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup need to be downgraded even against Philly's shaky secondary. The Eagles Defense will be a strong streaming option Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Oct 30 11:10am ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (foot) is missing practice again on Friday, making it likely that Giovani Bernard will be starting for the second straight week on Sunday against the Titans. Mixon didn't play in Week 7 and hasn't practiced at all this week, so things are looking grim for him suiting up this weekend. Bernard carried the ball a season-high 13 times for 37 yards in the Week 7 loss to the Browns, adding five catches for another 59 yards and his second touchdown of the season. He should see most of the backfield touches once again if Mixon is inactive, which will make him an RB2 against a Tennessee defense allowing the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Oct 30 11:00am ET

The Baltimore Ravens signed All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley to a five-year contract extension on Friday. It comes after the team recently signed cornerback Marlon Humphrey to a long-term deal, showing that they are committed to keeping their young talent on the roster for the long haul. Stanley has been a key asset for Baltimore's offensive line ever since he was taken sixth overall in the 2016 draft. The 26-year-old earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2019. The deal is for $98.75 million and carries $70.9 million in guarantees and locks in Stanley as quarterback Lamar Jackson's blind-side protector for years to come.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Oct 30 8:33am ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (foot) had X-rays on his injured foot, which were negative. He'll have an MRI to determine his fate for the next few weeks.

Fantasy Spin: Ridley will have about 10 days to heal up before Week 9, and the team has a Week 10 bye. He has been one of the few bright spots on the struggling team and remains a WR1.

From TheHuddle

Julian Edelman Oct 30 8:33am ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee) is likely headed to the Reserve/Injured list after having surgery to clean up his knee.

Fantasy Spin: Ian Rapoport also went as far to say that Edelman's knee was a bone-on-bone situation, which spells doom for a football player. You can stash Edelman on an IR spot for now in hopes of getting something from him in the stretch run, but this was a grim report for a gritty player.

From TheHuddle

Curtis Samuel Oct 30 2:43am ET

Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel caught four passes for 31 yards and a touchdown during the team's Week 8 game against the Atlanta Falcons. Samuel also carried the ball three times for 23 yards and a score.

Fantasy Spin: Samuel scored both of Carolina's touchdowns on Thursday night, one on a run up the middle and the other on a flea flicker. The fourth-year pro is a valuable do-it-all option for the Panthers offense, but gadget guys are tough to count on from one week to the next. Still, Samuel should be able to offer value as a flex most weeks.

From TheHuddle

Robby Anderson Oct 30 2:33am ET

Carolina Panthers WR Robby Anderson caught five passes for 48 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 29. Anderson was targeted eight times.

Fantasy Spin: Anderson led the way in targets and receptions but most of his work was underneath as, outside of a 27-yard grab, his four catches covered just 21 yards. Atlanta simply refused to let Carolina's WRs get over the top and seemed to be a step ahead of the Panthers protection schemes all night long. Nobody delivers every week at the receiver position, but Anderson remains a steady WR2 going forward.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Moore Oct 30 2:23am ET

Carolina Panthers WR D.J. Moore caught two passes for 55 yards against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8. He was targeted six times.

Fantasy Spin: Moore hauled in a 42-yard jump ball on Carolina's final drive to salvage a little respectability from a game where he was otherwise a complete nonfactor. You can blame some of it on the elements, but the offensive line didn't help matters either as Teddy Bridgewater seemed to be constantly under pressure. Keep Moore in your lineup in Week 9 and hope for a better performance.

From TheHuddle

Mike Davis Oct 30 2:13am ET

Carolina Panthers RB Mike Davis had 13 carries for 66 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 29. Davis also caught one pass for 11 yards.

Fantasy Spin: Davis looked physical against the Falcons Thursday night in what's likely to be his last start since Christian McCaffrey is expected to return in Week 9. While that should be the end of Davis' immediate value he's proven to be a quality handcuff for all Run CMC owners. A disclaimer: don't drop Davis until it's confirmed that McCaffrey will play against the Chiefs. Setbacks happen.

From TheHuddle

Teddy Bridgewater Oct 30 1:53am ET

Carolina Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater (neck) completed 15 of his 23 passes for 176 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 29. He also ran five times for 30 yards.

Fantasy Spin: Even before exiting the game temporarily following a nasty hit to the head, Bridgewater wasn't getting much done, settling for a steady diet of shallow crossing routes amid surprising pressure from the Falcons. Entering the final drive he'd barely topped the century mark in passing yards and his final throw was a terrible interception that had zero chance to be completed. It'll be interesting to see if the offense adjusts significantly following the expected return of Christian McCaffrey in Week 9.

From TheHuddle

Brian Hill Oct 30 1:33am ET

Atlanta Falcons RB Brian Hill had 11 carries for 55 yards against the Carolina Panthers in Week 8. He also caught two passes for nine yards.

Fantasy Spin: Thursday represented the second time in three games that Hill has hit double digits in carries, and he's averaging a respectable 46 total yards per game over the last month. That's not enough to give him standalone value most weeks, but given Todd Gurley's workload and injury history Hill is certainly someone you could feel good about stashing on your bench.

From TheHuddle