Sun Sep 22 8:11pm ET
By DAVID BRANDT
AP Sports Writer
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) breaks free for a 76-yard touchdown run as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy (33) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera yells during the first half of an NFL football game agains the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Kyle Allen threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns in place of the injured Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey ran for a 76-yard touchdown, and the Carolina Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals 38-20 on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Allen was outstanding in his second career start, making several big throws - even when there was tight coverage. He was 19 of 26, including two touchdowns to Greg Olsen and one each to Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore.
McCaffrey had 24 carries for 153 yards, including the 76-yard score, which came in the third quarter when he darted straight through the middle of Arizona's defense.
Newton was ruled out by the Panthers earlier this week because of a mid-foot sprain. The Panthers were confident Allen would be an adequate replacement and Sunday's performance was validation.
Allen outplayed Arizona's Kyler Murray, who was his former college teammate at Texas A&M. Murray also had some good moments, especially early, including a few long runs and a couple of short touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson.
But Murray's costly interception late in the third quarter helped the Panthers (1-2) pull away for their first win. He finished 30 of 43 passing for 173 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for 69 yards.
Murray was sacked eight times by Carolina's defense, which improved as the game progressed.
The Allen vs. Murray quarterback matchup was intriguing since they were college teammates 2015. The highly rated recruits split time under center before both eventually transferred. Murray went on to win the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma.
Allen - who was playing near his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona - looked comfortable from the moment he stepped on the field. His only other start last season was also a win, but that one came with a bit of an asterisk. The Panthers won in Week 17 against a New Orleans team that was already looking toward the playoffs.
This time, both teams were desperate for a win and Allen delivered.
He was 13 of 18 passing for 173 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, including a 52-yard score to Moore, which pushed the Panthers ahead 14-10 just before halftime.
The Cardinals (0-2-1) went ahead 17-14 in the third quarter on Murray's 3-yard pass to Johnson, but the Panthers responded with Allen's 3-yard touchdown to Olsen.
Carolina pulled away in the second half when McCaffrey ran straight up the middle for his long touchdown and a 28-20 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Murray was picked off by Donte Jackson and the Panthers took advantage of the short field when Allen hit Olsen for another touchdown and a 35-20 lead.
JONES BIG AGAIN
For the second time in three games, Arizona's Chandler Jones forced a fumble and then recovered it.
Carolina was easily driving downfield in the first quarter before Jones sacked Allen, stripped the ball and recovered it on the Arizona 26.
Jones' 43 sacks since joining the Cardinals in 2016 are the most for any NFL player over that span.
TIGHT END TROUBLE
An opposing tight end had another big game against Arizona's defense. Olsen finished with six catches for 75 yards and the two scores.
Detroit's T.J. Hockenson had six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Baltimore's Mark Andrews had eight catches for 112 yards and a touchdown last weekend.
Panthers: Carolina travels to Houston to face the Texans.
Cardinals: Arizona hosts the Seahawks on Sunday for its third home game in four weeks.
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who will make his debut with the team in Week 7 against the Falcons, promised the Rams that he won't hold out next season in the last year of his contract even if the two sides don't agree to a long-term deal this offseason, according to league sources. However, all bets are off if Los Angeles uses the franchise tag on the All-Pro cornerback in the winter of 2021. The Rams sent two first-round picks to Jacksonville for Ramsey, so they expect him to immediately bolster their suspect secondary. The Rams would like to sign Ramsey but aren't in a rush and could also trade him if they can't reach a long-term deal. Ramsey's presence in LA's secondary bolsters them no doubt, but they're still a weak streamer this weekend against a strong Falcons offense.
Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (hand, thigh) is inactive for Week 7 against the 49ers. You obviously shouldn't come close to trusting Washington's defense in fantasy this year, and having Norman out makes them an even weaker unit this weekend. Norman's absence is good news for San Francisco receiver Marquise Goodwin, but he'll still a shaky flex in fantasy because of a low target share this year and the fact that the 49ers probably won't need to pass all that much in this one.
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (ankle) is active for Week 7 against the Giants, while wide receiver Christian Kirk (ankle) will miss his third straight game. Johnson was expected to play after getting in some practices this week. He should continue to be heavily involved in this improving offense in a great matchup against the Giants. Johnson is a strong RB1 choice. Chase Edmonds will remain a strong handcuff for Johnson owners, but he's a low-end flex as long as Johnson is active. With Kirk out again, Larry Fitzgerald has strong WR2 appeal. You can't really trust rookie Keesean Johnson, Damiere Byrd and Trent Sherfield behind him, though.
Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (ankle, knee) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson should receive plenty of touches this week against the New York Giants and is a must-start option in all leagues.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 7 game.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Zay Jones is a healthy inactive for Week 7 against the Packers. It's a surprise considering Tyrell Williams (foot) is also out, but it appears that Jones just hasn't mastered the offense yet after being acquired from the Bills last week. Also inactive are right tackle Trent Brown (calf) and wide receiver Dwayne Harris (ankle). With both Jones and Williams inactive, the Raiders are thin at the receiver position; expect rookie Hunter Renfrow, Trevor Davis and rookie Keelan Doss to work in three-receiver sets against a solid Green Bay defense. Oakland will lean heavily on running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller.
Green Bay Packers wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) and Geronimo Allison (concussion) are both active for Week 7 against the Raiders after testing themselves in pre-game workouts. It's a bit of surprise that both are inactive, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn't complaining since he'll be without top receiver Davante Adams (toe) for the third straight game. MVS and Allison really haven't done much with Adams out, so they make for low-ceiling flex plays again this weekend, with MVS being the better target. Both receivers being active hurts the value of tight end Jimmy Graham, although he still has TE1 potential in this game. Rodgers remains a low-end QB1 until Adams returns. Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow can now be avoided in DFS.
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (thigh) is officially active for Week 7 against the Falcons after sitting out last week. He's back in the RB2 mix in a good matchup against the Falcons, especially since backup Malcolm Brown (ankle) is inactive. Gurley should have a decent workload in this one, but rookie Darrell Henderson will spell him. As a result, Henderson has some flex appeal in deeper leagues against a Falcons run defense that continues to get beat by running backs.
Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (chest, concussion) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game.
Fantasy Spin: Allison is a risky option since he did not practice much this week. He should still see a solid amount of targets during the game and can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook (shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game.
Fantasy Spin: Westbrook should have a solid role in the passing game and will have a favorable matchup. He can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues.
Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game.
Fantasy Spin: Valdes-Scantling likely will serve as the top option in the passing game for the Packers this week despite the injuries. He can be considered a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.
Buffalo Bills rookie running back Devin Singletary (hamstring) is officially active for Week 7 against the Dolphins. The matchup against Miami is as good as it gets, which immediately puts Singletary on the RB3/flex map in his return to action this weekend. However, his ceiling is still somewhat low as long as he continues to play second fiddle to veteran Frank Gore in this backfield, which is expected to be the case yet again against the Dolphins. Singletary could see more run in the second half if the Bills are up big, though. With the rookie back in the fold, T.J. Yeldon is a healthy scratch.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (shoulder) is officially active for Week 7 against the Bengals. Westbrook tested his shoulder before the game and will give it a go in a great matchup against a Cincinnati team that will be missing their top cornerbacks. D.J. Chark and Westbrook remain quarterback Gardner Minshew's favorite targets in the passing game. Westbrook will be at risk of an in-game setback, but you can leave him in your lineups as a WR3 this weekend with some upside in this particular matchup.
Correcting a previous report, the Cincinnati Bengals have declared WR A.J. Green, DL Carlos Dunlap, OT Cordy Glenn, OG John Miller, CB William Jackson III, CB Dre Kirkpatrick and DE Carl Lawson inactive for Week 7.
Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) and safety Reshad Jones (chest) are both inactive for Week 7 against the Bills. In an already excellent matchup, the Bills passing game just got a boost with Miami's top cornerback being out. It'll mainly impact Buffalo's top wideout John Brown and quarterback Josh Allen, who are both in a good spot to produce big numbers this Sunday. You should obviously stay far away from the Dolphins Defense this year.
The Los Angeles Rams have declared RB Malcolm Brown, OG Jamil Demby, OG Austin Corbett, LB Bryce Hager, DL Greg Gaines, LB Kenny Young and LB Clay Matthews inactive for Week 7.
The Arizona Cardinals have declared LB Ramik Wilson, WR Christian Kirk, C Lamont Gaillard, RB D.J. Foster, DL Zach Allen, DL Michael Dogbe and DB Zeke Turner inactive for Week 7.
The New York Giants have declared CB Corey Ballentine, QB Alex Tanney, TE Garrett Dickerson, WR Sterling Shepard, OG Chad Slade, DE Chris Peace and OL Eric Smith inactive for Week 7.
The Washington Redskins have declared CB Deshazor Everett, CB Josh Norman, SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, TE Vernon Davis, RB Chris Thompson, OG Wes Martin and QB Colt McCoy inactive for Week 7.
The Minnesota Vikings have declared DL Armon Watts, CB Marcus Sherels, LB Ben Gedeon, DE Jalyn Holmes, C Brett Jones, OG Dru Samia and OL Olisaemeka Udoh inactive for Week 7.