Guest of the League
Flacco over Brady Est. 2018
FFL: Week 7 | NFL: Week 7

Sherman, 49ers upend Winston, Buccaneers 31-17

1568001834
By FRED GOODALL
AP Sports Writer

Players: Robbie Gould, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jameis Winston, Tevin Coleman, Richie James, Chris Godwin

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) runs out of the pocket against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (12) during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (12) prepares to make a touchdownn catch in the end zone against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)


San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates with his teammates after his touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Richie James (13) runs to the end zone for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers had three touchdowns negated by penalties, turned the ball over twice and didn't a get particularly sharp performance from Jimmy Garoppolo.

That just made beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17 on a hot, humid Sunday in Florida that much sweeter.

''It's fun to win when you can be hard on the guys the next day because there's a lot of stuff on that tape that could have cost us that game in all three phases,'' coach Kyle Shanahan said.

''I was disappointed with that and still to be able to pull out a win says a lot about the guys we've got in there. They kept grinding, and when you do that usually good things happen.''

Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon returned two of a retooled defense's three interceptions of Jameis Winston for touchdowns and Robbie Gould kicked three field goals for the 49ers, who forced four turnovers overall and also deflected an early punt to set up the offense's first scoring drive.

''I'm just happy for our defense, I'm happy for our team. We played sloppy, but it's the first game,'' Sherman said. ''We've got to knock out some of the wrinkles. We've got to find a way to play a more mistake-free football game, myself included. I had a couple penalties that I shouldn't have had. I've got to put myself in better position. It was a decent game for us, but we've got to get better.''

Garoppolo threw for 166 yards and one touchdown in his first game in nearly a year.

''The whole offense was shaky. I think he made a couple good throws but Jimmy, everyone else including myself needs to be a lot more consistent,'' Shanahan said.

''There's some things out there that we missed. Fortunately our defense got us turnovers. It's hard to win when you have two turnovers on offense, but when you get four on the other side, especially when they score on two of them, that makes it a little easier to overcome some sloppy play that we had.''

Winston threw for 194 yards to become Tampa Bay's career passing leader, including a 10-yard scoring pass to Chris Godwin that trimmed a double-digit deficit to 20-14 late in the third quarter. Ultimately, though, the Bucs could not overcome the fifth-year quarterback's mistakes and dropped their debut under coach Bruce Arians, who was lured out of retirement after Tampa Bay finished 5-11 last season and missed the playoffs for the 11th straight year.

''We talked all week about winning the turnover battle, and when it's four to two, it's always going to be tough,'' Arians said. ''But there were some really bright spots and areas that we can build off of and also learn why we're losing instead of winning. That one is pretty easy.''

Garoppolo, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, completed 18 of 27 passes with one interception. His 39-yard pass to Richie James Jr. put the 49ers ahead for good early in the second half.

Despite moving past Vinny Testaverde to become Tampa Bay's career passing leader, Winston has yet to lead the team to the playoffs or prove he's the club's long-term answer at quarterback.

Arians has also worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer as a long-time coach and offensive coordinator, and the Bucs are counting on him to help the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft realize his potential.

This is also a season when the 49ers are counting on Garoppolo to make major strides, too. The 49ers gave the sixth-year pro a $137.5 million, five-year contract after Garoppolo won his first five starts for San Francisco in 2017. He didn't look nearly as good early last season, when he completed less than 60 percent of his passes before suffering a knee injury that sidelined him the final 13 games.

''I think there were some ups and downs, but it's always fun to start the season 1-0,'' Garoppolo said. ''It feels good to just be back. It's been a while since I've been out here with the guys for a full game. It was fun out there today.''

Neither quarterback distinguished himself during a sloppy first half that saw the teams combine for four turnovers and have five touchdowns - three by San Francisco, two by Tampa Bay - nullified because of penalties in a 7-6 game.

The Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves returned an interception 15 yards for the only TD that counted before halftime. Sherman countered for the 49ers, sprinting 31 yards up the sideline with his first interception in eight games to give San Francisco a 20-7 lead a little over three minutes into the third quarter. Witherspoon put the game out of reach with his 25-yard TD return in the closing minutes.

INJURIES

49ers: FS Jimmie Ward (hand) was inactive, replaced in the lineup by Tarvarius Moore. ... RB Tevin Coleman left with an ankle injury and did not return. .... CB K'Waun Williams (dehydration) left in the third quarter.

Buccaneers: DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches left in the second quarter with a hand injury.

EJECTION

San Francisco LB Kwon Alexander was penalized 15 yards and ejected for lowering his head to initiate contact on a hit on Winston late in the first quarter. Winston scrambled for a 5-yard gain and was hit by his former teammate as the quarterback began to slide at the 49ers 45. Alexander was playing his first game since signing with San Francisco as a free agent. He played the first four years of his career with the Bucs.

FREE CONCERT

Fans arriving early to Raymond James Stadium were entertained by country music star Tim McGraw. The concert in 90-degree heat began more than two hours before kickoff. McGraw also performed an encore at halftime.

UP NEXT

49ers: at Cincinnati next Sunday. The franchises met twice in Super Bowls in the 1980s, the Niners winning both.

Buccaneers: road opener at Carolina on short rest on Thursday night.

Player Notes
Taylor Gabriel Oct 20 8:30pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel caught only one pass for two yards in the Bears 36-25 loss to the Saints. The score is misleading as the Bears trailed by 26 points late in the game. Gabriel returned to the lineup after missing the Raiders game but was non-existent the entire game. After catching three first-half touchdowns against the Redskins in Week 5, Gabriel's chemistry with quarterback Mitch Trubisky was nowhere to be found. The entire Bears offense will be a shaky fantasy play heading into Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Trey Burton Oct 20 8:30pm ET

Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton caught two passes for 11 yards in the Bears 36-25 loss to the Saints at home. Burton has been a shell of the player that was a top-12 fantasy tight end in 2018 and was targeted only four times in the game. It seems that all of the Bears offensive creativity from last season has completely evaporated. With that has gone Burton's production and the tight end has fallen off the fantasy map. Burton has no fantasy viable heading into Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Dan Bailey Oct 20 8:30pm ET

Minnesota Vikings kicker Dan Bailey missed a 45-yard field goal but went a perfect 6-for-6 on extra-point attempts in Week 7's win over the Detroit Lions. This was Bailey's second missed field goal this season, but he's still hitting 80% of his attempts and nailed his lone 50-yard attempt back in Week 3. Bailey is an attractive option in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins as the Vikings are currently projected to put up 27 points.

From RotoBaller

Chicago Bears Oct 20 8:30pm ET

The Chicago Bears Defense fell apart in the team's disappointing 36-25 loss to the Saints in Week 7. The vaunted unit was once again gashed on the ground, allowing 151 rushing yards. The Bears special teams was able to post a touchdown on a kickoff return but the defense registered only one sack and zero turnovers. The Bears defense is a highly talented unit but the offense can't sustain drives. The time of possession was so out of whack that the Bears defense ran out of gas in the second half. The Bears will try and bounce back next week.

From RotoBaller

Eric Ebron Oct 20 8:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron had four grabs for 70 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against the Houston Texans. His touchdown in the back of the end zone was initially ruled incomplete, but instant review confirmed his score.

Fantasy Spin: Ebron has alternated games with a touchdown in each of his six games. If you believe the pattern will continue, he'll get blanked next week against the Denver Broncos. He remains a solid TE1 in most fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams, although he has been quite inconsistent.

From TheHuddle

Pierre Desir Oct 20 8:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts CB Pierre Desir had seven total tackles with two passes defensed in Week 7 against the Houston Texans.

From TheHuddle

Darius Leonard Oct 20 8:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard registered 10 more tackles with a pass defensed in Week 7 against the Houston Texans.

From TheHuddle

Justin Houston Oct 20 8:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts LB Justin Houston had three total stops with two sacks, two tackles for loss and four quarterback hits in Week 7 against the Houston Texans.

From TheHuddle

David Montgomery Oct 20 8:20pm ET

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery totaled only six rushing yards in the Bears 36-25 drubbing by the Saints in Week 7. Montgomery added two receptions for 13 yards but saw only two carries in the game. The Bears offense was a mess from the jump and the team totaled only seven rushing attempts in the entire game. Montgomery has talent but has struggled to get anything going behind a slumping offensive line. The rookie needs to be downgraded in fantasy heading into Week 8 until the Bears offense can prove it can produce.

From RotoBaller

Robbie Gould Oct 20 8:20pm ET

San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould provided all the scoring in a 9-0 shutout against the Washington Redskins in Week 7. Gould converted three of four field goal tries, all inside the 30-yard line. Kicking with a new crew in 2019, Gould hasnt been as automatic as past years and is now 12-for-19 on the season (63 percent). Gould is still a solid fantasy kicking option.

From RotoBaller

Tarik Cohen Oct 20 8:20pm ET

Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen caught nine passes for only 19 yards in the Bears 36-25 letdown loss against the Saints. Cohen also carried the ball three times for 10 yards in a game that featured a stagnant Bears offense. For three quarters, the Bears couldn't move the ball and Cohen's receptions led to nowhere. The nine catches salvages Cohen's fantasy day in PPR leagues but all of the Bears offensive weapons need to be downgraded heading into Week 8's action.

From RotoBaller

Olabisi Johnson Oct 20 8:20pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Olabisi Johnson caught 4-of-8 targets for 40 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against the Detroit Lions. Johnson was able to take advantage of some increased volume due to an early exit from Adam Thielen (hamstring). The rookie scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard play-action pass in the first quarter and worked in as the Vikings' clear second option in the passing attack with Thielen sidelined. Johnson is worth a look as a bye-week streamer with an opportunity to produce against the burnable Washington Redskins in Week 8, depending on the playing status of Thielen.

From RotoBaller

Anthony Miller Oct 20 8:20pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller caught five passes for 64 yards in the Bears 36-25 loss to the Saints in Week 7. Miller saw nine targets in the game but rarely generated any kind of production until the final two garbage-time drives. The second-year receiver also lost a costly fumble in the first half in a game that was dominated by the Saints. Miller now has back-to-back games of 50-plus receiving yards but the Bears offense is a mess right now. Miller lacks fantasy appeal heading into Week 8.

From RotoBaller

T Y Hilton Oct 20 8:13pm ET

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton registered six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets in Week 7 against the Houston Texans.

Fantasy Spin: Hilton was outshined by Zach Pascal, who had six grabs, 106 yards and two scores, but the two co-existed in this one and did nice things for their fantasy owners. It's a tougher matchup in Week 8 against the Denver Broncos, but Hilton remains a must-start in most fantasy formats.

From TheHuddle

Mitch Trubisky Oct 20 8:10pm ET

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed 34 of 54 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears 36-25 loss to the Saints in Week 7. Practically all of the third-year quarterback's stats came in the final moments after the Bears had fallen behind 36-10. The Bears offense was abysmal for three quarters and Trubisky showed plenty of rust. He was able to salvage his outing from a fantasy perspective but will not be a viable option until he can show sustained accuracy and efficiency.

From RotoBaller

Matt Breida Oct 20 8:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida handled eight totes for 44 yards and added a one-yard grab in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. Discouragingly, Breida was thoroughly out-touched 22-9 by backfield mate Tevin Coleman, who raced for 62 yards of his own. It was an all-around team effort for the Niners in sloppy conditions and they remain undefeated. Breidas become a clear second fiddle to Coleman since the latters return from injury and should be modestly downgraded for fantasy purposes. In a run-heavy offensive scheme, Breida still has the volume to be a weekly RB3/flex option. The Carolina Panthers weak rush defense awaits in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Oct 20 8:10pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson tallied 10 receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown in the Bears 36-25 loss to the Saints in Week 7. Robinson's final fantasy line looks a lot better thanks to two late-game garbage drives for scores. The Bears offense is really struggling right now but the veteran receiver continues to be the only consistent source of production. Despite the Bears offensive woes, Robinson will remain a solid WR2 heading into Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Alexander Mattison Oct 20 8:10pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison carried seven times for 18 yards (2.6 yards per carry) in Week 7's 42-30 win over the Detroit Lions. Mattison took a clear back seat in this one as Dalvin Cook carried 25 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Mattison was also not targeted in the passing game. The rookie back out of Boise State has been productive this season (5.3 yards per carry) but remains more of a high-priority handcuff than a player to consider starting in re-draft formats. However, he could be worth a look as a sneaky RB3 option with higher expected volume in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins' porous run defense.

From RotoBaller

Tevin Coleman Oct 20 8:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman converted 20 carries into 62 yards, also recording two catches for negative one yard in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. Coleman wasnt efficient, but continued dominating touches over backfield mate Matt Breida by a 22-9 margin. Colemans been used as a workhorse since returning from an ankle injury, giving him a solid floor in a run-heavy offense. Hell be a high-end RB2 in Week 8 against a porous Carolina Panthers run defense.

From RotoBaller

Cordarrelle Patterson Oct 20 8:10pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in the Bears disappointing 36-25 loss to the Saints. Patterson flashed what makes him so valuable in the first quarter, taking a kick from the end zone all the way to the house. Patterson was used at times on the offensive side of the ball, racking up 23 yards on one carry and two receptions. Patterson is a threat and makes an above average fantasy defense better with his ability to produce on special teams.

From RotoBaller