Sun Sep 8 4:44pm ET
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) is tripped up by Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry (24) during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) tackles Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Los Angeles Rams safety Taylor Rapp (24) reaches to tackle Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (14) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) is tacklesd by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib (21) and free safety Eric Weddle (32) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Shaq Thompson tackles Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Los Angeles Rams running back Malcolm Brown (34) is congratulated by center Austin Blythe (66) and wide receiver Robert Woods (17) following Brown's touchdown against the arolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, left, and outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) tackle Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (18) during the first half an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Carolina Panthers cornerback Javien Elliott (23) reaches to tackle Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (17) during the first half an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) passes while Carolina Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (97) rushes 4during the first half an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) hands off to running back Christian McCaffrey (22) during the first half an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) and linebacker Bryce Hager (54) tackle Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) during the first half an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore fumbles while Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton (58) and linebacker Bryce Hager (54) scramble to recover during the first half an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Jared Goff threw for 186 yards and a touchdown, Malcolm Brown ran for a pair of scores, and the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams spoiled Cam Newton's return with a 30-27 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Todd Gurley started and ran for 97 yards on 14 carries after being limited to 8 yards rushing on five carries in the first half. Brown was the primary ball carrier for the better part of three quarters and finished with 53 yards on 11 carries.
Christian McCaffrey led the Panthers with 209 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
It was a rough day for Newton, playing in his first regular-season game since Dec. 17, when a lingering shoulder injury forced him to the sideline. Newton completed 25 of 38 passes for 239 yards, but had a costly backward pass that resulted in a fumble deep in Carolina territory, and a fourth-quarter interception.
He rarely threw deep downfield.
With the Panthers trailing 23-13 early in the fourth quarter, Jermaine Carter blocked Johnny Hekker's punt and the Panthers recovered at the Rams 5 yard line. McCaffrey scored on a 2-yard run two plays later.
But the Rams would score on a 5-yard TD strike from Goff to Tyler Higbee with 6:42 left to make it a two-possession game.
Carolina cut the lead to 30-27 on Alex Armah's TD run with 2:00 left. The Rams recovered the onside kick and Gurley helped run out the clock.
Gurley had 64 yards rushing in the fourth quarter, helping wear down the Panthers' 3-4 defense.
It's pretty clear the Rams weren't going to overload Gurley in the first game of the season. Gurley, who suffered from knee soreness late last season, split carries with Brown. Brown, a fourth-year running back, saw all of the goal-line carries, including scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run .
Rams WR Cooper Kupp had seven catches for 46 yards in his return from a torn ACL on Nov. 11.
Newton had a costly helmet issue on a third-and-7 play in the first quarter after the Panthers had returned to the field following a timeout. That resulted in a delay of game, and after a conservative draw play undrafted rookie Joey Slye missed a 53-yard field goal.
Rams free safety Eric Weddle left in the second quarter with a head laceration after trying to tackle a leaping McCaffrey. He did return.
IN THE BOOTH
Popular former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme began working as an analyst for Carolina's radio broadcast team.
Rams: host Saints on Sunday in rematch of NFC title game.
Panthers: have short turnaround before they host Buccaneers on Thursday night.
New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett caught three passes for 46 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown, in the Patriots Week 7 blowout of the Jets 33-0. Dorsett came into the game questionable but was able to deliver in a game that was over from the beginning. Dorsett made a nice catch in the first quarter for the touchdown to put the Patriots up 17-0 at the time. Dorsett now has four touchdowns on the season but has struggled with nagging injuries. If he can get healthy, Dorsett could have promising stash value in deeper fantasy formats as an offensive weapon that quarterback Tom Brady trusts.
New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson made his Patriots debut in Week 7, catching three passes for 18 yards in the Patriots 33-0 win over the Jets. It has been a roller coaster ride for Watson's time with New England but he is finally in uniform and contributing. The veteran still has the moxie and speed to produce in the NFL but it will take time to work his way into the flow of the versatile Patriots offense. Watson may not have fantasy value now but could become an intriguing waiver wire option if he can make strides in the coming weeks.
New England Patriots running back Damien Harris carried the ball four times for 12 yards in the Patriots 33-0 blowout win over the Jets in Week 7. It was the rookie's first real game action of the season and received his carries after the victory was already sealed for the Patriots. Harris performed well, at times, during the preseason but a wrist injury stunted his progress. Cracking the lineup as a rookie in the Patriots offense is a tall order but Harris was able to get a few game reps in. Only a series of injuries to multiple players would open up more playing time for Harris in the near future.
New England Patriots running back James White caught seven passes for 59 yards in the team's 33-0 demolishing of the Jets in Week 7. White tallied zero yards on five rushes in the game but was his usual active self in the passing attack. The veteran is now averaging 7.5 receptions over his last four games, propping up his value in PPR leagues only moving forward. The bad news is that White is far behind his touchdown production from last season, heading into Week 8 with only one touchdown after posting 12 scores in 2018.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman caught seven passes for 47 yards in the Patriots 33-0 rout of the Jets in Week 7. Edelman saw a team-high 12 targets in the game and racked up 20 rushing yards on three carries. The Patriots built a huge lead and the need for explosive plays in the passing game was deemed inconsequential. The veteran receiver now has at least seven catches in each of his last three games and will head into Week 8 with 45 receptions, 496 yards and two touchdowns on the season.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers caught five passes for 47 yards in the Patriots 33-0 win over the Jets on Monday Night Football. With Josh Gordon held out with an injury, Meyers stepped in admirably by catching all five of his targets. The rookie now has 101 receiving yards over his last two games and has delivered when his number has been called upon in the offense. Meyers still has to compete for targets with established receivers Phillip Dorsett and Julian Edelman but has proven he can step in and produce off the bench.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 31 of 45 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the Patriots 33-0 romp over the Jets in Week 7. It was a workmanlike performance for the future Hall of Famer as the Patriots offense cashed in on several touchdowns via Sony Michel. The Patriots are now 7-0 but Brady has only four passing touchdowns over his last four games to show for it. Two rushing touchdowns in Week 6 help prop up his fantasy numbers but the Patriots don't need an explosive passing attack to win games. Despite the team's success, Brady is a mediocre fantasy play in 12-team formats heading into Week 8.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel carried the ball 19 times for 42 yards with three touchdowns in the Patriots 33-0 win over the Jets. Michel again struggled with consistency in the running game but found himself back in the mix in the Patriots red zone offense. Michel is averaging only 3.3 yards per carry this season but now has six rushing touchdowns. The second-year back was losing out in the red zone the past few games but cashed in big-time in Week 7. Michel's arrow is pointing up moving forward.
The New York Jets Defense was dominated by the Patriots in a 33-0 loss to the Patriots Monday night. The Jets allowed a 16-play touchdown drive to open the game and things went downhill from there as Tom Brady and the Patriots did anything they wanted in the game. Brady had clean pockets to throw out of all night as the Jets didn't record a sack and running back Sony Michel scored three touchdowns. The lone bright spot for the Jets defense was an interception by Trumaine Johnson on a tipped ball, but overall it was a night to forget for New York. The Jets will try and bounce back next week at Jacksonville but are nothing more than a low end streaming defense in the deepest of leagues.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell rushed 15 times for 70 yards while hauling in one of four targets for an additional six yards vs the Patriots Monday. Bell's 16 touches aren't ideal for fantasy, especially after getting only 15 touches last week, but he still dominated the backfield touches with the lower workload this week likely because New England dominated time of position and put the Jets in a passing game script early. No other Jet had more than two carries so fantasy owners can still insert Bell in their lineups expecting 15-20 touches weekly. The Jets offense has looked brutal at times this season but Bell is a borderline RB1 on volume alone, and with the schedule for New York softening a bit, Bell is a great buy-low running back.
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder made four catches for 26 yards on five targets in a brutal home loss to the Patriots Monday night. Crowder's four catches lead the team on a night QB Sam Darnold only completed 11 passes, but he could do nothing with those catches against the elite New England secondary. Crowder's five targets are his fewest in three games with Darnold as Demaryius Thomas was targeted nine times in this game. Crowder will look to bounce back next week against a Jaguars secondary that will be a better matchup for him than this week vs the Patriots number one ranked defense.
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson caught one pass for 10 yards on eight targets in an ugly loss to the Patriots Monday night. Anderson was blanketed by All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore all night and could get nothing going downfield as QB Sam Darnold was under pressure almost every snap. Anderson has had one game this year that was good for fantasy, and that included a 92-yard touchdown. The boom-or-bust nature of Anderson can be frustrating for fantasy, but the Jets schedule gets softer in the coming weeks so Anderson still has plenty of opportunity to make the big plays that he needs to have big fantasy weeks. He should be owned in 12-team leagues and started when he has a good matchup.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin both passed concussion protocol on Monday and should be fine heading into Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers. Both players missed time on Sunday but reentered the game. The health clearance sets up Breida as an RB3 against a weak Panthers rush defense, but hes taken a backseat to Tevin Coleman in recent weeks. Goodwin did not record a catch in Week 7 and has just 15 yards over the past two contests. Hell be a zero-floor WR5 against one of the leagues top pass defenses.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold had a night to forget vs New England in Week 7 completing only 11 of 32 passes for 86 yards. Darnold, who was out with mono during the Jets' first meeting with the NFL's number one defense, threw a career-high four interceptions and also lost a fumble in a 33-0 beatdown. Darnold looked uncomfortable all night playing behind an offensive line that was down two starters and it showed. He consistently threw off his back foot, facing pressure on almost every drop back as the Jets had no answer for the vaunted Patriots Defense. While this night was rough, Darnold's schedule gets better in the next few weeks and could be a viable starter in two-quarterback leagues or desperation bye-week replacement.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas caught three passes for 42 yards in a loss to the Patriots Monday night. Thomas' nine targets lead the team, but he could do little with that opportunity as QB Sam Darnold was under pressure all night and only completed 11 passes total. Thomas has been getting more involved in recent weeks, but is still the third option behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. He's nothing more than a desperation flex in deep leagues.
The New England Patriots have declared TE Matt LaCosse, DL Michael Bennett, WR Josh Gordon, SS Patrick Chung, OT Korey Cunningham, RB Rex Burkhead and TE Ryan Izzo inactive for Week 7.
The New York Jets have declared LB Albert McClellan, OT Kelvin Beachum, DL Henry Anderson, TE Chris Herndon, RB Trenton Cannon, LB Neville Hewitt and OG Kelechi Osemele inactive for Week 7.
Oakland Raiders WR Tyrell Williams (foot) is considered questionable for the Week 8 game at this point, according to head coach Jon Gruden. Williams was able to do some running Monday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players should monitor Williams' practice participation during the week to have a better idea of his status for Week 8. He is the team's top option in the passing game when healthy and can be a No. 3 fantasy receiver.
Los Angeles Chargers LB Melvin Ingram (hamstring) hopefully will be able to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Anthony Lynn.