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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Chargers withstand Titans' late rally, hold on for 20-19 win

Sun Oct 21 12:52pm ET
By ZAC BOYER
Associated Press

Players: Philip Rivers, Ryan Succop, Luke Stocker, Dion Lewis, Melvin Gordon, Marcus Mariota, Tyrell Williams, Derrick Henry, Taywan Taylor

Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Adrian Phillips (31) and free safety Derwin James (33) celebrate after a successful defensive play near the end of the second half of an NFL football game against Tennessee Titans at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Los Angeles Chargers won the match 20-19. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)


Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Adrian Phillips (31) and free safety Derwin James (33) celebrate after a successful defensive play near the end of the second half of an NFL football game against Tennessee Titans at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Los Angeles Chargers won the match 20-19. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17), left, celebrates with teammates after a successful defensive play near the end of the second half of an NFL football game against Tennessee Titans at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Los Angeles Chargers won the match 20-19. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)


Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16), left, lies on the pitch after failing to catch the ball in the end zone during the second half of an NFL football game against Tennessee Titans at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)


Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8), left, runs with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)


Cheerleaders line up before an NFL football game between Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)


LONDON (AP) Philip Rivers threw for 306 yards with two touchdown passes and the Los Angeles Chargers held on for a 20-19 victory on Sunday in London after the Tennessee Titans failed twice on a go-ahead 2-point conversion with 31 seconds remaining.

Marcus Mariota completed 24 of 32 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown for the Titans (3-4), throwing a 1-yard completion to tight end Luke Stocker on fourth down to pull within one after a review determined the quarterback was down as he ran for the end zone on the previous play.

The Titans then twice tried to go for the 2-pointer and the win, with Mariota's first attempt, a pass intended for Tajae Sharp, negated by a defensive holding call on the Chargers' Casey Hayward and his second, to Taywan Taylor, tipped by safety Anthony Phillips.

The Chargers (5-2) won their fourth consecutive game despite the absence of Melvin Gordon, their starting running back, because of a hamstring injury.

Gordon, who entered the game third in the NFL in rushing with 466 yards and had scored a total of nine touchdowns this season.

Austin Ekeler, in his second season, earned his first start in Gordon's place and ran for 42 yards on 12 carries, but it was Rivers who shouldered the burden for the Chargers.

He answered Ryan Succop's opening 28-yard field goal with a 75-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Williams on Los Angeles' first play from scrimmage - the longest touchdown scored in the NFL's 11-year history of holding games in London.

Michael Badgley made it 10-3 with a 29-yard field goal before Succop responded by making one from 33 yards in the second quarter.

The Titans appeared poised to head into halftime with the lead before Mariota was intercepted by the Chargers' Denzel Perryman at their 4-yard line when his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage.

Rivers, who completed 19 of 26 passes, then extended the advantage to 17-6 just over a minute into the second half when he found Michael Williams on a 55-yard touchdown pass.

The Titans, who entered having lost their past two games, responded on the next possession when Derrick Henry had a 1-yard score to end a 10-quarter skid without a touchdown to climb back to 17-13.

Succop missed a field-goal attempt from 51 yards - only his second miss of the season - and after stopping Los Angeles, the Titans took over at their 11-yard line with 4:55 remaining, driving the length of the field on the final drive.

Running back Dion Lewis ran for 91 yards on 13 carries, including a 36-yard gain on the final drive that moved Tennessee into the Chargers' territory.

The Titans made their first appearance in England, while the Chargers played at Wembley for the first time since Oct. 26, 2008, when they lost 37-32 to the New Orleans Saints.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Los Angeles left tackle Russell Okung had his right fist raised during the anthem, but put it down before the start of ''God Save The Queen.''

INJURIES

Tennessee: Right guard Josh Kline was injured with 43 seconds remaining and replaced by Corey Levin and did not return.

Los Angeles: Safety Adrian Philips injured an ankle late in the second quarter before returning in the third. Cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. briefly required attention after a hit on Mariota before halftime and WR Mike Williams also needed a moment after a hard fall in the fourth quarter but both returned.

UP NEXT

Tennessee: Hit the road for a Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 5.

Los Angeles: Travel to face the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 4.

Player Notes
Demaryius Thomas Jul 22 12:50am ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will open training camp on the team's PUP list. This isn't that much of a surprise as the veteran receiver continues to rehab from a torn ACL suffered last season. But the situation could have fantasy consequences in a few weeks when the Patriots must make their first cuts. If Thomas cannot practice by then, the team may be forced to keep him on the PUP list. This would make the 31-year-old ineligible for the first six regular season games and further damage the value of a player on the back-end of a very productive career.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Jul 22 12:40am ET

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel will begin training camp on the PUP list as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery. Michel will not be eligible to practice with the team and his return is up in the air at this time. The Patriots still have plenty of time to activate the second-year back before first cuts and the expectation is that he should be ready to open the season as their lead back. But players must miss six regular season games if they remain on the PUP list after first cutdowns. The hope is this is precautionary since Michel participated in the team's mandatory minicamp. It is too early to become worried about Michel's status but his situation will have to be monitored throughout training camp all the way up to fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Carter Jul 21 7:10pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Deandre Carter was placed on the active/PUP list for undisclosed reasons. Carter enters camp looking to lock down a role as Houston's fourth receiver, but he won't be able to practice until the team removes him from the list, which could put him behind in preparation for the upcoming season. Carter had 20 catches for 195 yards for Houston last year after joining the team in the middle of the year. He also spent time returning punts and kicks. Carter can be activated from the list at any time. With wide receiver Will Fuller's injury history, the fourth receiver job in Houston has the potential to produce fantasy points at some point during the season, though Carter shouldn't be drafted in any formats yet, and it's unclear how firm a hold he has on the job.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Jul 21 6:00pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens placed offensive guard Alex Lewis (shoulder) on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Sunday. He is still recovering from shoulder surgery performed in January. Lewis has started 18 games over the past two seasons, but he was unable to perform during the offseason program. OG Jermaine Elumunor has been working with the first-team offense in his absence. The offensive line is a concern for the fantasy outlooks of quarterback Lamar Jackson, the pass game and the running game, so keep a close eye on the blocking of the Ravens during training camp and into the preseason games.

From RotoBaller

Charles Clay Jul 21 5:50pm ET

Arizona Cardinals tight end Charles Clay (knee) is dealing with a knee issue and he was one of six players the team placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Sunday leading up to the open of training camp this week. Clay can be activated at any point, but he cannot do any on-field work until he is activated. He is challenging for a potential starting job, so he'll want to get on the field as soon as possible. The Arizona offense promises to be rather prolific under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, although with plenty of four- and five-receiver sets, it's uncertain how much the tight end will see of the field. Stay tuned.

From RotoBaller

Brandon Williams Jul 21 5:40pm ET

The Arizona Cardinals placed defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (knee) on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Sunday. The team also placed linebacker Dante Booker (knee), OL Max Garcia (knee), LB Brooks Reed (hip) and CB Brandon Williams (back) on the PUP. In addition to those moves, they released OL William Holden and DL Immanuel Turner, while signing DL Sterling Bailey. PUP players are eligible to return any point during training camp, but cannot take part in on-field work until they're taking off the list. Nkemdiche and Garcia are each making their way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered during the 2018 season.

From RotoBaller

Kahale Warring Jul 21 5:10pm ET

While it's unclear what led to him being placed on it, Houston Texans rookie tight end Kahale Warring will open training camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. What this essentially means is that Warring is dealing with some injury that wasn't sustained as part of his NFL duties and that he won't be available to practice at the start of training camp. As a rookie who plays a position where the Texans have a lot of depth, Warring may miss out on valuable early reps that could help him battle for snaps over second-year tight ends Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas. Warring is much more interesting as a dynasty prospect than a re-draft one at this stage.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Jul 21 4:50pm ET

The Houston Texans have placed wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on the active/PUP list. What this means is that Hopkins, who's been dealing with a shoulder injury, will be unable to practice with the team as long as he's on the list, but Hopkins can be activated from the list at any time. There should be no concern at this point about Hopkins' availability for Week 1, though it would be surprising if we see him at all in the preseason. Hopkins is a clear first round pick in all formats and is capable of finishing as the overall WR1 based on what he's shown in the past in this Houston offense.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Jul 21 4:00pm ET

Rumors that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones might hold out have turned out to not be true, as Jones has reported to training camp. Jones and the team will continue to talk about a long-term extension for the wideout, but it doesn't look like there's any danger of Jones missing time or getting behind on his conditioning. He remains one of the top wide receivers in fantasy football and should be a first round pick in all formats.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Thomas Jul 21 12:50pm ET

Houston Texans tight end Jordan Thomas recently suggested that Houston will use a committee approach at tight end with Thomas, Jordan Akins, and rookie Kahale Warring, but Thomas is expected to be the leader of that committee and the player most likely to be a weapon in Houston's passing game. Thomas caught four touchdowns last season, but he saw his snap percentage fade as the season went along. Even if Thomas gets the most snaps, quarterback Deshaun Watson doesn't target tight ends at a rate that would make Thomas a sustainable fantasy starter.

From RotoBaller

Josh Harvey-Clemons Jul 21 11:03am ET

Washington Redskins LB Josh Harvey-Clemons is expected to serve as the team's nickel linebacker this year, after bulking up in the offseason.

From TheHuddle

Mason Foster Jul 21 10:53am ET

Washington Redskins LB Mason Foster is expected to be used as a starter at one of the team's inside linebacker spots, although it remains uncertain if he will appear in nickel sets.

From TheHuddle

Preston Smith Jul 21 10:53am ET

Former Washington Redskins LB Preston Smith had attracted interest from the Indianapolis Colts during free agency before he ultimately signed with the Green Bay Packers.

From TheHuddle

Will Fuller Jul 21 1:43am ET

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (knee) is expected to be completely recovered from his torn anterior cruciate ligament in time to play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Fantasy Spin: Fuller missed the entirety of spring workouts and figures to be limited at best early in training camp, but he will be roughly 10 months removed from surgery by the time the Texans visit the Saints on Sept. 9. Of course, his biggest challenge will be staying on the field - something he has struggled to do as a pro. He's a high-end WR3 who owners need to have a backup plan for, as he has missed 17 of a possible 48 games in his three-year NFL career.

From TheHuddle

Tyreek Hill Jul 20 11:03pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill could be traded early next season if a contract extension can't be worked out, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

Fantasy Spin: Hill should be headed for another year of WR1 production as one of the main weapons in Kansas City's high-powered offense, but his ceiling could change dramatically if he switches teams. The trade talk is just speculation for now, but it is one more reason to try to acquire Mecole Hardman in keeper formats.

From TheHuddle

Jaron Brown Jul 20 10:53pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Jaron Brown will likely enter the 2019 season as a starter in three-receiver sets, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

From TheHuddle

Amara Darboh Jul 20 10:53pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Amara Darboh could 'steal a roster spot' if he can build on his performance from OTAs, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

From TheHuddle

David Moore Jul 20 10:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR David Moore will open the season as a top-three receiver, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

Fantasy Spin: Tyler Lockett is likely to be the top target in the passing attack, but the pecking order is wide open from there. With Seattle looking to replace Doug Baldwin, Moore could be worth a flier as a WR5.

From TheHuddle

D'Onta Foreman Jul 20 10:33pm ET

Houston Texans RB D'Onta Foreman's performance this year will be a 'season-long audition' to show he deserves to be the lead back in 2020, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Fantasy Spin: Lamar Miller enters 2019 as the starter, but he is also in a contract year. Foreman is a high-end handcuff in redraft leagues for now, but his upside in keeper formats is enormous. By next season, he could be the featured back in a potent offense.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Akins Jul 20 9:43pm ET

Houston Texans TE Jordan Akins said he is prepping to play a variety of positions this season. 'I would say slot receiver,' Akins said. 'Special teams as well, up-back, punt return as well as fullback.'

From TheHuddle