Mon Oct 28 12:26am ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) runs for a touchdown in front of Kansas City Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen, left, during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams (30) celebrates a touchdown off a throw by quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) makes a catch between Green Bay Packers cornerback Chandon Sullivan (39) and safety Darnell Savage (26) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton (27) before he entered the end zone, during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (17) runs for a touchdown between Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams (38) and safety Adrian Amos (31) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton (27) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Reggie Ragland (59) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass against Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor (97) and safety Daniel Sorensen (49) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Aaron Rodgers threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Aaron Jones on a big night for the Green Bay running back, and the Packers held off backup quarterback Matt Moore and the Kansas City Chiefs 31-24 on Sunday night.
Jones, who briefly left with a shoulder injury, had seven catches for 159 yards and added 67 on the ground - a big chunk of them in the closing minutes, when the Packers (7-1) sealed the win.
It was their first at Arrowhead Stadium since Nov. 4, 2007.
With reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes out with a dislocated kneecap, Moore took the reins of the Chiefs' high-powered offense and fared quite well. He threw for 267 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the ex-high school coach's first NFL start in more than two years.
The Chiefs (5-3) hoped Mahomes could make a miraculous recovery 10 days after hurting his knee in Denver in time to play. But after he was limited in practice throughout the week, coach Andy Reid announced Friday that the franchise quarterback would be inactive for the game.
So much for that Rodgers-Mahomes showdown everyone anticipated.
They had to settle for an entertaining matchup between division leaders instead.
The game started like most people outside the walls of 1 Arrowhead Drive expected, with Rodgers slicing up the defense and Green Bay marching for two quick touchdowns.
But after a shaky start by Moore, the journeyman quarterback and the rest of the Chiefs offense found a groove. They embarked on an 89-yard drive that ended with a make-it-rain 29-yard TD pass to Travis Kelce, then got a 30-yard pitch-and-catch to Mecole Hardman to knot the game.
The Chiefs led 17-14 at halftime, raising some eyebrows across the league.
Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur made a couple of adjustments, though, and Rodgers and Co. began to move the ball once more. They used a 15-play drive that soaked up more than half the third quarter to get a tying field goal, then got the ball back when LeSean McCoy fumbled on the very next play.
Five players later, Rodgers conjured up more of his magic.
With third down at the 3, he dropped back and was flushed from the pocket. He rolled to his right and threw a blind pass to the back corner of the end zone, where Damien Williams somehow took the ball away from Chiefs linebacker Ben Niemann while tapping both feet inbounds.
Rodgers was lying flat on his back, staring at the sky, as the official signaled touchdown.
The Chiefs answered with another long drive, and just when it appeared they had finally been stopped, the Packers' Tramon Williams was flagged for illegal use of hands. That gave Kansas City the ball inside the 5, and Damien Williams scored on the next play to tie it again.
It took the Packers all of 56 seconds to score the eventual winner.
Rodgers again found Jones out of the backfield, and this time he found a lane through the entire Kansas City secondary. It was a foot race from there, and the speedy running back hop-skipped over the goal line to finish off the 67-yard touchdown reception.
The Chiefs were forced to punt on their ensuing possession and never got another chance.
HALL OF FAME
The Chiefs honored TE Tony Gonzalez and SS/FB Johnny Robinson, their new entrants into the Hall of Fame, during a halftime ceremony. Both were presented with their Hall of Fame rings.
THE WORM TURNS
Jones twice reached the end zone thinking he'd scored, dropped to the turf and did ''the worm.'' The first was negated by a penalty, though he scored a few minutes later anyway. The second came on a 60-yard reception in which a replay showed Jones had stepped out of bounds at the 10.
Along with Mahomes, the Chiefs missed five other starters: DE Frank Clark (neck), CB Kendall Fuller (thumb), LT Eric Fisher (groin), LG Andrew Wylie (ankle) and DT Chris Jones (groin).
Packers WR Davante Adams (toe) went through pregame warmups before he was scratched. But they did have LB Blake Martinez (hand) and SS Darnell Savage (ankle), who had missed the last two games.
Green Bay continues its AFC West trip against the Chargers next Sunday.
Kansas City plays another NFC North team in the Vikings next Sunday.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is coming off a phenomenal game in Jacksonville, but he'll have his work cut out for him this week when the Minnesota Vikings come to town. Rivers will be squaring off against a top-10 defense versus opposing quarterbacks, and Minnesota's defense is tied for third in interceptions this year. With Rivers' penchant for turnovers this season, that could spell disaster for the 38-year old QB. The good news is that all of his offensive weapons will be healthy, but he's still a risky start.
Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett will miss his third straight outing Sunday versus the Dallas Cowboys due to a knee injury. Everetts absence will pave the way for Tyler Higbee to once again take over the primary tight end duties, which he has capitalized upon to deliver back-to-back 100-plus-yard efforts, putting him once again in line for TE1 status during season-long playoff matchups. After having combined for just three targets in his last two games played, Everetts next chance at suiting up comes next Saturday when the Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers, although there is no guarantee that Everett can reclaim his former starting status in the wake of Higbees explosive play.
The Washington Redskins Defense has played well enough to win two of its last three games, and kept the third respectable in a tough road matchup with the Packers last week. Up next is an Eagles offense that has struggled at times to score points, and whose depth at WR will be tested with Alshon Jeffery out for the year and Nelson Agholor on the pessimistic side of questionable for this matchup. Washington pressures opposing quarterbacks at the NFL's third-highest rate, and ranks top-10 in turnover rate as well. If the Redskins can contain Philly's rushing attack and accomplish the more difficult task of holding Zach Ertz in check, there is a scenario in which this unit could return start-worthy fantasy value in a potentially low-scoring game. Search elsewhere if you can help it, but the Redskins could serve as a high-risk, high-reward last resort if you're scrambling.
Washington Redskins WR Paul Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 13, and has been ruled out for Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Terry McLaurin will continue to be the main option in the passing game and should be the only Redskins receiver used in fantasy leagues.
New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz could be busy against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. The 25-year-old has made at least two field goals in five straight games and at least four extra points in three of the last five. He'll face a Colts Defense that has given up 30-plus points in back-to-back games. Lutz should be able to stay hot in Week 15 and is a must-start.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 15 against the Detroit Lions. LB Anthony Nelson (hamstring) was limited in practice all week, while DL Beau Allen (ankle) did not practice Friday, Dec. 13; both players have also been ruled out. OT Donovan Smith (ankle, knee) did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. OG Alex Cappa (elbow) and QB Jameis Winston (thumb, knee) practiced in full Friday and are listed as questionable. Ndamukong Suh (non-injury) did not practice Friday but is expected to play. OT Demar Dotson (non-injury), WR Scott Miller (hamstring) and LB Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) practiced in full Friday and have been removed from the injury report.
Philadelphia Eagles RB Jordan Howard (shoulder) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is listed as questionable for Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Howard probably will be a game-time decision, so fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his status. He has missed the last few weeks and probably would only receive a handful of carries if he plays. He can be avoided in fantasy leagues.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook (concussion) gets a good matchup against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. Cook was able to practice again today, this time without the non-contact jersey. He has a pretty good chance of suiting up on Monday night. What a game it was for Cook against the 49ers- he caught both of his passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns before leaving with the injury. Cook and Drew Brees have been seeing eye-to-eye lately, resulting in at least six targets for Cook in three of his last five games. He has played himself into must-start territory at the thin tight end position and could be looking at another good game against the Colts' 22nd-ranked pass defense.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Kelvin Harmon could benefit from a tough Eagles run defense on Sunday. While Washington clearly prefers to run the ball and limit what is asked of Dwayne Haskins through the air, the Redskins may not be able to get away with that game plan against a Philly defense holding opposing running backs under four yards per carry. As such, the matchup may force Washington's hand into a more pass-heavy approach than it's comfortable with. If that's how it plays out, Haskins can't just throw the ball exclusively to Terry McLaurin and Chris Thompson all day. Someone else will have to find a way to contribute, and Harmon's chances were fractionally increasing in the three games prior to last week's one-catch, four-target outing. The risk here speaks for itself, but there's at least the possibility that game script works in Harmon's favor this Sunday.
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (elbow) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is not on the injury report for Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Brady has not been as productive this season as he has been in the past but should have success against the Cincinnati Bengals. He can be considered a low-end No. 1 quarterback in fantasy leagues.
Indianapolis Colts OL CB Kenny Moore II (ankle) and OL Le'Raven Clark (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 13. CB Pierre Desir (groin) and WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) were limited.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is listed as questionable for Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Agholor missed all three practices this week and probably will not be able to play this week. Fantasy players should look for other options to use even if Agholor is active for the game.
New Orleans Saints LB Kiko Alonso (quad), OT Andrus Peat (forearm), S Vonn Bell (knee) and CB Patrick Robinson (calf) did not take part in practice for a second straight day Friday, Dec. 13. OT Terron Armstead (ankle), DE Cameron Jordan (abdomen), C Will Clapp (elbow), LB A.J. Klein (knee) and FB Zach Line (knee) were limited. TE Jared Cook (concussion) was upgraded to a full practice Friday, while QB Drew Brees (elbow) also participated in full.
New Orleans Saints wide receivers Tre'Quan Smith and Ted Ginn both get favorable matchups against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. The problem is, neither has put together a consistent body of work this year. Smith caught his third touchdown of the year last week but hasn't seen more than four targets in a game this year. Ginn exceeded 50 yards for the first time since Week 1 last week. Both are boom-or-bust WR4 options for Week 15.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin's Week 15 opponent is an Eagles Defense that has allowed opposing wideouts to average 14.75 yards per reception. Philly has also surrendered 18 touchdowns to the position, which is tied for the fourth-highest total in the league. As always, McLaurin's fantasy profile is limited by suspect quarterback play and an all-around below-average offense, but the Redskins' number-one WR carries some promise into this matchup. What's more, many fantasy owners are reeling from injuries to weekly starting options like Mike Evans, Marvin Jones, Calvin Ridley and D.J. Chark. If you find yourself among those afflicted by any of these casualties, there are worse replacements out there than McLaurin.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is listed as questionable for Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu will have a favorable matchup if he is able to play this week. He has not been a big factor since joining the Patriots but could be at least a flex option in fantasy leagues.
Detroit Lions OG Joe Dahl (back, knee), LB Jarrad Davis (ankle, knee), DT A'Shawn Robinson (shoulder), QB Matthew Stafford (hip, back) and OT Ricky Wagner (knee) were unable to practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. DT John Atkins (illness) and RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) did not practice Friday, Dec. 13, and are listed as questionable. LB Christian Jones (shoulder) was limited in practice all week and is also listed as questionable. DT Damon Harrison (calf, knee, shoulder, rest) was limited in practice Friday but has been removed from the injury report. CB Jamal Agnew (ankle), DE Austin Bryant (hip), P Sam Martin (abdomen) and CB Rashaan Melvin (ribs) practiced in full Friday and also no longer appear on the injury report.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. Thomas is coming off a great game against the 49ers' league-best pass defense, in which he saw a season-high 15 targets. Double-digit targets are a lock for Thomas again this week, considering how much stronger the Colts have been against the run than the pass. New Orleans may also be without tight end Jared Cook (concussion), which would free up some more targets for Thomas. Fantasy owners of the All-Pro receiver should have him locked into their lineups this week.
Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson's fantasy value for Week 15 is likely to hinge on whether or not Adrian Peterson is able to get anything going on the ground against the Eagles. Philly is one of the least friendly fantasy defenses for running backs, which lends itself to the idea that Peterson may struggle. If such is the case on Sunday, the Redskins may have to turn to Thompson as the pass-catcher in order to move the ball. Dwayne Haskins hasn't shown anything that indicates the Redskins should be ready to trust him to launch the ball downfield for an entire game, so Thompson could be set up for a decent PPR day in the short-range passing game if this contest breaks right for him. He's coming off an eight-target outing in Week 14. Thompson isn't without his fair share of risk, but there is a clear path to opportunity here for fantasy owners scrambling to find a flex option in PPR leagues.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is listed as questionable for Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman will be in uniform this week despite being listed as questionable. He will continue to receive plenty of targets in the passing game and should be at least a No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues.