Sun Sep 22 7:53pm ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
New Orleans Saints' Alvin Kamara, center, spins around as Seattle Seahawks' Mychal Kendricks (56) misses the tackle during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, right, scores a touchdown on a run as New Orleans Saints' Marshon Lattimore tries to stop him during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Seahawks' Shaquill Griffin, left, grabs hold of a piece of uniform as he tries to stop New Orleans Saints' Alvin Kamara on a run during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater readies a throw against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas (13) is congratulated by Josh Hill on his touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
Seattle Seahawks fans, background, in rain gear watch quietly as New Orleans Saints celebrate a touchdown on a fumble recovery by Vonn Bell, third right, during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
New Orleans Saints' Deonte Harris (11) celebrates his touchdown on a punt return against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
SEATTLE (AP) Teddy Bridgewater threw two touchdown passes in his first start in place of Drew Brees, New Orleans also scored TDs on defense and special teams, and the Saints beat the Seattle Seahawks 33-27 on Sunday.
With Brees out for several weeks following surgery to repair a ligament near his right thumb, the Saints pulled off a stunner by taking advantage of Seattle's sloppiness and handing the Seahawks their first home loss in the month of September under Pete Carroll.
Seattle had been 15-0 at home in September since 2010. The first loss will sting.
Bridgewater threw a 29-yard touchdown to Alvin Kamara late in the first half on a screen pass where he bounced off several tacklers on his way to the end zone. He added a 1-yard TD toss to Michael Thomas on fourth-and-goal on the first possession of the second half, a drive kept alive by an illegal formation penalty against Seattle on a missed field goal attempt.
But the key for New Orleans was a pair of first-half touchdowns with Bridgewater standing on the sideline.
Deonte Harris took a punt back 53 yards for a score in the first quarter, and Vonn Bell picked up Chris Carson's third lost fumble in three games, and returned it 33 yards for a TD in the second quarter.
The two non-offensive touchdowns for New Orleans, plus Seattle's numerous miscues took pressure off Bridgewater. He didn't need to win the game. He simply needed to avoid his own errors, which he did. He got the ball in the hands of his playmakers, Kamara mostly, and didn't take unnecessary risks. Bridgewater completed 19 of 27 passes for 177 yards.
Kamara had nine catches for 92 yards and added another 69 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, Seattle gave gifts to the Saints all day, whether it was turnovers, untimely penalties, terrible tackling or costly clock management. It was an equation of errors by Seattle that was too much to overcome.
Russell Wilson threw an 8-yard TD to Tyler Lockett in the first half and ran for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. His 2-yard TD run early in the fourth pulled Seattle within 27-14. New Orleans went three-and-out on its next drive but Seattle couldn't convert on fourth-and-1 deep in its own end and Kamara scored on a 1-yard plunge for the capper. Wilson also missed Lockett on a fourth-down throw in the end zone in the third quarter.
Wilson was 32 of 50 for 406 yards and added a 4-yard TD to Will Dissly on the final play of the game.
Bridgewater was helped by Seattle's pass rush being unable to create consistent pressure. The debut of Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah playing together on the defensive line yielded minimal results. Seattle had zero sacks, only two quarterback hits. While Bridgewater got rid of the ball quickly, he was comfortable in the pocket.
END OF HALF
Seattle missed a chance to trim the deficit at the end of the first half because of poor clock management. Seattle took possession with 29 seconds left and two timeouts. The Seahawks chose not to use a timeout after a 9-yard completion to Dissly. Wilson took the next snap with 10 seconds left and after scrambling hit DK Metcalf for 54 yards to the Saints 16. Seattle attempted to call timeout, but officials said it came after the clock hit zero.
Saints: New Orleans returns home after two weeks on the road and faces Dallas next Sunday.
Seahawks: Seattle travels to NFC West rival Arizona next Sunday.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) is unlikely to suit up for Thursday Night Football against the Washington Redskins in Week 8. The 29-year-old seems to think he is capable of playing, but the Vikings will likely rest their ailing star against a mediocre opponent on a short week. In his absence, rookie Olabisi Johnson will likely serve as the WR2. Johnson, who had 40 yards and a touchdown in Week 7, is a viable streaming option for fantasy managers that are desperate for a receiver in Week 8.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller is expected to miss several weeks with a significant hamstring strain, per Ian Rapoport. Fuller suffered the injury against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7. With Fuller sidelined, Kenny Stills becomes a must-add asset in almost all formats. The 27-year-old produced 105 yards on four catches against the Colts after Fuller exited the game. Stills can be considered a mid-tier WR3 against the Oakland Raiders in Week 8.
Seattle Seahawks S Bradley McDougald (back) sat out of practice all week after suffering from back spasms and was unable to play in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, but head coach Pete Carroll told reporters during his postgame press conference that he believes McDougald will be able to make it back for Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen only hauled in 4-of-11 targets for 61 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Despite having a positive pass-catching game script, Allen and Philip Rivers failed to connect on several deep balls. Luckily, due to the Chargers' uninspiring defensive unit, the game script is almost always positive for the passing attack. Allen remains a mid-tier WR1 against the Chicago Bears in Week 8.
Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints CB Eli Apple (knee) likely suffered a hyperextended knee late in the team's Week 7 game versus the Chicago Bears, although more tests are scheduled to determine the extent of his injury Monday, Oct. 21.
Updating previous reports, Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss 'several weeks' after suffering 'a rather significant hamstring pull,' according to a source via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller hasn't come close to playing a full season in four years in the NFL, so fantasy owners can't exactly be shocked by this development. While the Texans will miss his ability to stretch the field, Fuller's lack of durability was probably one of the biggest reasons Houston made sure to land Kenny Stills in the Laremy Tunsil trade this summer. Stills should be able to fill in nicely and serve as a high-upside WR3 for however long Fuller is sidelined.
Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins S Montae Nicholson (ankle) was seen walking around in a boot Monday, Oct. 21, after injuring his right ankle in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Free-agent CB Kayvon Webster (Saints) worked out for the New Orleans Saints on Monday, Oct. 21.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry caught six passes for 97 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. The 24-year-old has seen 17 targets over his past two games. Now fully healthy, Henry is unquestionably a top-tier tight end for the remainder of the season. He has a tougher matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 8, but he is still an undisputed TE1 for the contest.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert pulled in just two receptions for 10 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. The veteran has been a huge fantasy disappointment this season, and with rumblings of a trade before the deadline, Eifert's days in Cincy may be over soon. He has the potential to produce, and if you're able, he is worth a stash in deeper formats, at least for now.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt (abdomen) has been cleared by the NFL to rejoin the team and begin practicing with them Monday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: Hunt has been sidelined all season recovering from sports hernia surgery and serving an eight-game suspension for domestic abuse for an incident that occurred during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. The former rushing champion is not eligible to return to game action until Week 10, so Nick Chubb will serve as a team's featured back for at least two more weeks. It's expected Hunt will serve as the change-of-pace back when he returns.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler only produced seven rushing yards on five carries in Week 7, but he salvaged the day by catching seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Melvin Gordon had 16 carries in the contest despite being outplayed by Ekeler, but the Chargers continue to let Gordon dominate the ground game. Nevertheless, Ekeler's ability as a receiver continues to give him value as a fantasy asset. He is an above-average flex option against the dominant Chicago Bears' defense in Week 8.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate finished with three catches (six targets) for 65 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. After getting 11 looks from quarterback Andy Dalton against the Ravens in Week 6, Tate's production was yielded by Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight receptions for 137 yards on the day. With A.J. Green (ankle) expected to return soon, Tate will likely be relegated to backing up Green and Tyler Boyd moving forward. Keep an eye on Green's status for Week 8 and plan accordingly.
Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, Oct. 21, but he faces the 'real possibility' of not playing in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.
Fantasy Spin: While everyone around the team believes the injury is not serious, the Vikings play on Thursday, making it an almost impossible turnaround for Thielen. In theory, Minnesota should not need him against the Redskins, but the Vikings' passing attack is not so deep and talented that it can just assume it will thrive without Kirk Cousins' favorite receiver. If Thielen sits, it will be the first game he's missed in his NFL career. Fantasy owners should feel free to bump up Stefon Diggs in their weekly rankings as well.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon produced 32 yards on 16 carries during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. While he caught a one-yard touchdown pass, he also lost a fumble at the goal line in the final seconds of the game to drop the Chargers to 2-4 on the season. The 26-year-old continues to be outplayed by Austin Ekeler, but Gordon continues to get the majority of the touches. As long as he remains the workhorse in the offense, he is a worthy RB2 in fantasy formats. Unfortunately, he has a tough matchup in Week 8 against the daunting Chicago Bears Defense, which likely makes him a flex play at best.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd finished with five receptions for 55 yards against Jacksonville on Sunday. With 14 targets on the day, which was tied with Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight catches for 137 yards, Boyd wasn't able to get anything going against a Jaguars Defense that was all over quarterback Andy Dalton. A.J. Green (ankle) is expected to return within the next week or so, and while it may decrease Boyd's looks, Green's presence back in the lineup may open things up for 24-year-old moving forward.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 24 of his 38 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Rivers has now thrown for over 300 yards in a game five times this season and has also had five games with multiple passing touchdowns. Despite the notable production, Rivers is a tough fantasy asset to trust in Week 8 against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. He is only an option in two-quarterback leagues for that contest.
Free-agent RB Spencer Ware (Colts) is working out for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 21.
Free-agent WR Eli Rogers (Steelers) is working out for the Houston Texans Monday, Oct. 21.
Free-agent RB Jay Ajayi (Eagles) is working out for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: Ajayi has been training and preparing to sign with a team for a few weeks. He's definitely worth stashing in deeper leagues and would be a flex option in the right situation.