Sun Sep 22 4:53pm ET
By KEITH JENKINS
AP Sports Writer
Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith celebrates after the Denver Broncos turned over the ball on downs near the end of the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay, right, runs with the ball as Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King (20) defends during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco, center, is hit by Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith, left, as Packers' linebacker Rashan Gary, right, watches during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones, top, falls over Denver Broncos defensive back Kareem Jackson during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right, pitches the ball to running back Aaron Jones, left, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers threw for 235 yards and a touchdown, Aaron Jones tied a career high by running for two scores, and the Green Bay Packers beat the Denver Broncos 27-16 on Sunday.
Preston Smith matched a career high with three sacks as Green Bay got to Joe Flacco six times and forced three turnovers to lead the Packers (3-0) to the win despite being dominated in time of possession 35:34-24:26.
Rodgers found Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a 40-yard strike on the opening drive and finished 17 of 29. Jones' touchdown runs both came from 1 yard out.
Flacco was 20 of 29 for 213 yards with an interception and no touchdowns. For the third straight game, Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Denver's defense failed to record a sack or force a turnover. The Broncos (0-3) fell to 0-6-1 all-time on the road against the Packers.
Following Valdes-Scantling's first score of the season, Flacco and the Broncos' offense spoiled a 60-yard kickoff return by Diontae Spencer, going three-and-out on their first possession.
But Denver tied it at 7 on a 1-yard run by Phillip Lindsay at the start of the second quarter. The score capped a 15-play, 75-yard drive that ate up more than eight minutes.
Mason Crosby put the Packers ahead on a 42-yard field goal with 11:19 to go in the first half. The Broncos answered about 8 minutes later with a field goal of their own.
Green Bay's new-look defense continued its impressive start to the season. After a sack by Za'Darius Smith, his second of the year, fellow newcomer Smith followed with one of his three sacks. Flacco coughed up the ball and Rashan Gary recovered it at the Broncos 5. Jones ran it in and Green Bay took a 17-10 lead into the locker room. Jones has recorded a rushing touchdown in five straight home games.
Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander opened the third quarter by recording his first career forced fumble and fumble recovery after stripping Noah Fant on a 4-yard completion. Green Bay took advantage as Rodgers hit fullback Danny Vitale for a 27-yard gain that put the ball on the 1 before Jones ran it in for his second touchdown to make it 24-10. It was Jones' second career multi-touchdown game. The third-year running back also had two rushing touchdowns last season against the Dolphins.
Lindsay cut it to 24-16 on a 1-yard run with about 6 minutes left in the third. Brandon McManus missed the extra point.
Crosby added a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to make it a two-possession game.
Rodgers needs one passing touchdown to pass Fran Tarkanton for the ninth most in NFL history. Rodgers and Tarkanton are tied with 342 career touchdowns. Eli Manning is eighth with 362 career scores.
Broncos: DE Derek Wolfe was carted off the field in the second quarter with a right ankle injury. He did not return.
Broncos: Host Jaguars on Sept. 29.
Packers: Host Eagles on Thursday.
Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) underwent a procedure on his injured knee Tuesday, Oct. 22, and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Matt Patricia.
Fantasy Spin: Initial reports had Johnson missing "some time," but an IR designation would pretty much knock him out for the rest of the season. Sixth-round rookie Ty Johnson should handle the majority of snaps in his absence and should be added in all leagues, while J.D. McKissic figures to take the bulk of the work in the passing game. It's also entirely possible the Lions bring back C.J. Anderson to assume at least part of the early-down workload after cutting him earlier in the season.
Arizona Cardinals LB Ramik Wilson was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent LB Deone Bucannon (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the New York Giants on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Houston Texans TE Logan Paulsen was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The San Francisco 49ers expect wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) to return in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers. Samuel missed Week 7 but appears ready to practice and play against a tough Panthers pass defense this Sunday. Despite showing exciting flashes this season, the rookie is averaging just 4.4 targets and 33.6 yards per game. His fantasy value will be further impaired with the acquisition of veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders. With the Niners leaning heavily on their running game and tight end George Kittle dominating target share, Samuel is gradually fading from redraft relevance. Hell be a desperation WR5 if he suits on in Week 8.
Minnesota Vikings CB Marcus Sherels was released on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Indianapolis Colts S Malik Hooker (knee) told reporters he expects to play in Week 8 versus the Denver Broncos. Hooker has been sidelined since Week 3 with a torn meniscus.
The San Francisco 49ers traded for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. Reported by ESPNs Adam Schefter, the Niners will ship 2020 third and fourth round picks to Denver for Sanders and a 2020 fifth rounder. The 10-year pro should instantly upgrade a Niners receiving corps that have been anonymous outside of stud tight end George Kittle. However, Sanders should be downgraded fantasy-wise as he enters a run-heavy offense while competing for looks against Kittle, a versatile backfield and an amalgam of wideouts. Hell be a risky WR3 in Week 8 against a tough Carolina Panthers pass defense. Other losers in the deal are receivers Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel (groin) and Marquise Goodwin who all continue to slide outside of fantasy relevance.
New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu will make his Patriots debut in Week 8 against a Browns Defense that is allowing the 14th fewest fantasy points to receivers. Sanu was acquired via trade from the Falcons and immediately brings size and physicality to a banged up wide receiving group in New England. Sanu caught 66 passes last season for 838 yards and four touchdowns but has been held to only 313 yards with one touchdown this season. Sanu is an excellent addition as a player that can bring the kind of size in the red zone that the Patriots have been lacking due to a banged up Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski's retirement in the preseason. Sanu should be thrown right into the mix against a Browns defense that has allowed 10-plus fantasy points to eight different receivers this season. He may lack the amount of targets, however, to garner anything higher than a WR4 play in Week 8.
Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders was traded along with a 2020 fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for 2020 third- and fourth-round picks on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Fantasy Spin: A move to San Francisco makes a ton of sense since his learning curve should not be steep; Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello was hired by Denver in the offseason in part to install the kind of offense 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan runs. Sanders should quickly become the top receiver in Shanahan's offense and serve as a high-end fantasy WR3 in short order.
Free-agent LB Malcolm Smith (49ers) was signed to an undisclosed contract by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent CB E.J. Gaines (Bills) is visiting the Houston Texans Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Kansas City Chiefs WR De'Anthony Thomas was released Tuesday, Oct. 22. QB Kyle Shurmur was signed to the 53-man roster. DT Braxton Hoyett was re-signed to the practice squad.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is improving quickly, and he has a chance to play in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 24, according to head coach Mike Zimmer.
Fantasy Spin: Thielen would be a WR1 against the Washington Redskins, and the entire offense would suffer if he were out. Keep tabs on him Wednesday.
Free-agent WR Braxton Miller (Browns) was signed to the Carolina Panthers' practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 22. CB Natrell Jamerson (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list, and WR DeAndrew White was signed to the 53-man roster.
Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) has a Grade 1 high ankle sprain and a Grade 2 low ankle sprain.
Fantasy Spin: The Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings Thursday night, and it doesn't seem likely that Peterson will be available. Wendell Smallwood could see a larger role and be worth slotting in as a flex.
Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu was acquired by the New England Patriots Tuesday, Oct. 22, in exchange for a second-round pick. The Patriots previously tried to acquire Sanu during the NFL draft.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu has been quiet with a 33-313-1 line in seven games this season, but he is a good possession receiver whose value in PPR leagues increases a bit. He should be rostered in all formats, but give him a week or two to get acclimated before you can expect results in your flex spot.
Free-agent DT Datone Jones (Jaguars) is visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The New England Patriots Defense stifled the Jets from the opening drive as the team cruised to a 33-0 win on Monday Night Football. The Jets offense rarely stood a chance as the Patriots held Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to a 34% completion percentage, 86 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 3.6. New England also intercepted Darnold four times and the unit now has two shutouts on the season. The Patriots defense has quickly emerged as, by far, the best defense in the NFL and will be the top fantasy option at the position heading into Week 8's action.