Sun Sep 22 4:38pm ET
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
Players: Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, James Develin, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Rex Burkhead, Josh Gordon, Trevor Siemian, James White, Phillip Dorsett, Luke Falk, Sony Michel, Jarrett Stidham, Sam Darnold
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prepares to throw a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon hits the turf while trying to catch a pass in front of New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts (27) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley, rear, and New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy, front, tackle New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, celebrates his touchdown pass to Julian Edelman, right, in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman winds up to spike the ball after catching a touchdown pass against the New York Jets in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett runs into the end zone for touchdown after catching a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel, center, runs for a touchdown against the New York Jets in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New York Jets quarterback Luke Falk (8) passes against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New York Jets quarterback Luke Falk drops back to pass against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Patriots didn't allow a defensive touchdown for the third straight week as New England dominated in a 30-14 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead each added a rushing touchdown for the Patriots (3-0), who won their seventh straight over the Jets and earned their ninth consecutive regular-season win at home over their AFC East rival.
It was the Patriots' first game since releasing receiver Antonio Brown. The four-time All-Pro was cut by the team on Friday after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.
Brown's absence didn't slow New England against a Jets team that was without starting quarterback Sam Darnold, still recovering from mononucleosis, and injured linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. They seemed lost at times on defense and struggled to move the ball offensively - going 0 for 12 on third down - against the Patriots' top-ranked defense in quarterback Luke Falk's first NFL start.
Brady was 28 of 42 for 306 yards and headed to the sideline with 8:41 left in the fourth quarter and New England leading 30-7. He was briefly replaced by rookie Jarrett Stidham, who completed his first two passes before having his third intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Jamal Adams. Brady returned the following series.
Falk, who was on the practice squad a week ago, got the nod with Darnold still at least a week away from returning and Trevor Siemian sidelined for the season after injuring his ankle in New York's loss to Cleveland last Monday night.
Falk finished 12 of 22 for 98 yards and had an errant pass in the third quarter intercepted by Devin McCourty deep in the Jets own territory.
The Jets dropped to 0-3 for the first time since the 2003 season.
Le'Veon Bell carried 18 times for just 35 yards. The Jets punted on their first six possessions and only crossed into New England's territory once in the first half, reaching the Patriots 49 on the opening driving of the game. They punted on 10 of their 13 possessions.
New York didn't get on the scoreboard until Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt late in the third quarter and it was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by Arthur Maulet.
The Patriots were also limited in the run game without running back James White. He missed the game to be with his expectant wife and fullback James Develin was also out with a neck injury.
But New England still scored on each of its first three possessions, building a 20-0 halftime lead.
Michel scored the game's first touchdown, running it from 5 yards out to cap a 9-play, 88-yard drive.
Brady and offense then took to the air, spreading out New York's secondary with multiple four-receiver formations. Phillip Dorsett had a 25-yard TD reception and Julian Edelman caught another score from 3 yards out early in the second quarter.
Edelman capped the score with an emphatic spike of the ball , a throwback to the celebration of choice by retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Edelman later left the game with a chest injury and didn't return.
With his touchdown throw to Dorsett in the first quarter, Brady passed Drew Brees for second place on the NFL's career list for touchdown passes.
It was Brady's 523rd TD pass. Peyton Manning is first with 539.
Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who played only four snaps in New York's loss to Cleveland last week, saw a little more action against the Patriots.
Nate Hairston started the game, but Johnson made his first appearance early in the first quarter. He finished with three tackles.
Johnson, who signed a five-year, $72.5 million deal last year, entered the season as the Jets' No. 1 cornerback. Coach Adam Gase acknowledged last week that things hadn't worked out as well as they needed them to, but said he remained optimistic about Johnson being able to earn a larger role.
Patriots: WR Josh Gordon came off the field early in the second half with an apparent finger injury after he got his hand caught in an opponent's face mask. But he returned later in the third quarter, catching a 28-yard pass inside the 5 to help set up Burkhead's touchdown run. . DL Adam Butler left late in the third quarter with a leg injury after combining on a sack with Dont'a Hightower. Hightower left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
Jets: Bye week. At Philadelphia on Oct. 6.
Patriots: At Buffalo next season.
New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas is on the verge of being streamable this week against the Lions. The former Pro Bowler hasn't had much success this year and has yet to make more than one field goal in a game all season. However, he's in a good matchup. The Giants figure to move the ball against a banged-up Lions Defense, and they will need to push the tempo to keep up with quarterbackMatthew Stafford and the Lions offense. Rosas still isn't a recommended option, but he can be considered in deep leagues.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal has seen his stock consistently grow over the past few weeks. He's still not a player that you can have a ton of confidence in starting, but he does have some flex consideration this week. His size allows him to be a mismatch against most corners, and the Denver Broncos don't have a guy that can match up with him consistently in that regard if cornerback Chris Harris Jr. shadows wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. If you're missing wideouts due to injuries or bye weeks, Pascal gives you upside thanks to his touchdown production and big-play ability.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett went off on the Houston Texans in Week 7. In Week 8, his matchup gets more difficult against the Denver Broncos. Through seven games, Denver has yet to allow a player to clear 300 passing yards, and no quarterback has thrown for more than two touchdowns against them. The Colts have a lot of pieces on offense, especially with the emergence of wide receiver Zach Pascal, but expectations for Brissett should be tempered this week. He's still a starter in two-quarterback leagues, but you have better options at QB in standard formats.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has a bad matchup this week, but you have to start him anyway. He's scored five touchdowns in the five games that he's played, and he's averaging an impressive 17.2 PPR points per game this season. He has 15 more targets than any other Indianapolis pass-catcher, and quarterback Jacoby Brissett looks his way whenever he needs a reliable receiver. He's gotten at least nine targets in three out of his five games, and those looks will continue to be there for him against the Denver Broncos.
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack got shut down in Week 7, but he has a good bounce-back spot in Week 8. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars have beaten the Denver Broncos by running the ball at them all game to control the clock. Mack does his best work when he gets a ton of volume, and that's how the Colts like to win games. If the passing game struggles, which is possible against a solid passing defense, they could lean on Mack throughout the game, especially down in the red zone.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is in line for an increased workload on Thursday night with target-hog Adam Thielen (hamstring) sitting out for the first time in his career. Week 8's matchup against the Washington Redskins is a favorable one as Diggs should be able to take advantage of coverage by either Quinton Dunbar or a struggling Josh Norman. Cousins and the play-action passing game have been on point as of late, as has Diggs with 14 catches for 310 yards and three touchdowns over his last two games. They remain a run-first team and are likely to lean on Dalvin Cook as they're favored by over 15 points at home, but Diggs needs to be started as a WR1/WR2 with upside considering Thielen's absence.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford absolutely feasted on the Vikings secondary in Week 7, and the feast may not be over with the New York Giants coming to town in Week 8. The Giants currently allow 8.92 yards per attempt, which trails only the Dolphins, so fantasy owners could be in for another huge performance from the 31-year-old signal-caller. The Giants don't present much in the way of run defense either, but with Kerryon Johnson recently being placed on IR a more pass-heavy approach can be expected. With top quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott on byes this week, and with Matt Ryan still yet to practice, Stafford vaults up the charts as one of the top quarterback options in Week 8 no matter the fantasy format. Get him in your lineups.
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (knee) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Wilson threw his first interception last week but still has posted 15 passing touchdowns in seven games. He should have success against the Atlanta Falcons this week and can be a No. 1 quarterback in all fantasy leagues.
Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (non-injury) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Lockett has posted at least 50 yards in each of the last six games and has been targeted 12 times over the last two weeks. He should have a favorable matchup in Week 8 and can be a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in all leagues.
Seattle Seahawks S Lano Hill (elbow), DE Quinton Jefferson (oblique) and S Bradley McDougald (back) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. OT Duane Brown (biceps), OT George Fant (shoulder), CB Tre Flowers (neck), DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle) and S Quandre Diggs (hamstring) were limited during practice. OG D.J. Fluker (hamstring) fully participated in practice.
Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (non-injury) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Carson has received at least 20 carries in each of the last four games and has posted three 100-yard games in that span. He will continue to be the focal point in the running game for the Seahawks and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Detroit Lions running back Ty Johnson, arguably this week's hottest waiver wire pickup after Kerryon Johnson was put on IR Tuesday, has a real chance to establish himself as the Lions lead back against a porous New York Giants squad in Week 8. Johnson should see most of the action out of the Lions backfield Sunday and can be expected to be involved in the passing game even with J.D. McKissic likely suiting up as the Lions passing-down back. Johnson's small stature does put into question whether he can be an every-down back, but with the Giants nonexistent run defense standing in his way this week fantasy owners should get some clarity as to whether Johnson can truly take over this backfield. Johnson will be considered a mid-range RB2 this week in a matchup where the game script should work to his benefit.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (knee) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Mostert appears to have a chance to play in Week 8, but fantasy players will know more about his status later in the week. He will see a handful of touches if he is active for the game but can be avoided in most leagues.
San Francisco 49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee), OT Mike McGlinchey (knee) and CB Ahkello Witherspoon (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. DE Dee Ford (quadriceps), DT D.J. Jones (hamstring) and OT Joe Staley (leg) were limited during practice.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Kirk has been limited during practice over the last two weeks but has also been inactive for the last two games, so his status for Week 8 is uncertain. Fantasy players may want to look at other options since he would have a tough matchup if he plays in the game.
Arizona Cardinals DE Zach Allen (neck), RB D.J. Foster (hamstring), LB Jordan Hicks (calf), DT Corey Peters (non-injury) and LB Terrell Suggs (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. LB Dennis Gardeck (ankle), LB Haason Reddick (knee), LB Zeke Turner (hamstring) and TE Maxx Williams (ankle) were limited during practice. DT Zachariah Kerr (ankle) and S Charles Washington (shoulder) fully participated in practice.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Kittle has been on the injury for the last few weeks but is in no danger of missing the Week 8 game. He should continue to be a weekly starting option in all fantasy leagues.
Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (non-injury), TE Marcedes Lewis (non-injury) and CB Tramon Williams (knee) were limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. S Adrian Amos (shoulder), CB Tony M. Brown (hamstring), LB Oren Burks (chest), DT Kenny Clark (shin), LB B.J. Goodson (shoulder), LB Blake Martinez (wrist), S Will Redmond (ankle), S Darnell Savage (ankle) and TE Robert Tonyan (hip) fully participated in practice.
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Fitzgerald is coming off a disappointing Week 7 performance but has still be targeted at least seven times in five of the seven games this season. He will be facing one of the better defenses this week but still has a chance to be a flex option in leagues.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) put in a full practice on Wednesday after being questionable for Week 7 against the Raiders. MVS ultimately played, albeit limited snaps, and finished with over 100 yards and a touchdown with No. 1 wideout Davante Adams (toe) sidelined again. Adams missed practice on Wednesday and could very well sit out again this Sunday night against the Chiefs. Against a porous secondary, Valdes-Scantling would be a boom/bust WR3/flex. Geronimo Allison, Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard should all continue to see more run if Adams misses anymore time, but they're all hard to trust as anything more than low-ceiling flexes in deeper formats.