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Casey recovers fumble, Titans hold off Chargers' rally 23-20

Sun Oct 20 7:52pm ET
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Philip Rivers, Ryan Tannehill, Melvin Gordon, Marcus Mariota, Tajae Sharpe, Corey Davis, Derrick Henry, Chase McLaughlin

Tennessee Titans defenders Tennessee Titans defenders Jeffery Simmons (98) and Jurrell Casey (99) celebrate after stopping the Los Angeles Chargers on their final drive of the game in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 23-20. (AP Photo/James Kenney)


Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, right, celebrates with Mike Williams (81) after Ekeler scored a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans on a 41-yard pass play in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)


Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, right argues about the placement of the ball late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)


Los Angeles Chargers defenders celebrate after stopping the Tennessee Titans on a fourth-down play late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)


Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) scores a touchdown on an 11-yard run against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)


Tennessee Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (19) celebrates with Adam Humphries (10) and Taylor Lewan, left, after Sharpe scored a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)


Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) is sacked by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa and defensive tackle Jerry Tillery (99) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)


Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (25) is congratulated by quarterback Philip Rivers, right, after Gordon scored a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Jurrell Casey recovered a fumble by Melvin Gordon at the goal line with 15 seconds left, and the Tennessee Titans pulled out a 23-20 victory Sunday over the Los Angeles Chargers after a frantic finish.

Gordon initially was ruled down shy of the goal line at the 1. Casey came out of the pile with the ball, and the Titans started celebrating. The play was reviewed and overturned the on-field ruling that Gordon was short of the goal line.

The call was a fumble forced by Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard that was recovered by Casey for a touchback. Ryan Tannehill knelt down to run out the clock as the Titans (3-4) snapped a two-game skid.

The Chargers thought they had scored the go-ahead touchdown not once but twice in the final 44 seconds only to lose both on review by the replay official. That official also overturned Gordon being stopped on the Chargers' final play.

First, Philip Rivers' pass that Austin Ekeler took 16 yards was ruled a touchdown only to be reversed by the replay official for not breaking the plane as he was tackled by Kenny Vaccaro and Logan Ryan. After a false start, Malcolm Butler then was flagged for defensive pass interference on Mike Williams in the end zone.

Then Gordon went over right tackle with 34 seconds left for what officials ruled a 1-yard TD, and the replay official then reversed the call for the second time. Gordon ran again stopped by Jeffery Simmons and Rashaan Evans for no gain. That set up Gordon's final run with 19 seconds left.

Tannehill threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns in his first start since the Titans benched Marcus Mariota looking for a spark on offense after losing four of their past five overall. Tannehill came through as the Titans not only won their first game at home this season but posted a season-high 403 yards. He was 23 of 29 to outduel Rivers on a day the 16-year veteran moved to sixth in career passing yards.

The Chargers (2-5) have lost three straight and five of their past six.

Rivers and the Chargers thought they had pulled off an amazing comeback after trailing 23-13 with 6:39 left. Rivers threw a 41-yard TD pass to Ekeler with 5:09 left. The Chargers stopped Tannehill short on fourth-and-inches near midfield, and Los Angeles Rivers put the Chargers ahead with a 16-yard TD pass to Ekeler inside the final minute. But Ekeler was ruled down short of the goal line to set up an astounding final minute of the game.

Rivers finished throwing for 329 yards and two TDs.

Simmons, the No. 19 pick overall in the April draft, also made his NFL debut with a sack and a tackle for loss.

Tannehill threw an 8-yard TD pass to Corey Davis just before halftime, and he hit Tajae Sharpe on a 5-yard TD pass with 13:11 left. Derrick Henry put Tennessee up 23-13 with 6:39 left with an 11-yard TD run.

The Titans held the Chargers to a pair of field goals by rookie Chase McLaughlin in the first half.

INJURIES

The Chargers already were banged up on the offensive line with center Mike Pouncey out for the season and left tackle Russell Okung trying to work his way back from the non-football injury list with blood clots. Then left guard Forrest Lamp hurt an ankle midway through the second quarter and was carted from the sideline to the locker room. Dan Feeney moved from center to guard, and Scott Quessenberry came in at center.

The Titans lost right tackle Jack Conklin early to an injured right thigh early, and Dennis Kelly replaced him. Jamil Douglas started the third quarter at right guard with rookie Nate Davis hurting a rib. Linebacker Rashaan Evans left late in the first half only to return for the second half. Cornerback Adoree Jackson hurt a foot in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Chargers: Continue their two-game road swing at Chicago on Sunday.

Titans: Host Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Player Notes
Leonard Fournette Dec 15 7:30pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette performed adequately in Week 15 against the Raiders. He rushed the ball 15 times for 42 yards while adding 5 receptions for 31 yards on seven targets. You can live with the production in PPR, but it's a bit of an underwhelming performance for non-PPR. Fournette has been held without a touchdown and under 100 total yards in three straight games now. He'll look to break that streak in Week 16 when the Jaguars face the Falcons.

From RotoBaller

Ryquell Armstead Dec 15 7:30pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead rushed the ball just one time and gained only a single yard in Week 15 against the Raiders. Armstead had just three carries in his past five games coming into Week 15, so the minimal workload was no surprise. He's shown some promising flashes this year, most notably a five-catch game against the Texans in early November, but he would need an injury to the team's No. 1 running back Leonard Fournette in order to gain fantasy relevance.

From RotoBaller

Keelan Cole Dec 15 7:30pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole had three catches for 76 yards on six targets in Week 15 against the Raiders. Cole led the team in receiving yards, but he was third in targets behind Chris Conley and Leonard Fournette. Cole benefited from the absence of D.J. Chark (ankle) in this game, and he could remain a viable low-end fantasy option for as long as Chark ends up being out.

From RotoBaller

Gardner Minshew II Dec 15 7:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew had a solid game against the Raiders in Week 15. He completed 17-of-29 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He was turnover-free in the game and also added 27 rushing yards. Minshew had disappointed in his past three starts, failing to top 200 yards in two of the games while throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns in the third game. So it was encouraging to see him take advantage of a favorable matchup. He has another favorable matchup against the Falcons in Week 16.

From RotoBaller

Allen Lazard Dec 15 7:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard caught two of three targets for 14 yards in a 21-13 win over the Chicago Bears. Lazard has come back down to earth the last two weeks after exploding for 103 yards against the Giants. He can't be counted upon for fantasy when he's averaging 2.7 targets per game in his last four contests

From RotoBaller

Kyle Allen Dec 15 7:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen had another miserable performance, finishing with 277 yards on 25-for-41 passing while adding three interceptions and a touchdown during the loss to the Seahawks. He also had five carries for 25 yards. After an impressive debut earlier in the season against Arizona, it has been all downhill for the 25-year-old, who logged his 15th pick on the year in Week 15. With two games remaining, Allen will have to get it together if he hopes to remain the starter come next season in the event that Cam Newton (foot) gets traded during the offseason.

From RotoBaller

Geronimo Allison Dec 15 7:10pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison caught two of four targets for 19 yards in a 21-13 win over the Chicago Bears. Allison's day included a drop on a ball Aaron Rodgers put right in his hands. Allison has now failed to exceed 50 receiving yards in all but one game this year. He's certainly off the fantasy radar for the remainder of the season.

From RotoBaller

Albert Wilson Dec 15 6:40pm ET

Cleared from concussion protocol, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson didn't do much for those owners who took a chance on the speedy wide receiver ahead of a prime matchup with a bad Giants Defense. Wilson's eight targets led all Dolphins wide receivers and he managed to convert five of them for a total of 59 yards, finishing his day with just five points in standard leagues. Even with a matchup in Week 16 against the hapless Bengals, Wilson is only a desperation play for those fighting for a fantasy championship.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Dec 15 6:40pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught seven of 13 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown in a 21-13 win over the Chicago Bears. Adams hesitated on his route, then left Bears corner Buster Skrine in the dust for a 29-yard score. A great day could have been even better for Adams, if not for a few uncharacteristic drops. Still, Adams saw double-digit targets for the sixth time this year and remains Aaron Rodgers' most trustworthy receiver. He'll get a good matchup for fantasy receivers in Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Fitzpatrick Dec 15 6:30pm ET

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick turned in another solid performance in a losing effort on Sunday, throwing for 279 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-20 loss to the New York Giants. Fitzpatrick didnt throw an interception for the first time in more than a month but still managed to contribute a brutal turnover, fumbling on Miamis first drive of the second half after New York had just taken the lead with a touchdown. Fitzpatrick finished with 19 points on the day, rewarding the many who took a chance on the veteran even with as their playoff hopes were on the line. He'll have another solid matchup in Week 16, as the Cincinnati Bengals come to town in a battle of two of the NFL's worst teams.

From RotoBaller

Sammy Watkins Dec 15 6:30pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins was overshadowed by teammates Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce during the Week 15 win. Watkins caught three of four targets for 49 yards in the win over the Broncos. Hill and Kelce are going to continue to be the favorite targets in KC. Watkins should be considered a boom-or-bust WR3 for his Week 16 matchup with the Bears. Watkins has some fantasy value, but hasn't caught a touchdown since Week 1.

From RotoBaller

Mecole Hardman Dec 15 6:30pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman has shown the ability to make big plays, but has been lost in the shuffle lately. Having both Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins back healthy has basically killed Hardman's fantasy value. He saw two targets and caught one of them for 10 yards in the Week 15 win over the Broncos. Hardman has seen three total targets over the last three games. He belongs on the bench or waiver wire in most formats at this point. He'll be a boom-or-bust WR5 for his matchup with the Bears in Week 16.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Laird Dec 15 6:20pm ET

The last man standing in the backfield, Miami Dolphins running back Patrick Laird was a non-factor in fantasy on Sunday, rushing for 46 yards and scoring just four points in standard leagues. Laird was even more ineffective in the passing game, catching two of his five targets for eight yards. In theory, Laird will have a better matchup in Week 16, facing a Cincinnati defense thats allowing the seventh-most points to running backs this season but its not as if the Giants were that much better, having had allowed the 15th-most prior to the matchup with Miami. Even facing the one-win Bengals, Laird is only a desperate play with fantasy championships on the line.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Dec 15 6:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been arguably the best tight end in the NFL this season. He absolutely destroyed the Broncos Defense during the Week 15 matchup Kelce caught 11 of 13 targets for 142 yards in the 23-3 win over Denver. Kelce surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the season during that contest. Kelce is going to continue to be an elite PPR TE1 for his matchup with the Bears next week.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey Dec 15 6:10pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey had a day despite his team falling to the Seahawks on Sunday, finishing with 87 yards on 19 carries, while also adding eight catches for 88 yards. After failing to score a touchdown in either of his previous two outings, the 23-year-old also racked up his 15th and 16th score of the season in this one. Though the team has nothing left to play for this year, McCaffrey should remain active over the next two games as he attempts to hit 1,000 yards on both the ground and through the air.

From RotoBaller

Tyreek Hill Dec 15 6:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had no issues in the 23-3 victory over the Broncos in Week 15. Hill caught five of his seven targets for 67 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown came on a 41-yard play where Hill completely destroyed Broncos' Chris Harris. The snowy conditions can't even hold back Hill. Fantasy owners should feel comfortable with Hill as a WR1 for their matchup with the Bears next week.

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Jamaal Williams Dec 15 6:00pm ET

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams was held to 26 rushing yards on eight totes and one catch for seven yards in a 21-13 win over the Chicago Bears. Williams, like Aaron Jones, couldn't find much room to operate between the 20s against Akiem Hicks and the Bears Defense. Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, Jones out-touched him 13-nine and scored twice in the red zone. It's also worth noting that Williams has seen only two targets the last two weeks after seeing 12 in Weeks 11 and 12. He'll look to bounce back in a tough matchup next week against the Minnesota Vikings.

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Spencer Ware Dec 15 6:00pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware was signed by the team roughly two weeks ago and is already making an impact on the field. Ware rushed seven times for 26 yards in the victory over the Denver Broncos. However, the Chiefs have a running back committee, so Ware has handcuffed fantasy value. Both LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson are going to see carries each week. He's not someone worth owning in basically any format. He'll have a tough matchup against the Bears Defense in Week 16.

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Dalvin Cook Dec 15 6:00pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder) has left the game and will not return after being tackled on a third-quarter run. He landed hard on the shoulder/chest area that has been giving him trouble in the last few weeks and will be held out for the remainder of the contest. With Alexander Mattison (ankle) also out, the backfield duties will now be split between Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone in the second half. Cook had nine carries for 27 yards and three catches for 16 yards before exiting.

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Mohamed Sanu Dec 15 5:50pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu caught two passes for only 13 yards in the Patriots 34-13 win over the Bengals. Sanu has been battling an ankle injury over the past few weeks and does not look 100%. Add to that the fact that Sanu is acclimating himself into a new offense and his fantasy value has fallen off the map. The veteran has very little value at present with only two games remaining in the season.

From RotoBaller