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FFL: Week 7 | NFL: Week 7

Brees injured, Rams beat Saints 27-9 in title game rematch

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By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

Players: Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyler Higbee, Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp, Jared Goff, Keith Kirkwood, Alvin Kamara

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp celebrates after a long run with head coach Sean McVay during the second half of an NFL football game New Orleans Saints Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, right, is sacked by New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams can't get a hand on a incomplete pass intended for Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) as Eli Apple, right, looks on during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater passes against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks, left, catches a pass inform of New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


LOS ANGELES (AP) When Drew Brees went to the sideline holding his injured throwing hand, this NFC championship game rematch - and maybe this season's Super Bowl race - dramatically changed in an instant.

Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams didn't waste the opportunity created by Brees' absence to beat the Saints again. And with no help from a no-call this time.

Goff passed for 283 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score, and the Rams stopped New Orleans from scoring an offensive touchdown for the first time since 2016 during Los Angeles' 27-9 victory Sunday.

A strong performance by the Rams' defense, an impressive second half from Goff's offense, and another officiating decision that hurt the Saints were all overshadowed by Brees' departure late in the first quarter.

''I told him I'm hoping for the best,'' Goff said of his postgame chat with Brees. ''He's a great player for this league, a face of the league, and somebody we need in the league.''

Brees' throwing hand collided with Aaron Donald's outstretched hand while he threw an incompletion on the Saints' second drive, and the NFL's career leader in yards passing spent the afternoon on the Coliseum sideline with his thumb heavily wrapped. Brees will see a hand specialist Sunday night, he said.

''There is only so much you can do here as far as a doctor seeing it on the sideline,'' Brees said. ''Hoping it is not too significant.''

Teddy Bridgewater went 17 of 30 for 165 yards in solid relief, while Alvin Kamara rushed for just 45 yards for the Saints (1-1), who seemed understandably discombobulated without their longtime quarterback - although the Rams' defense deserves plenty of credit as well.

Brees' absence ''really didn't change anything at all for us,'' Rams pass rusher Dante Fowler said. ''We were doing a good job before he got hurt. Everybody was on top of their game.''

New Orleans didn't score an offensive touchdown for only the fourth time in 13-plus seasons under coach Sean Payton, who got a lengthy contract extension before the game.

''It is going to be a hard film to watch for guys,'' Payton said. ''We got whipped up front.''

Todd Gurley rushed for 63 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season late in the third quarter of this rematch of the Rams' 26-23 overtime win in New Orleans last January. That game turned on the infamous uncalled pass interference late in regulation by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, who had six tackles in the rematch.

''Every win is a big win, but today was a very important win,'' Robey-Coleman said. ''It was a win that basically just closed all the chatter and the naysaying.''

This one also contained early refereeing drama that left the Saints steamed: New Orleans' Cameron Jordan had a long fumble return for a touchdown wiped out in the second quarter. The play initially was ruled an incomplete pass before video review determined Goff had fumbled, but Jordan's long return didn't count because officials had blown the play dead.

Jordan was still furious after the game, even referring to the refs as ''the Foot Locker'' and saying certain members of the officiating crew ''were maybe in their prime a decade ago.''

''If Drew is down, it's on the defense,'' Jordan added. ''I take it upon me. I don't know how many times we hit Jared Goff, but it wasn't enough. We've got to create more turnovers.''

The Saints were hampered by 11 penalties for 87 yards, while the Rams' offense recovered from a slow start to make three straight touchdown drives in the second half.

But this matchup between two of the most prolific offenses in NFL history was definitely not a fireworks show, between Brees' absence and the inconsistent performance of Los Angeles coach Sean McVay's offense. The Rams failed to score a touchdown in the first half for only the third time in McVay's tenure.

KUPP RUNNETH OVER EVERYBODY

Shortly after Brandin Cooks caught a TD pass, Cooper Kupp made the play of the game with a spectacular 67-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter. Goff scored after Kupp was ruled down at the 1 by video review.

''It was like something you only see in a football movie,'' Cooks said with a laugh.

Kupp finished with five catches for 120 yards, while Goff surpassed 10,000 career yards passing.

INJURIES

Both teams had far too many. Along with Brees, the Saints lost left guard Andrus Peat to an ankle injury in the second half. Linebacker A.J. Klein also went to the locker room in the second half. Backup receiver Keith Kirkwood was ruled out with a hamstring injury in pregame warmups.

The Rams lost two offensive starters: right guard Austin Blythe injured his ankle in the first half, and tight end Tyler Higbee incurred a chest injury early in the second half.

Donald missed part of the first half with a back injury, but the two-time Defensive Player of the Year returned.

LAST SHOW

The game was the Rams' final home opener at the 96-year-old Coliseum: They'll move into SoFi Stadium in Inglewood next season. The Rams and Chargers unveiled the name of their multibillion-dollar complex before the game.

UP NEXT

Saints: Staying on the West Coast this week to face the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday.

Rams: At the Cleveland Browns next Sunday.

Player Notes
Emmanuel Sanders Oct 20 1:10pm ET

The Denver Broncos are likely open to listening to trade offers for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders with the deadline approaching, according to sources. The Panthers, Patriots, Eagles, 49ers and others are expected to be in the receiver market up until the Oct. 29 deadline. Denver received a fourth-rounder from the Texans last year in exchange for Demaryius Thomas, but the Broncos are expected to be seeking a higher pick for Sanders, who is in the last year of his deal. The 32-year-old has 30 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns in seven games, and getting away from inept quarterback Joe Flacco would be good news for Sanders' fantasy value, depending on where he lands. Courtland Sutton has become the Broncos top wideout this year, but life could be tougher on him if Sanders is out of the picture and he draws more attention from opposing defenses. Daesean Hamilton would become the team's No. 2 if Sanders is dealt.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Ramsey Oct 20 12:40pm ET

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who will make his debut with the team in Week 7 against the Falcons, promised the Rams that he won't hold out next season in the last year of his contract even if the two sides don't agree to a long-term deal this offseason, according to league sources. However, all bets are off if Los Angeles uses the franchise tag on the All-Pro cornerback in the winter of 2021. The Rams sent two first-round picks to Jacksonville for Ramsey, so they expect him to immediately bolster their suspect secondary. The Rams would like to sign Ramsey but aren't in a rush and could also trade him if they can't reach a long-term deal. Ramsey's presence in LA's secondary bolsters them no doubt, but they're still a weak streamer this weekend against a strong Falcons offense.

From RotoBaller

Washington Redskins Oct 20 12:30pm ET

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (hand, thigh) is inactive for Week 7 against the 49ers. You obviously shouldn't come close to trusting Washington's defense in fantasy this year, and having Norman out makes them an even weaker unit this weekend. Norman's absence is good news for San Francisco receiver Marquise Goodwin, but he'll still a shaky flex in fantasy because of a low target share this year and the fact that the 49ers probably won't need to pass all that much in this one.

From RotoBaller

Christian Kirk Oct 20 12:30pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (ankle) is active for Week 7 against the Giants, while wide receiver Christian Kirk (ankle) will miss his third straight game. Johnson was expected to play after getting in some practices this week. He should continue to be heavily involved in this improving offense in a great matchup against the Giants. Johnson is a strong RB1 choice. Chase Edmonds will remain a strong handcuff for Johnson owners, but he's a low-end flex as long as Johnson is active. With Kirk out again, Larry Fitzgerald has strong WR2 appeal. You can't really trust rookie Keesean Johnson, Damiere Byrd and Trent Sherfield behind him, though.

From RotoBaller

David Johnson Oct 20 12:23pm ET

Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (ankle, knee) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game.

Fantasy Spin: Johnson should receive plenty of touches this week against the New York Giants and is a must-start option in all leagues.

From TheHuddle

Christian Kirk Oct 20 12:23pm ET

Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 7 game.

From TheHuddle

Zay Jones Oct 20 12:20pm ET

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Zay Jones is a healthy inactive for Week 7 against the Packers. It's a surprise considering Tyrell Williams (foot) is also out, but it appears that Jones just hasn't mastered the offense yet after being acquired from the Bills last week. Also inactive are right tackle Trent Brown (calf) and wide receiver Dwayne Harris (ankle). With both Jones and Williams inactive, the Raiders are thin at the receiver position; expect rookie Hunter Renfrow, Trevor Davis and rookie Keelan Doss to work in three-receiver sets against a solid Green Bay defense. Oakland will lean heavily on running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Oct 20 12:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) and Geronimo Allison (concussion) are both active for Week 7 against the Raiders after testing themselves in pre-game workouts. It's a bit of surprise that both are inactive, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn't complaining since he'll be without top receiver Davante Adams (toe) for the third straight game. MVS and Allison really haven't done much with Adams out, so they make for low-ceiling flex plays again this weekend, with MVS being the better target. Both receivers being active hurts the value of tight end Jimmy Graham, although he still has TE1 potential in this game. Rodgers remains a low-end QB1 until Adams returns. Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow can now be avoided in DFS.

From RotoBaller

Todd Gurley Oct 20 12:20pm ET

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (thigh) is officially active for Week 7 against the Falcons after sitting out last week. He's back in the RB2 mix in a good matchup against the Falcons, especially since backup Malcolm Brown (ankle) is inactive. Gurley should have a decent workload in this one, but rookie Darrell Henderson will spell him. As a result, Henderson has some flex appeal in deeper leagues against a Falcons run defense that continues to get beat by running backs.

From RotoBaller

Geronimo Allison Oct 20 12:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (chest, concussion) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game.

Fantasy Spin: Allison is a risky option since he did not practice much this week. He should still see a solid amount of targets during the game and can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option.

From TheHuddle

Dede Westbrook Oct 20 12:13pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook (shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game.

Fantasy Spin: Westbrook should have a solid role in the passing game and will have a favorable matchup. He can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Oct 20 12:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game.

Fantasy Spin: Valdes-Scantling likely will serve as the top option in the passing game for the Packers this week despite the injuries. He can be considered a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Devin Singletary Oct 20 12:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills rookie running back Devin Singletary (hamstring) is officially active for Week 7 against the Dolphins. The matchup against Miami is as good as it gets, which immediately puts Singletary on the RB3/flex map in his return to action this weekend. However, his ceiling is still somewhat low as long as he continues to play second fiddle to veteran Frank Gore in this backfield, which is expected to be the case yet again against the Dolphins. Singletary could see more run in the second half if the Bills are up big, though. With the rookie back in the fold, T.J. Yeldon is a healthy scratch.

From RotoBaller

Dede Westbrook Oct 20 12:10pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (shoulder) is officially active for Week 7 against the Bengals. Westbrook tested his shoulder before the game and will give it a go in a great matchup against a Cincinnati team that will be missing their top cornerbacks. D.J. Chark and Westbrook remain quarterback Gardner Minshew's favorite targets in the passing game. Westbrook will be at risk of an in-game setback, but you can leave him in your lineups as a WR3 this weekend with some upside in this particular matchup.

From RotoBaller

Dre Kirkpatrick Oct 20 12:03pm ET

Correcting a previous report, the Cincinnati Bengals have declared WR A.J. Green, DL Carlos Dunlap, OT Cordy Glenn, OG John Miller, CB William Jackson III, CB Dre Kirkpatrick and DE Carl Lawson inactive for Week 7.

From TheHuddle

Miami Dolphins Oct 20 12:00pm ET

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) and safety Reshad Jones (chest) are both inactive for Week 7 against the Bills. In an already excellent matchup, the Bills passing game just got a boost with Miami's top cornerback being out. It'll mainly impact Buffalo's top wideout John Brown and quarterback Josh Allen, who are both in a good spot to produce big numbers this Sunday. You should obviously stay far away from the Dolphins Defense this year.

From RotoBaller

Clay Matthews Oct 20 11:53am ET

The Los Angeles Rams have declared RB Malcolm Brown, OG Jamil Demby, OG Austin Corbett, LB Bryce Hager, DL Greg Gaines, LB Kenny Young and LB Clay Matthews inactive for Week 7.

From TheHuddle

Christian Kirk Oct 20 11:53am ET

The Arizona Cardinals have declared LB Ramik Wilson, WR Christian Kirk, C Lamont Gaillard, RB D.J. Foster, DL Zach Allen, DL Michael Dogbe and DB Zeke Turner inactive for Week 7.

From TheHuddle

Sterling Shepard Oct 20 11:53am ET

The New York Giants have declared CB Corey Ballentine, QB Alex Tanney, TE Garrett Dickerson, WR Sterling Shepard, OG Chad Slade, DE Chris Peace and OL Eric Smith inactive for Week 7.

From TheHuddle

Vernon Davis Oct 20 11:53am ET

The Washington Redskins have declared CB Deshazor Everett, CB Josh Norman, SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, TE Vernon Davis, RB Chris Thompson, OG Wes Martin and QB Colt McCoy inactive for Week 7.

From TheHuddle