Sun Oct 27 4:49pm ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) reacts with kicker Adam Vinatieri following an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) boots the winning field goal out of the hold of Rigoberto Sanchez (8) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) reacts with punter Rigoberto Sanchez (8) after kicking the winning field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) reacts after missing an extra point during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) looks to throw during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Denver Broncos' Royce Freeman (28) celebrates scoring a touchdown with Connor McGovern (60) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Denver Broncos' Royce Freeman (28) goes in for a touchdown while being tackled by dIndianapolis Colts' Clayton Geathers (26) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Indianapolis Colts' Nyheim Hines (21) is tackled by Denver Broncos' Coty Sensabaugh (37) and A.J. Johnson (45) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Indianapolis Colts' Marlon Mack (25) runs out of the tackle of Denver Broncos' Justin Simmons (31) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) is chased by Indianapolis Colts' Rock Ya-Sin (34) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco (5) is sacked by Indianapolis Colts' Ben Banogu (52) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Adam Vinatieri made a 51-yard field goal with 22 seconds left Sunday to help the Indianapolis Colts rally for a 15-13 victory over Denver.
The NFL's career scoring leader overcame two earlier misses to keep Indy (5-2) atop the AFC South with its third straight victory.
Denver (2-6) has lost two in a row.
The difference this time was the Broncos settled for two short field goals on time-consuming drives in the first half. Brandon McManus made a 21-yarder to cap a 17-play drive that consumed nearly eight minutes and a 29-yarder on their next possession when the Broncos burned nearly 5 1/2 minutes in 13 plays to make it 6-0.
Indy finally answered with Vinatieri's 55-yard field goal that dropped over the crossbar to make it 6-3 at the half.
Denver took a 13-3 lead when Royce Freeman weaved his way through the Colts defense on a 4-yard score to make it 13-3.
The Colts thought they had tied it when Marlon Mack followed Vinatieri's second field goal with a 10-yard TD run. Instead, Vinatieri missed his fourth extra point of the season and Indy didn't get a chance to take the lead until Jacoby Brissett took the Colts 56 yards in 86 seconds to set up Vinatieri's third field goal of the day.
Broncos: Joe Flacco as 20 of 32 with 174 yards. ... Phillip Lindsay had 14 carries for 56 yards, and Freeman has 12 carries for 40 yards. ... Courtland Sutton had three receptions for 76 yards.
Colts: Brissett was 15 of 25 with 202 yards. ... Mack had 19 carries for 76 yards, and Jack Doyle had four catches for 61 yards.
Broncos: Right tackle Ja'Wuan James left in the first half with what appeared to be an injured right knee. He limped to the sideline then was carted to the locker room. He did not return. Left guard Dalton Risner hurt his ankle, but did return. Tight end Jeff Heuerman also injured his knee.
Colts: Rookie safety Khari Willis was ruled out after hurting his foot in the third quarter. Defensive tackles Grover Stewart and Denico Autry both left.
Broncos: Host Cleveland next Sunday.
Colts: Visit Pittsburgh next Sunday.
There has been buzz that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a possible landing spot for Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who will become a free agent in March. After his worst season since 2007, the aging gunslinger is unlikely to re-sign with the Bolts, and he recently moved his family from San Diego to Florida to be closer to his extended family in Alabama. The 38-year-old might have a year or two left of football in him if he continues to play, but the 2019 season showed that he's near the end of the line. Rivers would only be an option for Tampa if they choose not to bring Jameis Winston back for at least another season after he led all of football in passing yards last season.
Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has been fired, and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver has been promoted in his place, according to league sources. Houston's defense was a liability for most of the year, especially their leaky secondary. The Texans allowed 51 points and seven straight touchdown drives to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round loss. During the 2019 season, Houston's defense allowed 388.3 yards per game (fifth worst), 267.3 passing yards per game (fourth worst), 121.1 rushing yards a game and 24.1 points per game. Getting J.J. Watt back healthy for a full season will be a start to the Texans rebounding on defense under Weaver.
The Carolina Panthers hired former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow as their new defensive coordinator on Monday. Snow oversaw the defenses for Matt Rhule at both Baylor and Temple. He has 37 years of college coaching experience and has also served as a defensive coordinator at UCLA, Washington, Arizona State and Boise State. Snow coached four seasons in the NFL with the Lions from 2005 to 2008 when he worked with the team's linebackers. Snow will lead a Carolina defense in 2020 that will be without All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly, who recently announced his retirement from football.
Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is not expected back in 2020. Defensive line coach Anthony Weaver is the top candidate to replace him.
Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) has a 'good chance' to be available for the Super Bowl, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers CB Jaire Alexander (thumb) suffered a broken thumb during the team's NFC Championship Game loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Alexander is hopeful he won't need to undergo surgery.
The Green Bay Packers Defense recorded one sack and allowed 37 points in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers steamrolled past Green Bay's unit for 285 rushing yards and four rushing scores. To make matters worse, they couldn't generate much pressure or any turnovers. Despite the disappointing end, the Packers defense was much improved from last year, ranking 15th in sacks with 41 as well as third in interceptions with 17. They may not be among the top defenses drafted in 2020, though they should be on every fantasy managers' radar.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham caught four of five targets for 59 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Graham was a big disappointment this season in a year filled with disappointing tight ends. The 33-year-old put up the lowest numbers since his rookie season and never really put together a good stretch of play until very recently. Graham has one year left on his contract worth about 7.5 million dollars. Given how much of a bust he was, perhaps Green Bay cuts ties with him and goes younger at the position in 2020.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison caught two of three targets for eight yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. There were big expectations for Allison heading into 2019 in both the real and fantasy football worlds. Unfortunately for him, he lived up to neither, failing to eclipse 50 receiving yards in all but one game all year. Green Bay, who is in desperate need of another receiver behind Davante Adams, will have a decision to make about the 25-year-old, who is an unrestricted free agent. It's hard to see Allison being back in Green Bay in 2020.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard caught three of four targets for 36 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Lazard may not have made much noise in the two playoff games but flashed some potential in the regular season, including his first career 100-yard game. Rodgers started to develop a little chemistry with the 6-foot-4 wideout late in the season, as he looked his way 17 times in the last two contests. It would be surprising if Lazard were the number-two receiver for the Packers next year, though it still makes sense for them to bring him back in some capacity. Lazard has some sleeper potential if he's catching passes from Rodgers in 2020.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' 87 passing touchdowns in his first 35 games, including playoffs, are the most in NFL history. His 11 passing touchdowns and 142 pass attempts without an interception to begin his playoff career are both the most on record, and he is one of just two players to have at least 250 passing yards, three or more passing touchdowns and at least 50 rushing yards in multiple career playoff games.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries in a 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19, becoming the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught nine of 10 targets for 138 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Adams operated as Rodgers' safety blanket yet again, capturing 79 more receiving yards than the Packers' next leading receiver. When healthy, this is what the 26-year-old did all year, as he compiled double-digit targets in all but four games, including the playoffs. Despite missing five games, Adams still almost put up a 1000-year season. It would behoove Green Bay to put together a stronger receiver group behind the star receiver. Even if they don't, a healthy Adams should be back in the discussion as an elite fantasy wideout in 2020.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams picked up just six rushing yards on three carries and caught two passes for one receiving yard in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Williams had a disappointing end to his season, as he failed to register at least 40 rushing yards in his last three games after eclipsing the mark in his previous three. The 24-year-old did show flashes at times of being the perfect complement to Aaron Jones. Still, it will be interesting to see if Green Bay hands the reins to Jones next year or continues to spell him with Williams. For now, consider Williams more of a handcuff option than a complement heading into 2020.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed six of his eight passes for 77 yards in a 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19. RB Raheem Mostert rushed 29 times for 220 yards and four touchdowns and caught two passes for six yards, and RB Tevin Coleman rushed six times for 21 yards. WR Deebo Samuel caught two passes for 46 yards and rushed twice for 43 yards, TE George Kittle caught his only target for 19 yards, and WR Emmanuel Sanders was held without a catch on one target. DE Joey Bosa and DL Arik Armstead both recorded a sack.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones carried the ball 12 times for 56 yards and a rushing touchdown along with five catches for 27 yards and a receiving score in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Jones was running well and would have been able to do more damage on the ground if not for the 27-0 deficit at the half. The 24-year-old finished the year tied for the NFL lead in touchdowns with 19, then added four more scores in the playoffs. He (likely) won't score this many times next year, though Jones proved he's more than just a touchdown machine, racking up career-highs in both rushing and receiving yards. He'll be among the best options in 2020 for fantasy backs in all formats.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 31 of 39 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. At first glance, Rodgers' stat line doesn't look so bad, though the first half was a complete struggle for him and the offense. Down 27-0 at the half, the veteran signal-caller effectively used up garbage time to post these numbers. It's a disappointing end to the season for Rodgers, though he still put up his eighth career 4000-yard season as well as his 10th season with at least 25 touchdown passes. The 36-year-old has plenty of juice left in his arm but will probably need another threat on the outside next year besides Davante Adams if Green Bay wants to make noise.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers completed 31 of his 39 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and lost one of his three fumbles in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19. RB Aaron Jones rushed 12 times for 56 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 27 yards and a score. WR Davante Adams caught nine of his 10 targets for 138 yards, TE Jimmy Graham hauled in four of his five targets for 59 yards, WR Allen Lazard added three catches for 36 yards, and TE Jace Sternberger caught two passes for 13 yards and a touchdown. LB Blake Martinez led the team with nine tackles, including six solo stops.
Green Bay Packers CB Jaire Alexander (thumb) has been ruled out for the remainder of the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 19.