By EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer
Houston Texans strong safety Justin Reid (20) celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. The Houston Texans won 26-3. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Houston Texans strong safety Justin Reid (20) celebrates his run after a turnover against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. The Houston Texans won 26-3. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates after an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. The Houston Texans won 26-3. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde (23) loses the ball against Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Jarrod Wilson (26) during the second half of an NFL football game at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde (23) runs the ball against Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Jarrod Wilson (26) during the second half of an NFL football game at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs out of the pocket under pressure by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) during the first half of an NFL football game at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON (AP) Deshaun Watson's most impressive completion won't even count as one.
With a pair of defensive linemen dragging him to the ground, the escape artist who doubles as a quarterback made a backward flip to running back Carlos Hyde that set up Houston's first touchdown. The play said all that needed to be said about Watson, Hyde and the Texans in their 26-3 runaway over Jacksonville on Sunday.
They were very hard to stop.
''It's great to play with a quarterback like Deshaun Watson,'' said receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the recipient of one of Watson's two 1-yard TD throws. ''You see what he can do. It was amazing, right?''
Watson's rugby-style pitch was spot-on perfect for a game in London, where the locals are still recovering from England's 20-point loss in the World Cup final on Saturday, and now must deal with the added insult of watching their adopted home team, the Jaguars (4-5), getting hammered just as badly.
Jaguars linemen Yannick Ngakoue and Taven Bryan had Watson all but wrapped up in the second quarter with the Texans on the move. Twisted around 180 degrees and facing his own end zone, Watson saw no one but Hyde, who caught the lateral and took it to the Jacksonville 7.
''I yelled out `Los!,''' Watson said. ''But the ball was already halfway out of my hand when I yelled it. I was just trying to make something happen.''
He finished 22 for 28 for 201 yards, along with 37 yards running. The official stats say he was hit seven times but sacked only once. He dodged defenders and made all the throws with his left eye still swollen and red, a week after getting kicked in the face just before throwing the winning touchdown pass against the Raiders.
How's the eye, Deshaun?
''It's fine,'' he said. ''Thanks for asking.''
The 7-yard gain off the lateral was just the start of things for Hyde. He finished with 19 carries for 160 yards for the Texans (6-3), including a 58-yard run in the fourth quarter that looked headed for a touchdown until Jags safety Jarrod Wilson stripped the ball at the 2.
A quarter earlier, Hyde ripped off a 48-yard gain - finding nothing but air on the right side of the Jaguars line. Watson followed with a 21-yard strike to Hopkins (eight catches, 48 yards), and Duke Johnson ran it in from the 1 for a 19-3 lead.
As for Minshew Mania - it could be over.
In his last start before Nick Foles comes off the injured list, Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew went 27 for 47 with two picks and two lost fumbles. Almost all his 309 yards came during garbage time. It was not great film for coach Doug Marrone to review as he decides whether to keep the rookie in the starting spot.
Minshew went 4-4 as a starter. In two starts against Houston, the Jaguars produced one touchdown.
''It's not one game. It'll be a body of work,'' Marrone said.
COSTLY AND QUESTIONABLE
Jacksonville's chance at a comeback was derailed by a pair of costly - and questionable - calls. Trailing 9-3 in the third, D.J. Chark had a catch at the Houston 4 nullified by a ticky-tack pass-interference call. Jacksonville settled for a field-goal attempt that didn't get off the ground because of a high snap. On the next play, Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell got hit with a personal foul after diving head-first at Watson but missing him completely. It set up a field goal for a 12-3 lead, and the rout was on.
With Jacksonville driving in the fourth quarter, trying to cut the deficit to one score, Texans defensive back Gareon Conley muscled the ball from Jags receiver Chris Conley, who appeared to have secured the ball to convert a fourth-and-10 in Houston territory.
Jacksonville challenged the ruling, but officials upheld their incomplete call. The defensive back came to the Texans last month in a trade with Oakland, and coach Bill O'Brien said he's been pleased with his play.
Houston: Bye week, then at Ravens on Nov. 17.
Jacksonville: By week, then at Colts on Nov. 17
Sunday Morning Update: Week 7
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (head) will not return to Sunday's matchup against the Chiefs. On a snowy, sloppy day in the Mile-High City, the 26-year-old suffered a concussion shortly before the end of the first half. Before his departure, he had nine attempts for 79 yards. Melvin Gordon, who also has nine carries, will likely serve as the featured back for the remainder of the contest. With more news to come, possibly sometime on Monday, fantasy managers will want to monitor this situation ahead of Denver's Week 8 against the Chargers.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith was targeted just four times but caught all four, totaling 56 receiving yards in a win over the Panthers. It wasn't the volume fantasy managers were hoping for from Smith, as he took a backseat to undrafted rookie Marquez Callaway (ankle). However, Smith really could be the lone wolf in the receiving room next week, especially if Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring), Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19), and Callaway are all out for a Week 8 matchup against the Bears.
The Washington Football Team defense had another good game against a banged-up offense as they dominated the Andy Dalton-led Cowboys. Dallas was playing without several starters on the offensive line and Washington took advantage as they sacked Dalton six times with one sack leading to a safety. Cole Holcomb led the charge for Washington with an interception and a sack from the middle linebacker position. In all, Washington allowed three points, recorded six sacks, a safety, and an interception on a great day for fantasy managers. The Football Team will have a bye in Week 8 but have another juicy matchup versus the Giants in Week 9 where they will be a startable unit in fantasy.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green had seven catches (13 targets) for 82 yards during the loss to the Browns on Sunday. The veteran recorded another convincing performance against Cleveland while combining for 15 receptions (24 targets) over the team's previous two contests. Although fantasy managers may not see this type of production against the Titans in Week 8, he could have some more favorable outings over Cincy's remaining nine games, especially if Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd continue to open things up for him.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway caught eight of 10 targets for 75 receiving yards in a 27-24 victory over Carolina. Callaway led the team in targets in the absences of both Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19). Somewhat quietly, the 22-year old rookie has compiled 16 targets over his last two contests. With Sanders definitely out and Thomas's status looking murky, Callaway makes for an interesting waiver add. He did sustain an ankle injury and had to be helped off the field to the locker room. If Callaway's ankle isn't anything serious, fantasy managers should consider him as a streaming option against Chicago.
The Dallas Cowboys Defense didn't fare well in Week 7 despite being matched up against a Washington Football Team that was allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing fantasy defenses. The Cowboys defense allowed 23 points, recording two sacks but no turnovers. The Cowboys will take on the Eagles in the battle of bad NFC East defenses next week, where they will not be a recommended fantasy option.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins caught all five of his targets to finish with 71 yards and a touchdown against the Browns on Sunday. The rookie now has three touchdowns on the year, finding the end zone for the first time since Week 3 against the Eagles. With Joe Burrow leading a pass-heavy attack for Cincy, Higgins may continue to benefit, especially with Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green drawing the attention needed to open things up for him over the remaining nine games of his inaugural season.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd caught 11 of his 13 targets to finish the Week 7 matchup against the Browns with 101 yards and a score. After fizzling out against the Colts last Sunday, the 25-year-old recorded one of his most convincing performances of the 2020 campaign. Boyd has now logged at least eight targets in five of Cincy's seven contests and should continue to benefit from the stellar play of rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow. However, things may get difficult for the former Pittsburgh Panther in Week 8 against the Titans, with Tennessee looking to rebound after suffering its first defeat of the year against the Steelers.
Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein attempted a field goal in Week 7, and it was good for the only three points the Cowboys scored in an ugly 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team. Zuerlein made his kick from 45 yards out and was never on the field on offense again. The Dallas offense is in total shambles, possibly moving Zuerlein out of the top-15 fantasy kickers going forward. He should continue to be solid, but may not get enough opportunities to score significant fantasy points.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup came up empty in a rough Week 7 loss. Gallup was targeted twice but couldn't come down with either pass, ending up with a blank box score and zero fantasy points. Gallup was working as a field stretcher with Dak Prescott around, but now with Andy Dalton and possibly Ben DiNucci throwing the ball for the Cowboys, Gallup seems much more likely to hit the "bust" part of his boom-or-bust fantasy outlook.
Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas caught all four of his targets for 60 yards and a touchdown in a Week 7 win over the Cowboys. Thomas played second-fiddle to Terry McLaurin in the passing game as no other Washington player had more than two targets. Thomas made them count catching several big passes to move the chains while finding the end zone for the third time this season. Thomas has had an up-and-down season but is getting enough weekly targets to be considered a borderline starter in 12-team fantasy leagues. He'll be a touchdown-dependant starter in his next matchup in Week 9 versus the Giants.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard racked up 37 yards off 13 carries during the heartbreaking loss to the Cleveland Browns. He also added five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. The veteran filled in admirably for Joe Mixon (foot), who is considered week-to-week after being injured during the Week 6 encounter with the Colts. At this point, the 28-year-old has likely found a home on fantasy rosters. However, if he is still floating around the waiver wire, managers should pick him up before it's too late, especially if Mixon cannot suit up against the Titans in Week 8. Although Bernard isn't the most efficient runner, he should continue to benefit from the team's pass-heavy offense.
New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray posted 56 scrimmage yards on 12 total touches in a victory over the Panthers. Murray's 4.3 yards per carry were a bit skewed, as he picked up 25 yards on one run and just 22 yards on the other 10 carries. Still, the opportunity Murray is getting is encouraging for those who have him rostered, as the coaching staff clearly trusts him. It bears repeating, but if something were to happen to Alvin Kamara, Murray would be an easy start as an RB1.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin posted a 7-90-1 line versus the Cowboys to help lead Washington to a win over their division rival. The sophomore receiver was a huge part of the game plan against a bad Dallas secondary as McLaurin was targeted 11 times, his fourth game this season with double-digit targets. It could have been an even bigger game for McLaurin but he came up inches short of the goal line on his first catch of the game. He made up for it a couple of drives later as he torched Trevon Diggs for a 52-yard score. McLaurin doesn't operate in the NFL's most electrifying offense, but his combination of skill and target-floor make him one of the best WR options in fantasy. He'll have another solid matchup with the Giants in Week 9 after the bye.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara carried the ball 14 times for 83 rushing yards and caught all eight targets for 65 receiving yards in a 27-24 win. The 83 rushing yards tied a season-high for Kamara, as the running room was easy to find against Carolina's ground defense. Amazingly, the star halfback has exceeded 100 scrimmage yards in every game but one- and he ended up with two scores in that contest to salvage his day. There might be no better player to roster in fantasy football right now, so managers should keep riding the Kamara wave into a Week 8 contest against a Bears Defense that can be had on the ground.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) will have an MRI performed on Monday. The veteran was forced out of Sunday's matchup against the Bengals after injuring his left knee in the first quarter. Although the team fears the worst, fantasy managers should wait until official confirmation before hitting the panic button. Heading into Week 7, the 27-year-old grabbed 23 of his 42 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz made two catches in Week 7, gaining 22 yards. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, Schultz ended up second on the team in both catches and receiving yards. He was targeted four times in a game in which the Cowboys couldn't do much of anything on offense. Even if Andy Dalton (head) is able to play next week, Schultz may be no better than a mid-range TE2. Things are rough on both sides of the ball in Dallas right now.
Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb was targeted five times in an ugly Week 7 loss, failing to catch any of those targets. He was given one carry and gained one yard. In standard scoring leagues, Lamb put up just 0.1 fantasy points. It was a bad game for pretty much everyone in a Cowboys uniform. Even if Andy Dalton (head) isn't forced to miss time, Lamb and all of the Cowboys pass catchers are getting a huge downgrade compared to when Dak Prescott (ankle) was under center.
Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan caught only two passes for 32 yards in the Packers 35-20 romp over the Texans in Week 7. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was generous with his offensive distribution but Tonyan was unable to enjoy the fruits of the teams prosperity. Fantasy teams that raced to pick up Tonyan after his three-touchdown performance in Week 4 have been rewarded with only five catches for 57 yards over the last two weeks. Tonyan's fantasy value will continue to sink heading into Week 8.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper had the only remotely productive offensive game for the Cowboys in Week 7. He caught seven passes for 80 yards and added a carry for five more yards on the ground. Cooper was targeted seven times and caught everything sent his way. He ended up leading the team in catches, targets, and yards all by a significant margin. It was a rough game for the Cowboys in all aspects, but in the "someone has to catch the ball" situations that the Cowboys may have going forward, Cooper is the most likely to be that "someone". Cooper will remain a volume-based WR2 option regardless of the Cowboys quarterback situation going forward.