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FFL: Playoff Week 3 | NFL: Week 15

Rivers leads Chargers to last-second comeback win over KC

Fri Dec 14 12:36 am
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Players: Philip Rivers, Travis Benjamin, Spencer Ware, Keenan Allen, Sammy Watkins, Melvin Gordon, Damien Williams, Demarcus Robinson, Darrel Williams, Patrick Mahomes

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) celebrates after catching a two-point conversion for the win against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The Los Angeles Chargers won 29-28. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller (23) watches as Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) makes a two-point conversion catch to win the game during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The Los Angeles Chargers won 29-28. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) catches a two-point conversion for the win against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The Los Angeles Chargers won 29-28. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (32) crosses into the end zone for a touchdown between Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens (53) and defensive back Daniel Sorensen (49) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (11) gestures as the ball bounces off the helmet of wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn follows the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley (17), wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) and others celebrate a touchdown by running back Damien Williams, unseen, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (32) is upended after a tackle by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller, right, during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (32) is upended after a tackle by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller, unseen, during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Geremy Davis (11) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) runs into the end zone between Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen, right, and safety Ron Parker, left, during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) is hit by Los Angeles Chargers safety Jahleel Addae (37) while making a catch during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford (55) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller (23) intercepts a pass intended for Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn calls instructions during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) attempts a touchdown against Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Eric Berry during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. Allen did not score. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) makes a touchdown catch against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson (20) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams (31) crosses into the end zone for a touchdown past Los Angeles Chargers safety Jahleel Addae (37) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts after running back Darrel Williams scored a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts after running back Darrel Williams scored a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) flips the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is tackled by Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Jatavis Brown (57) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Philip Rivers and the Chargers finally beat the Kansas City Chiefs.

All it took was feverish fourth-quarter comeback, a questionable pass-interference call, a tense video review of the final touchdown and the gutsy decision to try a 2-point conversion.

The result: Chargers 29, Chiefs 28.

Justin Jackson's touchdown run with a couple minutes left gave the Chargers a chance. They quickly got the ball back from Patrick Mahomes and the NFL's highest-scoring offense, and Rivers led a tense final drive that included a fourth-down dart to Travis Benjamin and that crucial penalty on Kendall Fuller in the back of the end zone.

The flag gave the Chargers the ball at the 1, and Rivers found Mike Williams along the sideline on the very next play. And when his TD catch with 4 seconds left was confirmed, coach Anthony Lynn sent his offense back onto the field to end five years' worth of frustration.

Williams found himself alone in the end zone to secure the 2-point conversion.

Not only did the Chargers (11-3) clinch a playoff berth, they forged a first-place tie with the Chiefs (11-3) in the AFC West while ending a nine-game losing streak to their longtime division rivals.

Rivers threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, though he also tossed a pair of interceptions, and Williams had seven catches for 76 yards and two scores while adding another on the ground.

Jackson ran for 58 yards and a touchdown in place of the injured Melvin Gordon.

Mahomes was held to just 243 yards and two touchdowns for Kansas City, and his inability to pick up a first down in the closing minutes proved costly. The Chiefs forced the Chargers to burn two timeouts on their last drive, but Mahomes was sacked by Isaac Rochell and Kansas City had to punt.

The Chiefs never got the ball back on offense.

Hyped by the return of star safety Eric Berry, it looked for a while as if the Chiefs would simply resume their vexation of Rivers at Arrowhead Stadium. Steven Nelson leaped to snag a jump ball for an interception on the second play of the game, and Rivers tossed another just before halftime.

Mahomes and Co. took advantage of their early momentum.

Kansas City breezed downfield after Nelson's interception, and the young MVP candidate threw a dart to Demarcus Robinson - while in the grasp of Chargers safety Adrian Phillips - for a 7-0 lead.

Then after a punt, Darrel Williams took a screen pass for his first career touchdown.

The Chargers finally reached the end zone in the second quarter, when Mike Williams caught a short TD pass. But it came moments after wide receiver Keenan Allen hurt his hip while trying to make a leaping grab in the corner of the end zone - he briefly returned before sitting out the rest of the game.

Mike Williams continued to pick up the slack the rest of the game.

After the Chiefs pushed their lead to 21-7 on Damien Williams' touchdown run, the Chargers' big, rangy wide receiver answered with a 19-yard end-around for a score. And when then Chiefs went on another methodical scoring drive to take a 28-14 lead with just over 8 minutes left in the game, Williams helped the Chargers head the other way for another answering touchdown to stay in the game.

TONY G'S AWARD

The Chiefs added TE Tony Gonzalez to their Hall of Fame at halftime. The six-time All-Pro played his first 12 seasons with the Chiefs before finishing his career in Atlanta. His name was unveiled next to that of WR Carlos Carson on the ring of honor inside Arrowhead Stadium.

INACTIVE STARS

Gordon (knee) tried to warmup before telling coach Anthony Lynn that he couldn't play, joining Ekeler (concussion) on their inactive list. RB Spencer Ware (hamstring), WR Sammy Watkins (foot) and OL Cam Erving were the starters out for Kansas City.

INJURIES

Chargers: Allen received treatment on the sideline after nearly making his spectacular TD catch, and he returned briefly before slowly walking off. He left for the locker room and did not return.

UP NEXT

Chargers: Return home for a primetime game against the Ravens on Dec. 22.

Chiefs: Visit the Seahawks for another primetime game Dec. 23.

Player Notes
Michael Roberts Dec 13 11:20pm ET

Detroit Lions tight end Michael Roberts put up a goose egg in Week 14 against the Cardinals. This week against the Bills, Roberts will have his hands full as Buffalo has allowed just 41 receptions and four touchdowns to tight ends this season. The only way Roberts could find any relevance is if he scores a touchdown, but with the inconsistency of this Lions offense, you would be hard pressed to think Roberts is an option this week.

From RotoBaller

Levine Toilolo Dec 13 11:10pm ET

Detroit Lions tight end Levine Toilolo has seen increased production the last two weeks, catching six passes for 116 yards, higher totals than the rest of his season combined. The Lions Week 15 opponent, the Buffalo Bills, have allowed the second fewest receptions to tight ends this year with 41. Combine a struggling offense and a stingy opposing defense, Toilolo is far from usable in fantasy this week.

From RotoBaller

Andy Jones Dec 13 11:00pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Andy Jones caught his second pass of the season last week for just five yards. This week, it is not looking like Bruce Ellington will be able to suit up against the Bills, so Jones has a chance to be more involved in a struggling Lions offense. Even with more chances, he is not someone you go chasing after to get on your team, and more-so in your lineup.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Golladay Dec 13 10:50pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught just two passes for five yards in last week's win over the Cardinals. It was a very pedestrian game for the second-year man, and one of his worst games of the season. This week against the Bills, Golladay is fighting for targets with TJ Jones, Andy Jones, and Brandon Powell, which bodes well for the Lions' defacto WR1. While the Bills defense has been solid and Golladay will likely matchup with Tre'Davious White, expect the Northern Illinois product to see a healthy target share. However, due to the Lions' ineptness on offense recently, look at Golladay as more of a WR3 with the chance for more if he can score.

From RotoBaller

T.J. Jones Dec 13 10:50pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver TJ Jones has been severely disappointing in the absence of Marvin Jones. Over his last seven games, he has just seven receptions for 93 yards and no scores. However, with Bruce Ellington (hamstring) not practicing so far this week, it means that Jones very well could become the Lions' WR2 this week against the Bills. Just last season, he caught 30 passes for 399 yards, so he has had some hints of success in the offense, but he just hasn't gotten enough looks to be relevant in any format.

From RotoBaller

Zach Zenner Dec 13 10:30pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner garnered a season high 12 carries for 54 yards, while scoring his first touchdown of the season last week against the Cardinals. Before Week 14, Zenner had only registered four carries for 28 yards, so it was interesting to see a big jump in workload. This week against the Bills, Zenner will most likely share carries with LeGarrette Blount again. However, that doesn't make him worthwhile in fantasy and he shouldn't be considered for any lineups.

From RotoBaller

Theo Riddick Dec 13 10:10pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick has been serviceable in the absence of Kerryon Johnson, catching 14 passes for 104 yards, while rushing for another 72 yards in three games. This week against the Bills, Riddick has a chance to see even more work in the passing game with Bruce Ellington (hamstring) not practicing so far this week and not looking likely to suit up on Sunday. Buffalo has allowed running backs to catch 74 passes out of the backfield this season, so expect Riddick to get a healthy target share. Even with the solid workload, Riddick is nothing more than a flex option in deep PPR leagues this week.

From RotoBaller

Andrew Luck Dec 13 10:00pm ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck rebounded from a horrible Week 13 game by putting up 399 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Houston Texans. The ineptitude with the Colts ground game has proven to be extremely beneficial for fantasy owners, as Luck has had to throw the football an average of 43 times over his last three games and finished as a top-10 quarterback in each. The Dallas Cowboys defense may have surrendered only three QB1 scoring weeks in 2018, but Luck is well capable of overcoming a tough matchup and fantasy owners should fire him up as their starting option for Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Eric Ebron Dec 13 10:00pm ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron has been a star of the team's passing attack in an offense sans Jack Doyle and will look to finish the season strong against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15. Dallas has been a fantasy point factory for tight ends, with the position accounting for nearly 27 percent of the receptions the Cowboy defense allows (the second-most in the league). Ebron will also get an opportunity to match the Colts franchise record for touchdown receptions in a season with the Cowboys giving up the 25 percent of their touchdowns to tight ends. Fantasy owners can't go wrong with Ebron and should slot him in as a TE1.

From RotoBaller

LeGarrette Blount Dec 13 9:50pm ET

Detroit Lions running back LeGarrette Blount hit a roadblock last week, and that was Zach Zenner, his own teammate. Zenner scored Detroit's only offensive touchdown, while also taking 12 carries away from Blount. However, the bruiser has been solid ever since rookie Kerryon Johnson got injured, rushing for 182 yards and two touchdowns over the past three weeks. Although, with Zenner now clearly in the mix, Blount's unsteady workload is worrisome as a volume based, touchdown-dependent back. You could certainly do worse, but trusting Blount during fantasy playoff time is risky business.

From RotoBaller

Keenan Allen Dec 13 9:40pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (hip) is questionable to return on Thursday night against the Chiefs after injuring his hip. Allen initially injured his hip on a near incredible one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter, but it was incomplete and he landed hard on his hip. Allen didn't have any catches before leaving the game, so this could be a death sentence for his owners in the fantasy semifinals if he doesn't return to the game. If Allen does not return, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams will see more targets in the passing game.

From RotoBaller

Matthew Stafford Dec 13 9:30pm ET

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had one of the least productive games of his 10-year career last week against the Cardinals, throwing for just 101 yards and no touchdowns. Despite the Lions winning 17-3, Stafford left much to be desired, and the situation doesn't get better this week on the road against the Bills. The 30-year-old signal caller leads one of the most depleted offenses in the NFL right now. Kerryon Johnson (knee) has missed several weeks and Marvin Jones (knee) is on the IR, so his weapons are limited. The Bills defense has kept them competitive all season and they have allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, meaning Stafford could have his work cut out for him. Don't lean on him as anything more than low-end QB2.

From RotoBaller

Josh Rosen Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Despite suffering through a tough season, the Atlanta Falcons defense is in play as a fantasy option in Week 15 against the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona's punchless offense, led by rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, has been a unit to target with fantasy defenses all season. Averaging just 13.7 points per game, last in the league, the Cardinals are giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to defenses. While it may not feel great playing them, the Falcons D/ST is a solid streaming option, especially if your normal starting defense has a tough matchup in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Rashaad Penny Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Rashaad Penny (knee) missed his second practice in a row on Thursday. His status for Week 15 against the 49ers is now in concern. If he doesn't at least get in a limited practice on Friday, Penny will be unlikely to play. As long as Chris Carson remains the lead back in Seattle, Penny will be unpredictable and hard to trust as an RB3/flex. If Penny sits out, Carson will be a stronger RB2 play.

From RotoBaller

Doug Baldwin Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hip) returned to a limited practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday's session. Baldwin sat out in Week 14 against the Vikings but appears on track to return this Sunday. Baldwin has become more of a WR3 because he's dealt with injuries all year in an offense that runs the ball more than any other team in the NFL. Baldwin had just two catches for 22 yards but found the end zone just several weeks ago in the first matchup against San Fran. His return would hurt Tyler Lockett and David Moore.

From RotoBaller

Austin Hooper Dec 13 8:20pm ET

Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper has caught at least four passes in each of his past five games in what has been a mini-breakout season for him. That being said, Hooper draws a tough assignment in Week 15 against an Arizona Cardinals defense that has done a good job at snuffing out opposing tight ends this season. Arizona is allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to the position in 2018. Normally a low-end TE1, the tough matchup downgrades Hooper into the TE2 range for Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Dec 13 8:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons slot receiver Mohamed Sanu draws a decent Week 15 matchup against the visiting Arizona Cardinals. Coming off a six-catch, 54-yard game against the Green Bay Packers, Sanu has been a high-floor PPR play this season, notching at least 8.5 points in nine of his 13 games played. While he hasn't shown a huge ceiling, Sanu is a safe fantasy play who won't kill your lineups. Treat Sanu as a decent flex option in PPR leagues for the fantasy semifinals.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Dec 13 8:00pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is coming off one of his worst games of the season in Week 14. Ridley caught just one of four targets for 10 yards last week, his lowest output since his goose egg back in Week 1. Theoretically, Ridley draws a plus matchup against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15 as he will run the majority of his routes against David Amerson, the owner of a 52 grade over at Pro Football Focus. That being said, Ridley's recent slow streak will make him tough to trust as anything more than a plug-and-pray flex option in the fantasy semifinals.

From RotoBaller

Ito Smith Dec 13 7:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith will welcome a struggling Arizona Cardinals run defense to town in Week 15. The rookie runner set career-highs with 14 touches and 74 all-purpose yards in Week 14 against the Green Bay Packers. While he continues to play behind Tevin Coleman, Smith has some value as a flex play against a Cardinals defense that is allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to the running back position. Treat Smith as a solid flex option for Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Dec 13 7:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is fresh off of shredding the Green Bay Packers for 108 yards and two touchdowns in Week 14. The all-world talent will look to keep it going in Week 15 against the visiting Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals, led by star cornerback Patrick Peterson, have been tough against wide receivers this season, allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to enemy wideouts. That being said, Jones is a must-start in fantasy any time he takes the field. Treat Jones as a solid WR1 for Week 15.

From RotoBaller