Sun Sep 15 4:32pm ET
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) smiles on the sidelines, during the second half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Miami Dolphins defensive back Ken Webster (31) tackles New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11), during the first half at an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) scores a touchdown as Miami Dolphins cornerback Jomal Wiltz (33) attempts to defend, during the first half at an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage (27) drops a pass under pressure from New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32), during the first half at an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass, during the first half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Antonio Brown caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in his debut for the New England Patriots, and they scored twice on interception returns in a two-minute fourth-quarter span Sunday to beat the Miami Dolphins, 43-0.
Brown also made an 18-yard catch on his first play for the Patriots, who signed him Monday. He finished with 56 yards on four receptions, all in the first half.
The NFL allowed the four-time All-Pro receiver to play despite a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday by his former trainer accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions.
New England's defense outscored Miami with interception returns for touchdowns of 54 yards by Stephon Gilmore and 69 yards by Jamie Collins Sr. The Patriots totaled seven sacks and four interceptions and earned their most lopsided win in the 108-game history of the series.
Tom Brady threw for 264 yards and two scores for the Pats, who are 2-0 for the first time since 2016, winning by a combined score of 76-3. The Dolphins are 0-2 for only the second time since 2012, with their losses by a combined score of 102-10.
Bill Belichick didn't let up against his former assistant, Dolphins rookie coach Brian Flores. Brady kept throwing to help the Patriots drive 59 yards for their final touchdown with 2:10 left.
New England was an 18 1/2-point favorite but led only 7-0 late in the first half before Brady's touchdown throw to Brown. The Patriots newcomer celebrated by vaulting into the first row, where she landed on an 18-year-old college student wearing a Brady jersey.
''I was really excited,'' said the spectator, Jenna Saadah, attending her first football game. ''The fact that it was the Patriots team that scored a touchdown, it was mind-blowing.''
For the defending Super Bowl champions, the victory was workmanlike but sweet. They won for only the second time in their past seven trips to Miami and avenged a loss in 2018 on a last-second pass and double lateral.
Brady tied George Blanda for the second-most regular-season wins in the NFL with 209. Adam Vinatieri began the weekend first with 215 wins.
The Patriots' battered offensive line was dealt another blow when left tackle Isaiah Wynn left in the first half with a foot injury. Marshall Newhouse replaced him.
Minkah Fitzpatrick started at safety for the Dolphins even though he has requested and received permission to seek a trade to play elsewhere.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed two extra points and a 48-yard field-goal try. He has missed three extra points in the past two seasons, all in Miami.
The Patriots play host to the Jets next Sunday. New England has won the past six meetings.
The Dolphins play next Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys, who have won their past three meetings.
Michael Thomas hauled in 8 catches for 89 yards on 12 targets in Sunday's 13-6 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jalen Ramsey wasn't active in Week 6, and Thomas went to work exposing the Jags secondary. Teddy Bridgewater didn't take many deep shots, and when he did, they mainly fell in Ted Ginn Jr.'s direction, which kept Thomas's ceiling capped. Thomas's stranglehold over New Orleans' target share won't be changing anytime soon, so expect him to continue dominating in the weeks to come.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (quadriceps) has a chance to return in Week 7, and the team hasn't ruled him out. However, the injury is on the same leg as his troublesome knee, which doesn't allow for a lot of stability.
Fantasy Spin: The Atlanta Falcons have been good against the run, and Gurley would be a high-end RB2 if he's fit to go. Malcolm Brown would be a flex option in either event.
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (thigh) was diagnosed with a thigh bruise, which can be painful, but isn't considered serious.
Fantasy Spin: Cooper was knocked out of the game after just one catch for three yards. He'll have a superb matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, and he'll return to WR1 status.
Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu caught three of his four targets for 29 scoreless yards in Week 6 versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu had established himself a nice fantasy WR3 floor over the previous three weeks, so owners counting on him for another five or six catches and about 60 yards came away disappointed. Making matters worse is Matt Ryan threw for 356 yards. Nevertheless, Sanu makes for a decent floor play in the flex in Week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Atlanta Falcons RB Ito Smith managed only six yards on three carries and was not targeted in the passing game in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Fantasy Spin: Smith had been a bit of a nuisance to fantasy owners of Devonta Freeman in recent weeks, but that was not the case versus the Cardinals. The fact Smith was hardly involved in this contest likely had to do with the fact Freeman was playing well (88 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving). Smith figures to make for a weak flex option in Week 8 versus the Los Angeles Rams.
Minnesota Vikings LB Eric Kendricks logged 10 tackles (eight solo), a tackle for loss, a half-sack and two passes defended in Week 6 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr logged 10 tackles (eight solo), a tackle for loss and one pass defended in Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Los Angeles Chargers backup kicker Chase McLaughlin did about as well as could be expected on Sunday as he was able to knock through one of the two field goal tries he was given. His other attempt glanced off the left upright, skittering across the end zone. McLaughlin shouldn't be expected to have much of a future with LA, but with primary kicker Michael Badgley still considered week-to-week with a groin injury, he may have a little play. Unfortunately, LA's offense has struggled mightily as of late, so even if McLaughlin does get the job for a while, he's probably not interesting to the vast majority of the fantasy community.
Coming off of a bye and facing one of the league's most generous defenses, the stars seemed to be aligned for Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen to show his true talent in Week 6. Rosen was instead benched to start the fourth quarter after throwing for just 85 yards on 15-of-25 passing, leading Miami to only three points before departing with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. While head coach Brian Flores did confirm after the game that Rosen is still the starter, the second-year quarterback on his second team just simply isn't viable in any format. Rosen should be left on the waiver wire again next week, as he and the Dolphins have a tough matchup against a stingy Buffalo defense.
Denver Broncos QB Joe Flacco completed 18 of 28 passes for 177 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in a Week 6 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Fantasy Spin: Flacco has thrown for less than 200 yards in each of the last two games, but Denver has won both so you can bet they won't willingly shy away from that formula. The veteran isn't worth owning in most leagues.
For the third straight week, Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen was effectively neutralized. Allen caught just three passes for 33 yards as Pittsburgh basically removed him from the action. This now makes three straight games in which Allen has been held under 50 yards receiving, and LA has gone on to lose two of those matchups. It appears opposing defenses are starting to key in on Allen as a catalyst for the offense, and the Chargers haven't been able to make them pay in the process. Allen got off to a quick start this season and looked like he'd be in the running for the top wideout in the league, but now it's just up in the air whether he's worthy of starting week in and week out.
Los Angeles Chargers safety Rayshawn Jenkins was able to provide a moment of happiness for Chargers fans on Sunday when he made a beautiful diving stab to snatch an interception away on a deep pass. Jenkins' play helped act as a catalyst to allow LA to get back into the game when they were down by three touchdowns, and the offense was able to turn the change in possession into a touchdown a few minutes later. Jenkins and the rest of the Chargers Defense played a decent game against Pittsburgh and their third-string quarterback getting his first ever start, but they still struggled to generate any pressure on the quarterback. After a second straight loss, they'll need to step it up over the next few weeks if they want to stop the slide.
Tennessee Titans LB Rashaan Evans was credited with 10 tackles (six solo) against the Denver Broncos in Week 6.
Miami Dolphins QB Josh Rosen was benched at the start of the fourth quarter in Week 6 against the Washington Redskins after going 15-of-25 for 85 yards and two interceptions.
Fantasy Spin: On a positive note, head coach Brian Flores told reporters Rosen will remain the starter and that Ryan Fitzpatrick's entrance into the game was merely to spark the offense. Nevertheless, fantasy owners have seen this will be enough times to know this probably won't be the only occasion in which the Miami offense needs a spark. Outside of truly desperate owners in two-quarterback leagues, neither player should see much time in fantasy lineups.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams was Philip Rivers' favorite target on Sunday night, but he was only able to haul in half the throws. Rivers struggled mightily from the pocket, but Williams worked well as an outlet while No. 1 wideout Keenan Allen seemed to be focused on by the defense. Williams finished with 72 yards receiving, and while he didn't find the end zone, he came up just short on multiple occasions. The return of Hunter Henry will only further cut into Williams' targets in most games, but now that teams have seen LA's offense struggle two weeks in a row when Allen was neutralized, Williams may see an uptick as a way to try to counteract how teams scheme for the Chargers.
The Denver Broncos Defense had their best game of the season so far, as they blanked the Tennessee Titans in a shutout win. The Broncos were all over the field, forcing seven sacks and three interceptions while holding the Titans to just over 200 yards. This is has been the most impressive performance from the Denver Defense this year, but they have no easy task ahead of them as they face the lethal Patrick Mahomes led Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler was already expected to see a drop in usage due to the full return of Melvin Gordon, but he was further buried when the team was suddenly down 14 points before the end of the first quarter. While Ekeler has the ability to be a star, and he showed that ability in the first few games of the season, he's held down by the situation he's in. Gordon will see the majority of carries, and Ekeler will easily become a victim of circumstances. This game isn't enough to predict his entire future since the whole team played terribly, but anyone still holding on to Ekeler should be very concerned about what lies ahead.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry was everything people thought he would be and more. Henry was basically the only bright spot for the Chargers on Sunday night as he snagged eight of the nine passes sent in his direction and tallied 100 yards and two touchdowns. Henry showed off some incredible awareness on his first touchdown catch, getting his second foot down just centimeters from the back line of the end zone. His second was a bit easier, mostly because Pittsburgh went into a very soft defense since LA was down by two touchdowns with less than 90 seconds left in the game. It's highly unlikely Henry can put up these kinds of numbers every week, but Philip Rivers has wonderful history with his tight ends. Henry is a good target for fantasy owners.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had his game shortened this afternoon as he exited with a knee injury. Before leaving the contest, Sanders only managed to haul in one catch for zero yards. It is not believed that the veteran receiver's injury is serious, and despite having a short week ahead of him there is a chance that Sanders returns to action next week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played poorly on Sunday as the Chargers lost to the Steelers. Rivers was responsible for turnovers on back-to-back drives in the first quarter when he overthrew Melvin Gordon on a backwards pass that was recovered and returned for a touchdown and had a tipped pass intercepted four plays later. With the Chargers in a 14-0 hole before the end of the first quarter, Rivers settled down and racked up a ton of yards through the air, finishing with 320. Unfortunately, the team wouldn't actually get on the board until the end of the third quarter, and Rivers would float a desperation pass at the end of the fourth quarter that would be intercepted to end the comeback. Rivers did tally a pair of passing touchdowns on the day, but his poor play was a major reason why LA lost on Sunday.