Thu Nov 14 11:35am ET
By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sits on the field after fumbling against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game, in Minneapolis. The Eagles upset the Patriots 41-33. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl two years ago still bugs Tom Brady, even though the New England Patriots rebounded to win their sixth title last season.
''That's a lot of mental scar tissue from that year,'' Brady said in his weekly radio appearance on WEEI in Boston. ''That was a tough game. In a lot of ways, we learned from that year and we came back stronger the next year. We won the Super Bowl in '18. I think everything is a matter of perspective and when you play in that game and you play great teams, you're not going to win them all.
''This is not the Harlem Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals. This is all about tough competition against the best teams. They deserved it that year, and now a couple years later we get a chance to play the organization again. We've had a lot changes, they've had a lot of changes. It's totally different circumstances. Huge game for us. Big game for them. The better team is going to win.''
The Eagles (5-4) meet the Patriots (8-1) on Sunday for the first time since backup quarterback Nick Foles led Philadelphia to a 41-33 victory on Feb. 4, 2018, to capture the franchise's first championship since 1960.
Foles is in Jacksonville now, so the Patriots will get their first chance to see Carson Wentz. He was recovering from knee surgery and watched Foles' MVP performance against New England from the sideline.
''He can do it all - good arm, athletic, can extend plays, tough kid, can run if he needs to, can make all the throws, get the ball down the field, gets the ball to all his receivers, uses the backs, tight ends and receivers based on who is open, his route progression,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ''He's good at reading defenses. They give him a lot of responsibility at the line of scrimmage to change plays or adjust plays. There's some checking going on there and so forth. So, looks like he's pretty good at everything, a pretty accomplished guy.''
The Eagles have won two in a row after consecutive lopsided losses and are tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East. The Patriots are coming off their first loss, 37-20 in Baltimore.
Both teams had a bye so they're well-rested and some of the players who've been out are getting healthier.
With rankings at or near the top of the NFL in several defensive categories, the Patriots have drawn comparisons to the 2000 Ravens' defense.
That Baltimore unit, led by future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, held opponents to a single-season record-low 10.3 points per game. The Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl over the Giants that season.
The Patriots have allowed only 10.9 points per game through nine games, while allowing the fewest yards per game (249.3). They're first in interceptions (19), second in passing yards allowed (150.2) and fourth in sacks (32).
Eagles coach Doug Pederson started at quarterback for the Browns the second time they faced the Ravens that season and suffered cracked ribs in a 44-7 loss. He said he sees parallels between the two defenses.
''I think the biggest thing that jumps out to you right now, the glaring thing, is the turnover ratio,'' Pederson said. ''The fact that they've got six defensive scores this season, the interceptions, the fumbles they're causing - it's a brand of defense where they just smother you. They just corral you. They're OK with giving you 2, 3, 4 yards, but they're right on top of you.''
Patriots rookie receiver N'Keal Harry is again available to make his NFL debut after being activated off injured reserve before the loss to Baltimore.
Harry, who was sidelined with a preseason ankle injury, has been practicing without restriction since being activated.
The 32nd overall pick in the draft became the first receiver selected by the Patriots in the first round since they chose Terry Glenn seventh overall in 1996. Harry is the first receiver taken in the first round under Belichick.
''We'll activate the players that we feel give us the best chance to compete against the Eagles,'' Belichick said about whether Harry will play.
The Patriots have allowed at least 135 yards rushing in four of their last six games, including 210 to the Ravens. Their vaunted defense has one flaw, susceptibility against the run. The Eagles' biggest strength is running the ball. Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders have combined for 861 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.
Throwing the ball against New England is a tough task. The defense has allowed just three touchdown passes while making 19 interceptions. Wentz has only thrown four picks this season, but the Patriots have had four in a game three times already.
Nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters could return for the Eagles after missing time with a knee injury. Rookie first-round pick Andre Dillard played well in Peters' absence.
Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 3
Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram II couldn't find any room in Monday night's loss to the Chiefs, rushing seven times for 30 yards and failing to bring in his only target. Not a great showing from the veteran back, but he did have seven of the 12 carries for running backs on the night and remains the lead back. He's a solid RB2/3 option most weeks in a run-centric offense, but does have risk in games like this one where the game script takes the running backs out of the game. Thankfully for Ingram, the Ravens don't play many games like that.
On a night where the passing game never materialized, it was Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins who led the team in targets and yards, catching four passes for 38 yards. He added six rushing yards on one carry. The takeaways from this one are a bit of a mixed bag for fantasy managers. You like to see the targets, but who viable of an option can Dobbins really be if he's barely getting carries? He's still the highest upside back on this roster, but expect some uneven performances in the short term.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. had a fantastic fantasy game in Week 3 against the New York Giants. Wilson carried the ball 12 times for 15 yards and a touchdown and added three catches on three targets for 54 yards and a touchdown. Wilson saw extended opportunities with both Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) out. Jerick McKinnonhad two more carries and one more target than Wilson, but both players should see a lot of action for however long both Mostert and Coleman remain out.
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler caught three of his five targets for only 30 yards in the 28-10 Week 3 loss to the Buccaneers. Hamler ran the ball once but lost two yards in the process. The speedy youngster has big-play ability, but it'll probably be few and far between that he can take advantage of that with backup quarterback Jeff Driskel leading the team right now with Drew Lock (shoulder) injured. Hamler could do some damage against a poor Jets Defense on Thursday night in Week 4, but he'll be a hail mary in terms of DFS and season-long leagues as long as Driskel remains the starter.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and the team's offense couldn't get anything going in the first half against the Buffalo Bills, but they never stopped. They ran up 29 straight points against the Bills, and Goff was a major part of that. He finished the game 22-for-31 for 309 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also added two carries for four yards and a touchdown. Goff has given solid production in back-to-back weeks, and he's beginning to creep into the QB1 conversation with his safe floor on a weekly basis.
Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson had a big game in Week 2, and he followed it up with another great performance in Week 3. He finished the week against the Buffalo Bills with 20 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown. He also caught one of his three targets for six yards. Henderson is solidifying his role as the lead back for this team, and he has a lot of a fantasy value in that role. If you have Henderson on your roster, he looks poised to give you RB2 production on a weekly basis with the way he's playing right now.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp made the most of his opportunities in Week 3, and he finally cashed in on the draft capital you had invested in him. He caught nine of his 10 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown. After failing to score in Weeks 1 and 2, he got into the end zone in Week 3 to give himself a huge day. Kupp gets a fair amount of targets every week, and you should have him locked into your lineups on the majority of occasions. This is the type of production that I would be expecting from moving forward.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods had a tough matchup in Week 3 against Buffalo Bills' cornerback Tre'Davious White, but that didn't stop him from turning in a solid performance. He caught four of his five targets for 62 yards and a touchdown. He also added three carries for 30 yards. This was a good bounceback game after a mostly quiet game in Week 2. The production we've seen from Woods in Week 1 and Week 3 is more indicative of what you can expect from him on a weekly basis.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Josh Reynolds is his team's third option at receiver, but he had a solid game in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. He caught four of his five targets for 60 yards. While this performance was good to see, it's not like he's been doing this on a regular basis. It's unclear if he's going to be able to produce at this level moving forward, and he's nothing more than a desperation option in uber-deep leagues as things stand right now.
Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee was unable to replicate his tremendous performance from Week 2 in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. He caught both of his targets for 40 yards and zero touchdowns. In an offense that's loaded with weapons, Higbee is going to have weeks where he's quiet like this. He's still a consistent TE1 option, but you will need him to snag some touchdowns to truly elevate himself into the upper tier of players at the position.
The Los Angeles Rams Defense got torched in Week 3. The Buffalo Bills' offense ran up 35 points on them en route to their Week 3 win. They were able to get after quarterback Josh Allen a little bit, and they came away with four sacks, a fumble and an interception. They played extremely well through the first two weeks, and they are looking like they might be better than initially expected coming into the season. In the right matchup, they might give you a reasonable streaming option on a week-to-week basis.
Los Angeles Rams kicker Samuel Sloman started the day slow, but he was able to turn things on as the game wore on in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. He went 1-of-2 on field goals while going 3-of-3 on his extra point attempts. This offense looks like it's going to return to their explosive ways that we've seen since head coach Sean McVay arrived, and that's going to give him value on a weekly basis. He might not have the highest ceiling among kickers, but he's a safe option to get you points every week.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson continued his quest for his first MVP trophy with an explosive performance in Week 3. He completed 27-of-40 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns. He also added six carries for 22 yards. His day could have been even better if it weren't for a huge mental mistake by wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. Wilson is on the hottest pace that we've ever seen out of him, and he's going to continue to put up incredible numbers. He will be locked in as a top-five QB on a weekly basis barring extremely unforeseen circumstances.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller had a tough day against the Patriots, catching just two balls for nine yards on four targets. The Patriots clearly took notes after Waller's performance last week against the Saints. Waller was a non-factor, which is the complete opposite of what he did in Week 2. This performance is going to be more the exception than the rule for Waller going forward. Fantasy owners can chalk it up as an off day and look to next week. Waller remains one of the top tight ends in the league, and he will look to bounce back in Week 4 against the Bills. The Bills have one of the top defenses in the league, but don't expect to see the same performance from Waller.
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson had been an RB1 through the first two weeks of the season, but that pace came to an end in Week 3. He finished with 14 carries for 64 yards to go with three catches for 12 yards. He was unable to get into the end zone despite three short opportunities, and that limited his ceiling against the Dallas Cowboys. Late in the fourth quarter, he sustained a leg injury that caused him to miss the remainder of the game. It will be important to pay attention to the news regarding that injury moving forward. If he were to miss any time, teammate Carlos Hyde would be the immediate beneficiary.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf had an exceptional game in Week 3, but it could have been even better. He caught four of his eight targets for 110 yards and a touchdown, but he should have had another. After catching an easy ball at the eight-yard line, he coasted to the one-yard line where he was stripped by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs. Metcalf was nearly uncoverable on the afternoon, and that's going to continue thanks to his supreme size and athleticism. Moving forward, he is a near-lock for your lineups on a weekly basis.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett has firmly entrenched himself in the conversation for the NFL's best receivers after his incredible performance in Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys. He caught nine of his 13 targets for 100 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon. The connection between Lockett and quarterback Russell Wilson is arguably the NFL's best, and there seems to be no way to stop it no matter how you're defending him. Moving forward, Lockett needs to be firmly locked into your lineups as a WR1.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow had a strong Week 4 performance, catching six passes for 84 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. It was good to see Renfrow have a strong performance, considering he has been quiet through the first couple weeks. Renfrow is valuable in the Raiders passing game in moving the chains and being sure-handed, but he does not hold a lot of fantasy value. Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller are the primary options, so nine targets is about as many as Renfrow will see in a game. Renfrow will look for another good performance next week against the Bills, but he should be a bench option at best in deeper leagues.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen put up a dud in Week 2, but he bounced back with a strong performance in Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys. Olsen caught five of his six targets for 61 yards. In this offense that passes the ball as much as Seattle does, it's becoming clear that he's going to be featured enough to garner fantasy relevance on a weekly basis. He'll require touchdowns to enter the truly elite members of the position, but he can provide low-end TE1 value on weeks like this with good matchups.
The Seattle Seahawks Defense wasn't good for fantasy in the team's Week 3 win over Dallas, but they were able to save the day on the actual gridiron. They finished the day with two picks and two sacks of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, but they allowed over 500 yards of total offense and 31 points on the afternoon. Their second pick came with six seconds remaining in the game when Prescott was forced to chuck the ball into a crowd of players. On the virtual gridiron, you'll be wanting to fade this defense unless they start playing at a dramatically different level.