Sun Sep 15 4:58pm ET
By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles away from Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) on his way to a first down in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (88) celebrates with teammates after making a touchdown catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) deflects a pass by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) as he is blocked by offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva (78) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) sacks Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Rasheem Green (98) and Jadeveon Clowney in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
PITTSBURGH (AP) Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns, including a 28-yard rainbow to DK Metcalf midway through the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Seahawks held off the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-26 on Sunday.
The Steelers lost starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a right elbow injury late in the first half and fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2013 despite solid play from backup Mason Rudolph, who threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes to Vance McDonald in relief.
Roethlisberger began flexing his right arm after an incompletion late in the second quarter. He stayed in to finish the drive before jogging to the locker room. When the 37-year-old QB emerged for the second half, he was wearing a white cap while Rudolph, taken in the third round of the 2018 draft, took the first meaningful snaps of his career.
Rudolph completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards, the two scores and an interception but couldn't quite keep pace with Wilson and the Seahawks (2-0).
Wilson was 29 of 35 for 300 yards and the three TDs, becoming the fifth-fastest quarterback in league history to reach 200 career touchdown passes (114 games). Wilson also ran four times for 24 yards, most of it coming on Seattle's final drive as the Seahawks protected a two-point lead.
A week after escaping Cincinnati with a one-point win, a game in which coach Pete Carroll said his team wasn't particularly crisp, the Seahawks took advantage of a series of mental mistakes by the Steelers to win in Pittsburgh for the first time in 20 years.
Wilson's first touchdown pass to Will Dissly - a 14-yarder in the second quarter - came after Steelers defensive tackle Dan McCullers was called for a personal foul on a field goal attempt by Seattle. The Seahawks took the first down instead of the points, and on the next snap Wilson hit a soaring Dissly for the score.
Seattle went in front early in the second half when a pass from Rudolph to Donte Moncrief went through the receiver's hands, smacked off his facemask and landed in the arms of Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald. Wilson found Dissly again for a 12-yard score seven plays later.
A 37-yard touchdown sprint by Rashaad Penny put Seattle up 21-13 late in the third quarter before Rudolph guided Pittsburgh 75 yards for a score, ending a 12-play drive with an 8-yard flip to get the Steelers within 21-19.
Rudolph tried to hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on the 2-point conversion attempt, but it was picked off.
Pittsburgh had the Seahawks backed up on Seattle's ensuing possession. The Seahawks had a third-and-20 when Wilson flung it deep for Tyler Lockett. The pass fell incomplete, but Carroll challenged the play, claiming Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds interfered with Lockett. The 38-yard penalty was enforced after review. Three plays later, Wilson found Metcalfe streaking into the end zone to restore Seattle's nine-point lead.
It was just enough to give the Seahawks their first 2-0 start since 2013, when they went on to win the Super Bowl.
Seahawks: RG D.J. Fluker left in the second quarter with an ankle injury, but returned in the second half.
Steelers: ILB Vince Williams exited in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
Seahawks: Host New Orleans next Sunday. Seattle has won last three home meetings with Saints.
Steelers: Head west to face San Francisco next Sunday. Pittsburgh hasn't beaten the 49ers on the road since 1999.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Alex Erickson finished with a game-high eight receptions (14 targets) for 137 yards in the loss to the Jaguars on Sunday. Though Tyler Boyd received an equal amount of looks from quarterback Andy Dalton, his five catches for 55 yards opened the door for increased production from Erickson on a day where nothing was going right. With A.J. Green (ankle) expected back within the next week or so, the sell-high window is wide open for the 26-year-old as this type of performance won't happen too often moving forward, if at all.
The San Francisco 49ers Defense continued its dominant run, shutting out the Washington Redskins in Week 7. Aided by a wet field, the Niners limited the Skins to 154 meaningless yards, collecting three sacks and recovering a fumble in the process. A driving force behind the teams undefeated start, San Franciscos defensive unit continues to take care of business and serve notice to the football community. Theyve evolved into a weekly must-start fantasy squad. The Carolina Panthers await in Week 8.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard finished with no yards on four attempts in addition to four yards off of two receptions against the Jaguars in Week 7. As the team's offensive woes continue, the veteran is having one of his worst seasons as a professional. As the Bengals continue to be plagued with a horrendous offensive line and a plethora of injuries, Bernard hasn't done much this season. He has little, if any, fantasy value at the moment, with that likely staying the same moving forward unless Joe Mixon loses his spot on the depth chart.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 12 of 21 passes for 151 yards, no scores and an interception in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. The Niners leaned on their defense and wet conditions to overmatch the Redskins in the 9-0 shutout. The nondescript performance from Garoppolo has become the norm, as hes managed the team to a sparkling 6-0 start to 2019. With the continued emphasis on the run game and Jimmy G yet to push the gas, hell remain a middling QB2 in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon rushed for just two yards on 10 attempts against the Jaguars on Sunday. While he was able to bring in a two-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Andy Dalton, it was a disappointing outing overall for those who were hoping for a turnaround in Week 7. With the Bengals unable to get anything going behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league, Mixon's outlook moving forward doesn't look promising, especially in Week 8 against the Rams Defense.
Neither San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Dante Pettis nor Marquise Goodwin caught a pass in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. The two receivers garnered three total targets in a sloppy contest dominated by the Niners defense. After a week of fantasy buzz, Pettis will fall back with Goodwin in fantasy obsolescence as zero-floor WR5s in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle recorded 38 yards on three catches in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. The Niners managed just 151 pass yards in a wet and sloppy contest, resulting in Kittles lowest production of 2019. His five targets still led the squad. The Niners return home in Week 8 to host the Carolina Panthers where Kittle will be a premium TE1 against a tough pass defense.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph caught 5-of-6 targets for 58 yards and a touchdown in Week 7. Rudolph connected with Kirk Cousins on a 15-yard score in the fourth quarter, Rudolph's first touchdown catch of the year. Adam Thielen (hamstring) left the game early, meaning guys like Rudolph, Olabisi Johnson, and Irv Smith Jr. were asked to step up in the passing attack. To their credit, they all put up solid performances. That being said, Rudolph remains an uninspiring low-volume option at tight end and should only be played as a touchdown-dependent TE2 in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton wasn't able to get anything going against Jacksonville in Week 7. While the veteran was able to accumulate 276 yards and two total touchdowns on the day, the Jaguars Defense was relentless by recording interceptions on three-straight drives, with one of those picks being returned for a score. Dalton is having one of his worst seasons in the league, though he can't take all of the blame as the team has been plagued with injuries across the board. Things likely won't get any easier in Week 8 as the Bengals will look for their first win of the year against the newly revamped Rams Defense.
Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett caught four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7. Everett was targeted a team-high 10 times in the game. He'll have a tough matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals next week. The Bengals have only allowed tight ends to grab 13 balls for 183 yards and no touchdowns in the last three weeks. Everett will be a low-end TE1 option.
The Los Angeles Rams Defense had a big day against the Atlanta Falcons with five sacks, two fumble recoveries, one that went for a touchdown, an interception and just 10 points allowed. They have upside next week against the Cincinnati Bengals and are a midrange start for Week 8.
Los Angeles Rams linebacker Dante Fowler had seven tackles (six solo), three sacks and a pass defense against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7. His tackles and sacks were both team highs. Fowler is a fringe player to own in individual defensive player leagues, but this might put him over the hump and onto rosters.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught 7-of-8 targets for 142 scoreless yards in Week 7's win over the Detroit Lions. Adam Thielen (hamstring) leaving the game in the first quarter concentrated targets to Diggs, but the four receiving touchdowns went to Thielen, C.J. Ham, Kyle Rudolph, and Olabisi Johnson. Diggs got dragged down just before the goal-line on a 67-yard catch (set up by some beautiful play-action) late in the game. Diggs is back to seeing WR2-worthy targets and has exceeded 100 receiving yards in three of his last four games. Start him as a top-end WR2 in Week 8's Thursday night tilt against the Washington Redskins.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook tallied 25 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns in Week 7's 42-30 win over the Detroit Lions. He also added one catch for seven yards. This was Cook's league-leading fifth 100-yard rushing game and he now has six touchdowns on the ground in what's becoming a breakout campaign for the third-year back out of Florida State. Cook has been absolutely dynamic all season and his ceiling is raised even higher with the form that Kirk Cousins and the play-action passing game is in. Cook is a surefire RB1 and will arguably be the top option at running back in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn led the team in receiving yards on Sunday against the 49ers. This is a meaningless development, of course, because all that it means is he totaled more than 18 yards. Quinn turned in a familiar stat line with two receptions for 30 yards, while no one else on the team broke 20. He remains an outsider in the fantasy picture, as nothing he or the Redskins have done recently suggests he's poised to break through any time soon.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff bounced back with 268 passing yards and two touchdowns in a blowout of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7. Goff was 22-for-37, didn't throw any picks and rushed for a touchdown as well. This comes after he threw for just 78 yards last week. He'll have a fabulous matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals next week, and he's a midrange QB1 option.
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed 18 times for 41 yards in Week 7, but he caught a 13-yard touchdown pass to salvage the ineffective day on the ground. The good news is that was the most rushing attempts that he has had all season after missing last week with a quadriceps injury. Gurley will have a great matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals next week, but his spotty production limits him to a high-end RB2.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks caught four balls for 59 yards in Week 7 against the Atlanta Falcons. Cooks was targeted seven times, which tied for third on the team. He'll have a tougher matchup next week against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are among the better half of teams that have defended the receiver position the last three weeks. Cooks will be a high-end WR3 in Week 8.
Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson rushed 11 times for 31 yards in Week 7 and caught an eight-yard pass against the Atlanta Falcons. It was the most action he has seen in his rookie season, but he wasn't able to do much with it. Running back Malcolm Brown's (ankle) status next week will determine whether Henderson is working using as a flex against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had six grabs for 50 yards in the Week 7 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The line was decent in point-per-reception leagues, but it was underwhelming considering the matchup. He was second on the team with eight targets. He'll face a tougher Cincinnati Bengals matchup next week, but he'll remain a low-end WR1.