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FFL: Playoff Week 2 | NFL: Week 15

Bortles throws 4 TDs, Jaguars beat Patriots 31-20 in rematch

Sun Sep 16 7:44pm ET
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

Players: Tom Brady, Blake Bortles, Chris Hogan, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Donte Moncrief, T.J. Yeldon , Leonard Fournette, Sony Michel, Dede Westbrook

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) celebrates his touchdown pass to wide receiver Keelan Cole (84) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)


Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (12) celebrates his 61-yard touchdown against the New England Patriots with teammate wide receiver Donte Moncrief (10) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)


Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (12) runs for a touchdown past New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy, left, on a 61-yard pass play against the New England Patriots during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)


Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark, right, fumbles the ball as he is hit by New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, left, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. New England recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)


New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan (15) gets a hand slap from offensive guard Joe Thuney (62) after he caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady, right, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)


Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Donte Moncrief (10) is tackled by New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31) and defensive back Nate Ebner, bottom right, after a reception during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)


Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins celebrates his touchdown catch against the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Blake Bortles threw four touchdown passes, three in the first half, and the Jacksonville Jaguars beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 31-20 Sunday in a rematch of last season's AFC championship game.

Bortles connected with Donte Moncrief, Keelan Cole and Austin Seferian-Jenkins for scores in the first 30 minutes, the second time he's done that in his NFL career. Bortles completed 29 of 45 passes for 377 yards, with the four TDs and an interception. It was the best game of his five-year career.

The Patriots (1-1) trailed 24-3 in the third quarter before finally showing signs of life. But Dante Fowler, returning from a one-game suspension, stripped Brady for one game-changing play, and second-year receiver Dede Westbrook added another to seal the victory.

Westbrook took a short pass on a crossing route, made one defender miss and then outran another down the sideline for a 61-yard score. He got a key block from Cole.

Cole finished with seven receptions for 117 yards and a score. He made a spectacular, one-handed catch on Jacksonville's second drive and beat Eric Rowe for a 24-yard touchdown three plays later.

Jacksonville led 14-0 at that point, but unlike the game eight months ago - which had much more at stake, of course - coach Doug Marrone didn't sit on the lead.

The Jaguars (2-0) kept throwing even with an 11-point lead in the final minutes of the game. They now have their best start since 2006.

Marrone was widely criticized for getting conservative in the title game. The Patriots trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter of that one before rallying to win 24-20 and get to the Super Bowl.

Brady never looked comfortable in the rematch. He completed 24 of 35 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, both to Chris Hogan. He was sacked twice.

NO FOURNETTE

The Jaguars improved to 4-0 in two seasons without running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette sat out while recovering from a sore right hamstring he tweaked in the season opener at the New York Giants.

T.J. Yeldon started in his place and ran 10 times for 58 yards.

GROUND GAINS

Patriots rookie Sony Michel, a first-round draft pick from Georgia, carried 10 times for 33 yards in his NFL debut. Michel is expected to give New England some much-needed help in its running attack.

KEY INJURIES

Patriots: Defensive end Trey Flowers and safety Patrick Chung, two of the team's top defenders, were ruled out with concussions. Flowers was injured in the first quarter when he collided with teammate Keionta Davis. Chung was injured in the second half.

Jaguars: Left tackle Cam Robinson left in the first quarter after injuring his left knee and was later ruled out. Receiver Donte Moncrief, who caught a touchdown pass on Jacksonville's opening drive, left with a knee injury in the third quarter. Defensive end Calais Campbell, questionable to play because of a sore right knee, left after getting poked in his right eye. He later returned.

UP NEXT

Patriots: Play at Detroit, where former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is now the head coach.

Jaguars: Host AFC South rival Tennessee in the second of three straight home games.

Player Notes
Jarvis Landry Dec 12 10:20am ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry is red-hot heading into a Week 15 matchup with the Denver Broncos after he scored twice against the Carolina Panthers in Week 14. The veteran wide receiver draws a plus matchup on Saturday night as he will face off against Broncos slot corner Justin Simmons. Simmons will be making his second start in place of stud slot corner Chris Harris, who was lost for the season with a broken leg. While Landry hasn't been seeing the target volume he has been used to seeing over his career, he remains the Browns' No. 1 option in the passing game. That is good enough for him to be treated as a mid-range WR2 in PPR formats for Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Nick Chubb Dec 12 9:30am ET

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb continues to impress as the team's lead back, scoring a touchdown in six of seven games since the Carlos Hyde trade. Chubb will travel to Denver to face the Broncos in Week 15 in what shapes up as a somewhat difficult matchup for him. The Broncos have been solid against the run this season, ranking 11th in DVOA and allowing the 18th-most fantasy points per game. With at least three receptions in each of his last four games, Chubb's production in the passing game has been a pleasant surprise in his rookie year. That production keeps him in the RB1 conversation against a Broncos defense that has struggled to contain opposing running backs in the passing game. Keep in mind the Browns play on Saturday night in Week 15 so be sure to get Chubb active in those lineups early.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Dec 12 9:30am ET

After a huge game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9, Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson has seen just seven total touches over his past three games played. The pass-catching specialist will take on the Denver Broncos on Saturday night in Week 15. Denver's defense has struggled against running backs in the passing game, ranking 23rd in DVOA against the position. While this theoretically sets up as a plus matchup for Johnson, his lack of touches makes him nearly impossible to trust in the fantasy semifinals. Keep Johnson on the bench in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Dec 12 9:20am ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is coming off a fantastic real-life game which saw him complete 18 of his 22 pass attempts against the Carolina Panthers. That being said, his production in the fantasy realm was lacking as he threw just one touchdown in the game. Since the team fired Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, the Browns have been playing slow on offense, which has limited Mayfield's ceiling somewhat. This week, the Browns travel to Denver to take on the Broncos on Saturday night. The Broncos have been great against the pass this season, ranking No. 2 in pass defense DVOA. That being said, the Broncos have suffered several injuries in their secondary over the past few weeks which keeps Mayfield in the conversation as a deep-league streamer. Treat Mayfield as a mid-QB2 for Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Tannehill Dec 12 8:23am ET

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (ankle) could be limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 12, as the team will closely monitor his ankle injury heading into Week 15.

Fantasy Spin: Tannehill has binged with a couple of three-score games, but history has shown you can't count on that this week against the Minnesota Vikings. He's a QB2 in two-QB leagues.

Mychal Kendricks Dec 12 3:03am ET

Seattle Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks (knee) injured his knee during the team's Week 14 win over the Minnesota Vikings, and his availability for the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Dec. 16, is in question, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Cole Wick Dec 12 2:03am ET

The Tennessee Titans signed TE Cole Wick off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Tennessee also signed free-agent OL Austin Pasztor (Falcons).

Pierre Garcon Dec 12 12:13am ET

San Francisco 49ers WR Pierre Garcon (knee) was officially placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Michael Thomas Dec 12 12:10am ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will head into Week 15 with 102 receptions for 1,218 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. Thomas will face a Panthers secondary that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to receivers, including four 100-yard receiving games since Week 11. Carolina has surrendered 10 touchdowns to receivers over their last six games and now must try and shut down one of the game's elite receivers. Thomas should be able to exploit this matchup in Week 15 and will be a WR1 option across all fantasy formats.

From RotoBaller

Saquon Barkley Dec 11 11:40pm ET

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley will go up against a Titans defense in Week 15 that is allowing the fifth fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. But at this point in the season, tough matchups no longer scare fantasy owners of the fantastic rookie. Barkley has least 100-plus yards from scrimmage in 12 of the 13 games played this season to go along with 13 total touchdowns. Barkley is about as bankable a fantasy option as any player in the league right now and heads into Week 15 with 1,753 all-purpose yards. Start Barkley with confidence.

From RotoBaller

Evan Engram Dec 11 11:40pm ET

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram's fantasy arrow has been pointing up over the last two games, posting 143 yards over that span. But he could struggle to out-score his fantasy projections against a Titans defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Titans defense has not allowed a tight end to catch a touchdown against them this season and only two tight ends have scored more than six fantasy points in a single game. Engram will be a dicey TE2 play in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Chad Williams Dec 11 10:23pm ET

Arizona Cardinals WR Chad Williams (ankle, hamstring) was listed with the first-team offense on the team's depth chart Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Fantasy Spin: This is somewhat notable since Williams has missed the last five games and doesn't exactly have the kind of resume that one usually has to keep a job when he is sidelined that long. Larry Fitzgerald remains the only playable Cardinal receiver, but DFS players who may have been hoping to strike gold with J.J. Nelson and Trent Sherfield versus the Atlanta Falcons may have to look elsewhere.

Kelvin Benjamin Dec 11 10:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Kelvin Benjamin is reportedly picking up the offense quickly, but it remains unlikely he will play an extended amount of time in Week 15 versus the Los Angeles Chargers.

Fantasy Spin: It's understandable considering he hasn't been with the team two weeks yet. Still, Tyreek Hill will almost certainly be limited in some way, shape or form and the Chiefs may be down to Damien Williams as their starting running back. Despite the presence of Patrick Mahomes, owners should be able to do better than Benjamin in their starting lineups during the fantasy playoffs.

Kelvin Benjamin Dec 11 8:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who had his first practice with the team last Friday, is unlikely to play extended snaps if he makes his team debut on Thursday against the Chargers. However, they may need Benjamin active with Sammy Watkins (foot) not expected to be available until the playoffs and Tyreek Hill (heel, wrist) being dinged up in Week 14. Its just concepts and really learning the language of a new playbook, Benjamin told The Star on Tuesday. Its coming real good to me. I feel like Im grasping it real well. Benjamin was terrible in his time with Buffalo and lacked hustle and motivation, so hopefully he'll be more motivated to make an impact with his first team, who currently have the top seed in the AFC. Even if Benjamin plays this Thursday and in the final two games of the season, he's unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact unless either Hill or Chris Conley get hurt.

From RotoBaller

Keke Coutee Dec 11 8:00pm ET

Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Keke Coutee (hamstring) was limited in practice on Tuesday. Coutee has missed the last two games but is trending toward being active in Week 15 on Saturday against the Jets. Hamstring issues have limited the rookie to just six games in 2018, and he can't be trusted in starting lineups behind DeAndre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas if he returns. Quarterback Deshaun Watson hasn't been throwing the ball all that much either, making Coutee unlikely to see heavy targets if he's back this Saturday.

From RotoBaller

DeSean Jackson Dec 11 7:53pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) had his injured thumb immobilized Tuesday, Dec. 11. He cannot squeeze a football with his injured hand yet but hopes to play again this season.

Fantasy Spin: In the meantime, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries will continue to see increased targets. They have a tough matchup this week, though, against the Baltimore Ravens, so lower your expectations.

Andre Roberts Dec 11 7:33pm ET

New York Jets LB Jerry Attaochu (concussion), RB Trenton Cannon (toe) and LB Jordan Jenkins (shoulder, ankle) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 11. LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) was limited. OT Kelvin Beachum (knee), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder, neck), TE Jordan Leggett (knee), C Spencer Long (knee, finger), WR Andre Roberts (foot) and CB Buster Skrine (shoulder) participated fully.

Robby Anderson Dec 11 7:23pm ET

New York Jets WR Robby Anderson (ankle) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Fantasy Spin: Last week Anderson found the end zone for the first time in six games and saw seven targets for the third time in four games, but he's an inconsistent player who can't be trusted in postseason lineups.

Quincy Enunwa Dec 11 7:23pm ET

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) was not at practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Fantasy Spin: Enunwa has done next to nothing since the beginning of the season. Now is not the time to take a chance on starting him and hoping he rebounds.

Sam Darnold Dec 11 7:23pm ET

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (foot) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Fantasy Spin: If you made your league's playoffs, you probably didn't get there by starting Darnold. Don't start now.