By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer
Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) reacts to missing a game-winning field goal against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. The Minnesota Vikings won 34-28 in overtime. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) attempts a field goal in the last seconds of the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. Joseph missed and the game goes into overtime. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Carolina Panthers cornerback A.J. Bouye (24) breaks up a pass intended for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) makes the catch but out of bounds for a two-point conversion against Carolina Panthers cornerback Keith Taylor (28) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A Minnesota Vikings fan cheers during the second half of an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Carolina Panthers safety Kenny Robinson (27) celebrates his touchdwn after a blocked punt against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Carolina Panthers cornerback Keith Taylor (28) celebrates breaking up a pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) So much for the Minnesota Vikings' second-half scoring woes.
Kirk Cousins threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns against the league's top-ranked pass defense, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn on the first possession of overtime to lift the Minnesota Vikings to a wild 34-28 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Dalvin Cook ran for 140 yards and a score and Adam Thielen had a number of big catches, finishing with 11 receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown.
''I'm spent,'' an exhausted Cousins said after the 3-hour, 41-minute game. ''It's an absolute grind and it takes everything you got.''
The Vikings (3-3) had not scored a second-half touchdown in their previous four games, but Cook broke the streak with a 16-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings the lead and Cousins added a 5-yard touchdown pass to Thielen in regulation before the game-winner to Osborn.
The Vikings had 379 yards after halftime and 571 for the game.
''That's something that we emphasized this week in practice and we talked about it in our meeting room the last couple of weeks,'' Osborn said. ''We said, `we've got to score points in the second half.' So it felt good.''
''I thought we stuck with (the running game) a little bit better,'' Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said of his team's second half. ''We ran the ball some, we hit a couple play-actions off the boots. That was big, so we got some big plays off of that. They were really closing in hard on the running game, trying to catch us on the back side on some of the zone plays.''
The Vikings appeared to be in control in the fourth quarter, but Greg Joseph missed two field goals, including a potential winner from 47 yards at the end of regulation to keep Carolina's hopes alive.
Carolina's Sam Darnold finished 17 of 41 for 207 yards with one touchdown and two turnovers and nearly pulled off a wild comeback, bringing Carolina back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime.
Trailing 28-20 with 2:09 to play, the Panthers had to go 98 yards to force overtime.
Darnold hit Ian Thomas down the seam for a 41-yard gain on fourth-and-10 from the Carolina 4 then found D.J. Moore, who had dropped a pass on the previous play, for a 25-yard gain down the left sideline on a fourth-and-6. He capped the drive with a 7-yard TD pass to Robby Anderson and threw a shovel pass to Tommy Tremble for the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 28 with 42 seconds left.
But the Vikings won the coin toss and Cousins quickly moved his team into scoring range, finding Osborn, who beat safety Sean Chandler and reached the ball across the goal line to score the winner.
''What I love about K.J. is his ability to go get it and his ability to finish,'' Cousins said.
Osborn said the Vikings didn't get down when Joseph missed the two kicks.
''We've always got to rally around him,'' Osborn said. ''That's our guy. I'm not the type of person and looks at woulda, coulda, shoulda. We're in the situation and this is what we've got. He missed it. OK. Let's go over and clap him up. We're still behind him because he's our guy.''
The Panthers might have known it was going to be a tough day when Darnold threw downfield to Anderson on a comeback route on the first play from scrimmage and was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland.
It was the first of many Carolina miscues.
Carolina's first half was marred by dropped passes, mental errors and poor clock management. On their final drive of the second quarter, the Panthers were called for a delay of game after taking a timeout to set up a play. Darnold tried to call a second timeout as the play clock wound down, but NFL rules prohibit back-to-back timeouts. The comedy of errors continued on the next play as the Panthers were flagged for holding, costing them a chance at a go-ahead field goal.
Carolina had three turnovers.
''We just can't win that way,'' Panthers coach Matt Rhule said.
TOO MANY DROPS
Moore and Anderson combined for six of Carolina's eight drops, and Moore also turned the ball over on a fumble.
''What Sam needs right now is a little help from his friends,'' Rhule said.
Said Moore: ''I have to make those plays to help Sam out. I can't speak for Robby, but I know he's upset about it too.''
The Panthers are 3-0 with Christian McCafffrey in the lineup and 0-3 without him.
''We have to figure out with Christian out, what our identity is,'' Rhule said. ''People are playing a two-man thing on D.J. (Moore) to make sure he doesn't catch the ball. We tried Robby and some other guys. ... Those guys have to make some plays and we have to help them find ways to make plays.''
The Panthers put McCaffrey on injured reserve on Saturday and will be without him for at least two more games.
''The doctors felt it was the right thing to do to get him truly healthy,'' Rhule said.
Cook said he wasn't 100% healthy after missing last week's game with an ankle injury, but you'd never notice it with how hard he ran the ball.
''He's huge,'' Osborn said. ''Just being here ever since I've been here. Just his leadership in the locker room, in the weight room. And then the plays he's goes out and makes are special. That's what makes him the best back in the league.''
Vikings: CB Patrick Peterson was helped off the field with a lower body injury with 2:03 left in the fourth quarter.
Panthers: Wide receiver Terrace Marshall left the game in the first half after taking a vicious hit from Vikings safety Xavier Woods, who was flagged for an illegal hit. WR Alex Erickson left in the second half with a concussion.
Vikings: Have a bye next weekend, then host the Cowboys on Oct 31.
Panthers: Visit Giants on Sunday.
Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his hip, officially ending his 2021 season. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the surgery is a measure that will help him heal. The 38-year-old suffered a hip subluxation in the Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and appeared in only one game in 2021. He finishes the season with 13 yards passing on six attempts. Fitzpatrick is on an expiring deal with Washington, and it's unclear where the veteran will land in 2022. Taylor Heinicke will continue to be Washington's starting quarterback and has been a solid fantasy asset this season. The 28-year-old has thrown for 2,809 yards and an 18:11 TD: INT ratio while rushing for 289 yards and a score over 12 games. Heinicke can be used as a streamer against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14.
New England Patriots defensive back Adrian Phillips (knee) exited Monday's game against the Buffalo Bills early with a knee injury and did not return. The 29-year-old suffered a knee injury late in the game. He racked up five solo tackles before leaving. The severity of his knee injury is unknown at this time, and he's considered day-to-day. Phillips has been solid this season, recording 64 tackles, four interceptions, a forced fumble, and a touchdown across 13 games in 2021. The Patriots have a bye in Week 14, Phillips will have an extra week to rest. If Phillips were to miss any games, Sean Davis would see an uptick in sna
The San Francisco 49ers released wide receiver Devin Funchess (undisclosed) from the practice squad injured list Monday. He was placed on the 49ers practice squad injured list last Tuesday and ultimately released from the team on Monday. Funchess hasn't played a game since 2019 and has now been released by two teams in 2021. The Packers released the 27-year-old from Injured Reserve with an injury settlement during the offseason. Funchess will look to latch onto another team, searching for receiver depth purposes.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) remains "day-to-day," and the team is hopeful he can play in Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 25-year-old was ruled out in Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks with a groin injury. Fantasy managers should continue to monitor the situation throughout the week. Samuel has been terrific this season, hauling in 56 catches for 1,006 yards and five touchdowns on five targets while also seeing 25 carries for 203 yards and five more touchdowns. 49ers tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk would see an uptick in targets if Samuel cannot suit up for Week 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Stay tuned.
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said that "he expects Melvin Gordon III (hip, shoulder) to practice at some point during the week." He missed practice last week and was ultimately ruled out ahead of Sunday night's contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. Broncos explosive rookie running back Javonte Williams rushed 23 times for 102 yards while adding a team-high six receptions on a team-high nine targets for 76 yards and a receiving score in Gordon's absence in the Week 13 loss. Fantasy managers should continue to monitor the situation, but if Gordon cannot suit up in Week 14, Williams becomes a surefire RB1 in a plus matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders saw an uptick in targets during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. Recently, the veteran wideout hasn't been much of an option in the passing attack. However, this week he hauled in three of his six targets for 22 yards in the loss. Obviously, this wasn't a good performance, but the weather was a huge factor. The wind made it difficult for either team to pass the ball at all. Those six targets were the most for Sanders since Week 9. Hopefully, Sanders can remain involved next week for the potential shootout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He'll be on the WR4 radar for that favorable matchup.
Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox had an awful game versus the New England Patriots in Week 13. He hauled in two of his six targets for 14 yards in the loss. To be fair, the wind made it almost impossible for either team to pass the ball. However, Knox dropped two catchable passes and committed a huge false start on the Bills' final drive. There isn't much positive to take from his performance in this one. Luckily, he has a fantastic rebound opportunity against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. Fantasy managers should consider Knox a TE1 for that matchup.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis is normally not someone who is significantly involved in the passing attack. However, he hauled in two of his four targets for 30 yards and one touchdown in the Week 13 loss to the New England Patriots. The young wideout hauled in a 14-yard score, which was the only passing touchdown between the two teams. It was a game where the weather made it nearly impossible to pass the ball. Despite a decent performance, Davis isn't someone who should be trusted in fantasy formats. He'll be a desperation deep league PPR option in what is a potential shootout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley posted another dud performance during the Week 13 matchup versus the New England Patriots. To be fair, this wasn't really Beasley's fault since the weather was awful. The veteran wideout hauled in one of his three targets for 11 yards in the loss. Fantasy managers have seen Beasley's production declining over the last four weeks. Possibly, the return of Dawson Knox has hurt Beasley's target share. Regardless, he does have plenty of bounce back potential against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. He'll be a boom-or-bust PPR option for that matchup.
Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss found no room to run during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. The second-year back was a healthy scratch last week, but found his way back on the field for this one. Sadly, he rushed for 21 yards on eight attempts in the loss. He also added two receptions for 12 additional yards through the air. The 10 carries did tie Devin Singletary for the team lead. The weather conditions made both teams lean on the running game. It's uncertain if Moss will play next week, but he'll hardly be an option against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense.
Buffalo Bills running back Matt Breida has seen an increased role in the offense over the last three weeks. However, that came to an end versus the New England Patriots in Week 13. Breida rushed one time for three yards and hauled in one reception for five yards in the loss. The weather played a huge factor in this game. Neither team could pass the ball and Breida normally gets a majority of his production as a receiving back. Possibly, Breida bounces back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although, he won't be worth trusting more than a low-end PPF flex option in deep leagues.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs was fairly quiet during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. He hauled in four of his seven targets for 51 yards in the loss. It was a game where the weather played a significant role The wind made it difficult for either team to pass the ball. The fact Diggs was able to accomplish four receptions is impressive. He'll have a fantastic matchup ahead of him against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14. A game where he should be considered an elite WR1.
Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary was surprisingly the best back during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. It was a game where the weather didn't help either team. The Bills had all three of their backs active for this matchup. However, Singletary did the best with 36 yards on 10 attempts in the loss. Obviously, none of the Bills' backs were successful in this game, but the weather did have a factor. Sadly, Singletary will still remain a low-end RB3 for the Week 14 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
New England Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith is normally a forgotten man in the offense most weeks. That remained the case during the Week 13 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Smith hauled in his lone target for 12 yards in the win. To be fair, the weather was awful in this game, so the Patriots rushed the ball almost the entire game. Quarterback Mac Jones only had three passing attempts throughout this contest. Despite that, it's hard to imagine Smith actually bringing more to the table than that one reception. He remains someone who can be left on the waiver wire or a desperation deep league option.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen certainly had plenty of troubles during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. He completed 15-of-30 passing attempts for 145 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions in the loss. He also added six rushing attempts for 39 additional yards on the ground. It was a game where the wind didn't let either team have success through the air. Fantasy managers shouldn't be concerned with Allen's lack of success in this game. It should be considered a fluke due to the poor weather conditions. He'll be an elite QB1 for a favorable matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week.
New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne finished without a reception during the Week 13 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. It was a blizzard game where the Pats used the ground game almost exclusively. In fact, quarterback Mac Jones only had three passing attempts all game long in the win. Bourne saw zero targets, but did rush the ball one time for three yards. Fantasy managers should consider this a fluke performance due to the weather. The Pats have a bye next week, but Bourne should be considered a PPR deep league option the rest of the way.
New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor posted a dud performance along with basically every receiver on this offense. The conditions for this game were horrendous, so the Pats used the ground game almost exclusively. Agholor saw one target and rushed one time for six yards in the win over the Buffalo Bills. Fantasy managers normally have a good reason to be upset with Agholor, but this game isn't his fault. The Pats have a Week 14 bye week, but regardless Agholor is only a desperation deep league option at this point.
New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry has been a touchdown-dependent option all season long. Fantasy managers are used to getting little production from him, but he gave them a goose egg on Monday. In Week 13, Henry was not involved at all during the win over the Buffalo Bills. The conditions were awful, which led to the Pats running the ball basically all game. Quarterback Mac Jones only had three attempts during the entire game. The Patriots have a bye next week, but Henry will remain a touchdown-dependent TE2 the rest of the way.
New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden has seen an inconsistent role in this offense all season long. In Week 13, Bolden rushed four times for 28 yards and hauled in one reception for seven yards in the win over the Buffalo Bills. It was a quiet game from Bolden, but it wasn't all his fault. The Patriots normally use Bolden as a receiving back and only threw the ball three times during the entire game. This was a fluke due to the poor weather conditions. Bolden will have the week off next week while the Pats have a bye. However, he is only a desperation PPR option in deep leagues going forward.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers was not involved in the passing game at all during the Week 13 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. It was a blizzard game where the Patriots ran the ball almost exclusively. Meyers was not targeted at all and the Patriots only threw the ball three times all night in the win. Fantasy managers shouldn't blame Meyers and consider this a fluke. He should remain on the WR4 radar for Week 15 after the Patriots comes off their bye.