Mon Oct 18 6:18pm ET
By DAVE HOGG
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) is pressured by Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) stiff arms Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
DETROIT (AP) Dan Campbell doesn't like watching film when he's angry.
That's why the Detroit Lions coach took some time before attempting to grade his 0-6 team's performance in Sunday's 34-11 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
''It took a minute to step away from things and just calm down,'' he said Monday. ''You can't let your emotions play into it as you grade the tape. You have to look at it with open eyes and somewhat of a clean slate.
''You always need to find the positives and build from those.''
Campbell did find some bright spots: He was pleased with the way his young defense contained Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon in the first half. But he also saw a lot of major mistakes the Lions couldn't overcome.
''It's OK for me to say we're doing this well and we're not doing this well, but that's all irrelevant until we're able to clean up the missed assignments and penalties,'' he said. ''That's just shooting yourself in the foot, which means we don't have a leg to stand on until we clean them up.
''When we do that, maybe we're looking at 2nd-and-3 instead of 2nd-and-17, which gives us a better third down and lets us build on the things we're doing well.''
Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond agreed with his coach.
''It is always one thing here and one thing there,'' he said, ''We need to get on the same page and clean up all these little details. That's generally all it is.''
TE T.J. Hockenson has been the one offensive player able to give the Lions a chance to complete a pass for more than 6 or 6 yards. His 33-yard catch Sunday was Detroit's only play longer than 15 yards. Jared Goff missed him on what should have been a 38-yard touchdown.
Meanwhile, the wide receivers only had three catches for 22 yards before the Bengals switched to a prevent defense with a 27-0 lead.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The secondary allowed Burrow to put up 9.3 yards per attempt - the fifth time in six games the opposing quarterback has been over 9.0. That's an obvious problem no matter who you are facing, but the Lions are going up against Matthew Stafford on Sunday.
The former Lion is averaging 9.2 yards per attempt in the Rams' 5-1 start, second in the NFL behind Russell Wilson's 9.6.
''He's a very good quarterback with an explosive offense,'' Campbell said. ''Every game in the NFL is against a tough opponent, but he's going to be a huge challenge for us.''
CB Amani Oruwariye has three interceptions in four games while the rest of the defense has only picked off one pass this season.
''I'm always trying to be the guy who creates a turnover and gives our team a boost,'' said Oruwariye, who had three interceptions in 27 career games before this stretch. ''I'm just trying to be in the right place at the right time, and it has been working.''
Goff's inability to get the ball down the field is destroying the team's chance of putting up quick points. On Sunday, he completed 28 passes for just 202 yards, with 89 of those yards coming after the catch. With his average completion coming just 4 yards from the line of scrimmage, the Lions have possessions where two completions aren't enough to get a first down.
''I don't think defenses are doing anything to take deeper passes away from us,'' he said Sunday. ''I've just got to find a way to get the ball down the field. That's on me.''
DE Charles Harris is day-to-day with an oblique strain. He leads the team with four sacks, so losing him against Stafford would be another significant blow for a struggling defense.
0 - The Lions haven't taken a single offensive snap with the lead this season. They went ahead late in games against the Ravens and Vikings, only to have their opponents come right back to kick a winning field goal.
Since 1991, the only other teams to do that in their first six games are the 2011 Rams, the 2003 Bears and the 2002 Bengals.
The Lions need to find a game plan that lets Goff have some success against his former team. That means solving one of the toughest problems in the game: stopping Aaron Donald.
''They've got the best defensive player in the league,'' Campbell said. ''We will have to find a way to get past him.''
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Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (illness), who was listed as questionable with an illness, is expected to play in Monday's game against the Buffalo Bills. He was a late addition to the injury report on Sunday after coming down with a non-COVID-19 illness. Fantasy managers should check back in a little bit for his official status for Monday's contest, but Brown is expected to be all systems go for Week 6. The 24-year-old has disappointed this season, averaging 14 air yards per target and 21% of the team target share, 35th among all wide receivers. Brown will look to bounce back against a Bills defense second in DVOA against WR1s and is considered a low-end WR2 in Week 6.
Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari (ACL) will begin practicing this week which opens his 21-day period to return to action, according to head coach Matt LaFleur. Bakhtiari hasn't played since Week 17 last season, so it will be a big-time boost for Aaron Rodgers and the offense to have their All-Pro tackle back in the near future. The 30-year-old will give Rodgers more time to throw as the number one pass-blocking tackle in the NFL and could provide a boost for Aaron Jones in the running game, so any fantasy managers with a stake in the Green Bay offense should be encouraged that he is progressing towards a return to the lineup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II has been drawing trade interest around the league as injuries start to pile up at the position, according to Tom Pelissero. Jones has seen his role in the offense diminish this year as Leonard Fournette has been a true workhorse, most recently handling 28 touches in Week 6. It is unknown if the Buccaneers are willing to trade the fourth-year running back, but there will be more clarity soon as the trade deadline is just under a month away. If Jones is to be moved, Fournette would remain a high-end RB2, and Giovani Bernard could see an increased role in the offense and would be well worth a spot on fantasy rosters.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell (foot) suffered a significant injury in Week 6 and is going to miss some time, according to head coach Frank Reich. There is no timeline set yet, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Campbell is placed on IR which would knock him out for at least three games. In his absence, Michael Pittman Jr. and T.Y. Hilton could see a significant target share, while Zach Pascal operates the No. 3 role in the offense. Hilton, freshly off the injured reserve list, would make for an interesting waiver wire addition as he looked solid in his season debut, catching all four of his targets for 80 yards.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (calf) returned to practice Monday, Oct. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Head coach Kyle Shanahan doesn't seem to be in much of a rush to begin the Trey Lance era yet, so Garoppolo figures to hold onto the job for a little while longer despite the fact San Francisco seems to be very limited offensively at the moment. Fantasy managers should consider him no more than a middling QB2 in Week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Detroit Lions DE Charles Harris (oblique) is day-to-day with an oblique injury, according to head coach Dan Campbell.
Minnesota Vikings CB Patrick Peterson (leg) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Monday, Oct. 18. OT Blake Brandel was signed off the practice squad to take his place on the roster.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) is still believed to be "a couple of weeks" away from returning, according to Ian Rapoport. Thomas is now eligible to be activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list, but he is unlikely to be activated until Week 9. Upon his return to the lineup, whenever that may be, the former first-team all-pro will command a massive target share from Jameis Winston and should be able to produce WR2 numbers at a minimum. For now, keep him stashed on benches until a more clear timetable for his return is set. Thomas has a very fantasy-friendly schedule moving forward and could be a huge boost to fantasy rosters come playoff time.
Atlanta Falcons WR Russell Gage Jr. (ankle) returned to practice Monday, Oct. 18.
Fantasy Spin: It marks Gage's first activity since going down in Week 2. The 25-year-old was expected to serve as a complementary option to Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts, but he very much struggled to get anything going in the two games in which he played. While his return could theoretically impact the number of Cordarrelle Patterson has seen, the most likely outcome is that Gage will simply do little more than provide the production Olamide Zaccheaus managed in his absence.
Head coach David Culley spoke to reporters Monday and said that quarterback Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) is considered day-to-day. Taylor suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain and has missed the last four games on Injured Reserve. Culley noted that the veteran signal-caller has made progress in his recovery but wouldn't say whether he would practice or possibly return this week. The team plans to give Taylor a "ramp-up" period to ensure he doesn't aggravate the injury, so it sounds like expecting a Week 7 return could be ambitious. Still, it's good news for those who roster Brandin Cooks or a secondary pass-catcher such as Nico Collins, as Taylor elevates the fantasy potential of the Texans' offense.
Free-agent QB Cam Newton recently talked to the Seattle Seahawks and mentioned via his YouTube channel that he has received interest from multiple teams.
Fantasy Spin: The Seahawks confirmed they have touched base with Newton as well, head coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN. Seattle is in a bit of a precarious position because Russell Wilson (finger) may only be out two more games, but those are two games the team cannot afford to lose. While the Seahawks did not place much trust into interim starter Geno Smith on Sunday night, it seems unlikely Newton could learn enough of the playbook to be of any more help before Wilson returns.
Seattle Seahawks RB Alex Collins (hip, glute) 'took a couple of big hits' in Week 6 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and head coach Pete Carroll suggested Monday, Oct. 18, that he 'may' be able to play in Week 7 versus the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: The hip and glute issues are likely what kept Collins on the sidelines in overtime Sunday night in the eventual loss to the Steelers. Carroll also noted that Rashaad Penny (calf) would come off injured reserve and return to full practice this week. Given the team's love for Penny throughout his numerous injury issues, it would come as no surprise if he is immediately installed as the lead back if Collins cannot go. Unfortunately, the Saints are not a great matchup for running backs, making Penny a dicey RB3 at best even if starts.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (personal) returned to practice Monday, Oct. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley's mind and body should be right after missing Week 5 due to his personal issue and resting up during Week 6 bye. He may be good to take advantage of a shorthanded Miami Dolphins defense in Week 7 that played without both of its top cornerbacks this weekend. Consider him a strong WR1 option if Byron Jones and Xavien Howard are unable to make it back in time.
Denver Broncos LB Josey Jewell (pectoral) suffered a torn pectoral in Week 6 against the Las Vegas Raiders and will miss the rest of the season, according to multiple sources.
The New York Giants are expected to sign former Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins linebacker Benardrick McKinney to their practice squad on Monday after he passes a physical, according to a source. The plan is to quickly promote McKinney to the active roster when he gets acclimated to the playbook. The 28-year-old was cut by the Dolphins in August and he played in just four games last season due to a shoulder injury that cut his season short. But the former second-rounder in 2015 has three seasons with 100-plus tackles and was a Pro Bowler with Houston in 2018, so he can provide the Giants defense with some valuable experience down the road this year.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the team has already talked with free-agent quarterback Cam Newton, but he downplayed it by saying the team was just doing their due diligence. Newton, who is now fully vaccinated, said that he's received interest from multiple teams of late, but it remains to be seen if anyone will actually sign him. Geno Smith struggled to get much going for the Seahawks in the Sunday night overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially downfield. With Russell Wilson (finger) on Injured Reserve and out for the foreseeable future, the Seahawks could take a chance on Newton, but there's no guarantee that he'd be any more productive than Smith, who knows Seattle's offense pretty well at this point.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that running back Rashaad Penny (calf) will be back from Injured Reserve this week and will be "full speed, ready to roll." It's good news for a Seattle backfield that currently has Chris Carson (neck) on Injured Reserve. Fill-in Alex Collins (hip, glute) was also injured late in the Sunday night overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, although he hasn't been ruled out for Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. Penny's return will add a new wrinkle to the Seahawks backfield with Carson out, which will complicate Collins' status as an RB3/flex in deeper leagues. However, Penny just hasn't been able to stay healthy in his career, so it's understandable to be skeptical that he'll jump into a significant role while Carson heals.
Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera said that running back Antonio Gibson (leg) underwent an MRI exam on his lower leg on Monday. Gibson has been playing through a hairline fracture in his shin over the last several weeks, but he may have injured another part of his leg in the Week 6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The 23-year-old was on the sidelines late in the game with his helmet off. When we know more about the results of his MRI, we'll pass them along. While playing at less than 100 percent, Gibson disappointed with only 10 carries for 44 yards in the loss on Sunday. Pass-catching back J.D. McKissic would be a must-start if Gibson were to miss any time with his latest injury. Stay tuned for more details on the situation.
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said the team is going to "redefine who we are," which involves running the football more often. Rookie running back Chuba Hubbard, who continues to fill in as Carolina's primary running back with Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) on Injured Reserve, carried the ball 16 times for 61 yards and his first career touchdown in the Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Hubbard hasn't been all that impressive with just a 3.9 yard-per-carry mark on 72 totes through his first six games, but he'll certainly be attractive from a fantasy perspective in Week 7 against the New York Giants if he's handed the ball more often. The Giants have allowed 722 rushing yards on 152 attempts and six total touchdowns to RBs so far this season.
Free-agent LB Benardrick McKinney (Dolphins) is expected to land with the New York Giants' practice squad if he passes a physical Monday, Oct. 18.