Sun Nov 29 6:32pm ET
By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen runs the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley (27) runs the ball against Buffalo Bills strong safety Micah Hyde (23) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley (27) dives in for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) is tackled by Buffalo Bills strong safety Micah Hyde (23) and cornerback Levi Wallace (39) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Josh Allen couldn't entirely overlook how sloppy the Bills' offense played, having difficulty closing out a 27-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Buffalo's defense cleaned up whatever mess they created.
''Yeah, we can be better, especially in the fourth quarter,'' Allen said. ''But I don't want to make a mountain of a molehill. Obviously, we've got a lot of work to do, but 8-3 is pretty good.''
Though they never trailed, the Bills overcame turning over the ball on three straight fourth-quarter possessions to maintain their one-game edge over Miami atop the AFC East standings. Allen threw an interception and muffed a snap, while running back Devin Singletary also fumbled in that stretch.
Linebacker A.J. Klein had 14 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks, and Tre'Davious White's fourth-quarter interception with 5:17 left essentially sealed the victory. The turnover led to Tyler Bass' 43-yard field goal to regain Buffalo a two-score edge.
''All we can do is go out there and try to get some takeaways, that's it,'' safety Micah Hyde said. ''The fourth quarter, we came up with a big pick by Tre'Davious, huge play, and also a fourth-down stop.''
The defense's performance wasn't perfect. It allowed Justin Herbert's 55-yard completion to Tyron Johnson in the final minute. Buffalo, however, limited the Chargers to Michael Badgley hitting a 27-yard field goal on their five final possessions.
Allen threw for a touchdown and ran for another score, and receiver Cole Beasley completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to rookie Gabriel Davis.
The Chargers dropped to 3-8 in a game in game that exemplified their season-long struggles. Though they didn't blow a double-digit lead as they've done five previous times, the Herbert-led offense was erratic, lacking a finishing touch despite the return of running back Austin Ekeler, who missed six games with a hamstring injury.
Ekeler finished with 44 yards rushing and 11 catches for 85 yards.
The offensive struggles spoiled an outstanding performance by defensive end Joey Bosa, who had three sacks and a fumble recovery.
''Pretty upset,'' said Bosa, who upped his career total to 47 1/2 sacks, moving into fifth place on the team list and a half-sack ahead of Junior Seau. ''Really wanted to pull it out. Hard to feel excited after a tough game like that.''
Coach Anthony Lynn's play calling was open to second guessing, especially after cutting Buffalo's lead to 24-14 on Joshua Kelley's 1-yard plunge with 4:51 left in the third quarter.
Rather than attempt a field goal to cut the lead to 7, the Chargers gave the ball up on downs at Buffalo's 26 when Ekeler was stopped for no gain on third down and Kelley lost a yard on fourth down on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
The final minute featured a comedy of errors in how the Chargers mismanaged the clock. Out of timeouts with the ball at Buffalo's 2 and the clock down to 25 seconds, the Chargers elected to run, Ekeler being stopped at the 1.
The clock ran down to 6 seconds before Herbert threw an incompletion. The game ended with Herbert being stopped on a keeper up the middle.
''As a team it wasn't good enough,'' Herbert said. ''Offensively we underperformed. Defense came up with big stops and turnovers. Its' on us and the offense.''
Herbert finished 31 of 52 for 316 yards, upping his season total to 3,016 and joining Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes as the only players to top 3,000 yards passing in their first 10 career starts. Herbert was limited to one touchdown, a 5-yarder to Keenan Allen, ending the quarterback's rookie record streak of multiple touchdown games at seven.
The Bills resorted to trickery for a second consecutive game, with Beasley getting a pitch from Allen and lofting a 20-yard pass to wide-open Davis in the end zone early in the second quarter. It came after receiver Isaiah McKenzie completed a touchdown pass to Allen against Arizona.
Chargers: Right tackle Bryan Bulaga was active but did not play because of an illness. ... LB Denzel Perryman hurt his back after going head over heels in making a diving attempt to tackle Beasley in the second quarter. ... Casey Hayward (groin) had his streak of playing 106 consecutive games end, the NFL's longest active among cornerbacks. His streak dated to 2013, Hayward's second season with Green Bay.
Bills: None reported.
ALLEN VS. HERBERT
The game was the first in the NFL's Super Bowl era to feature quarterbacks 24 or younger entering Week 12 with a 100-plus passer rating with a minimum of eight starts. Herbert ranked first among NFL QBs 24 and younger with a 104.7 passer rating, while Allen is second at 103.2.
Chargers: host New England on Dec. 6.
Bills: They're scheduled to travel to play San Francisco for a prime-time game on Dec. 7, though location is uncertain after Santa Clara County banned contact sports teams from holding games and practices for the next three weeks.
Sunday Morning Update: Week 12
New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate caught four passes for 36 yards in a win over the Bengals on Sunday. The story of the game for Tate, however, was getting a season-high nine targets as Darius Slayton (undisclosed) had his playing time severely limited due to what head coach Joe Judge called "some bumps and bruises." Unfortunately for Tate, starting QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) also went down with an injury so it seems Colt McCoy will take over under center for the time being. With a backup QB, it'll be hard to trust Tate in fantasy as New York's targets have been impossible to predict behind Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram.
New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard caught seven passes for 64 yards in a win over the Bengals on Sunday. Shepard was targeted eight times, the fourth time in his last five games he's seen eight-plus targets as he has been the most reliable Giants receiver. Shepard has six catches in every game since Week 7 when he returned from a toe injury. If Daniel Jones (hamstring) misses time, Shepard's fantasy value will take a hit but he's still a must-start option in 12-team fantasy leagues based on volume alone.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon got the start over the unproductive Jake Luton in Week 12 against the Browns, finishing with 235 yards and two touchdowns on 20-for-35 passing. The veteran held his own on Sunday despite the team being without D.J. Chark (ribs) and Chris Conley (hip). He connected with Collin Johnson on a 46-yard touchdown late in the second quarter before capping off his day with a two-yard scoring toss to Tyler Eifert early in the second half. Though this type of performance from the 30-year-old would warrant a waiver claim in deeper formats, it may not be necessary if Gardner Minshew II (thumb) can suit up in Week 13 against the Vikings. Fantasy managers who desperately need a signal-caller should monitor this situation throughout the week and act accordingly.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton caught three passes on six targets for 42 yards and a touchdown against the Titans in Week 12. Burton hauled in all three of his catches in the first quarter, but it was a solid fantasy performance, nonetheless. His 42 receiving yards was the most he has gone for since Week 6, and he now has a touchdown in back-to-back weeks. All of Burton's touchdowns this season have come in the red zone, so he continues to prove he is a legitimate threat in that area. He saw six out of the nine tight end targets today, which is encouraging for fantasy owners going forward. Burton will look for another solid performance next week against the Texans.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst compiled four receptions for 48 yards on eight targets in Week 12. After getting nothing last week, the TE redeemed himself. Though he has had a few bad games this season, Hurst has had a stable role in this Atlanta offense and has usually put up decent numbers each week. The former Raven has seen at least five targets in eight of 11 games and has posted at least 48 yards in seven of 11 games. That type of consistency keeps Hurst as a low-end TE1 going forward.
New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman had a big day for fantasy managers in a win over the Bengals on Sunday. Gallman turned a season-high 24 carries into 94 yards and added a touchdown as the Giants finally treated Gallman like the undisputed lead-back in the offense. No other running back had more than four carries and Gallman led the backfield with five targets as well. Gallman is a must-start fantasy option given the amount of work he is getting. He'll be in the RB2 conversation next week in a matchup with Seattle.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (knee) won't return to Sunday's game against the Saints. Lindsay ends the day with nine carries for 20 yards on a weird day where the Broncos were without a starting quarterback and used Lindsay in the wildcat some. Hopefully he's good to go next week, but if Lindsay's knee issue is serious, Melvin Gordon III will see the bulk of the team's work going forward. Gordon would become a low-end RB2 option.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had his best performance of the season in a Sunday loss against the Titans. He caught four passes on five targets for 81 yards, and he hauled in his first touchdown catch of the season. Hilton netted the majority of his yards on a 50-yard catch in the first half, and his touchdown came in garbage time when the outcome was decided. Regardless of the reason, it was good to see Hilton have a solid fantasy performance. Hilton has a divisional matchup against the Texans next week, and he has found success against them in the past. In 16 career games against Houston, Hilton averages about five catches for 96 yards.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo went a perfect 5-for-5 in field goals in the Week 12 win over Las Vegas. He also made four extra points. Koo's longest field goal was 54 yards in the win and he has now gone 29-for-30 in field goals this season. He is also 22-for-25 in extra points. Koo remains a strong starting option going forward given his reliability.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead IV has tested positive for COVID-19. This makes seven offensive starters for Baltimore on the COVID list and marks eight consecutive days with a positive test. Getting through Sunday with no positives would have been huge in guaranteeing that Tuesday's Ravens/Steelers game happens as scheduled. This positive introduces even more doubt about the viability of that football game.
New York Giants tight end Evan Engram had a big day Sunday turning six catches into 129 yards, his first 100-plus yard game this season. Engram almost had a bigger day, but he was tackled at the three-yard line after a 54-yard reception in the first quarter. Engram has been one of the most reliable options in fantasy over the last month with at least nine targets in four of the last five games. His fantasy value could take a hit if QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) misses time, but even with Colt McCoy under center Engram is a must-start tight end with a good matchup with Seattle on tap.
New Orleans Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins (knee) is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Broncos. The veteran defender has two interceptions and nine passes defender this year so far, as well as 37 tackles. If he misses time, the Saints Defense would take a slight hit in value, though aside from a Week 15 meeting with the Saints, they're past playing most of the top quarterbacks on their schedule.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage finished with three receptions for 34 yards on five targets in the Week 12 blowout win over the Raiders. Even with Julio Jones not playing, Gage did not see a boost in value throughout the game. He has been rather streaky this season and has only posted over 50 yards in four of 11 games. Even if Jones cannot play next week, Gage is simply too streaky and unproven to trust for fantasy on a weekly basis. He should only be considered a low-end flex, but there are certainly better options to start.
The Carolina Panthers Defense had a great day in a 28-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, recovering three fumbles, notching two sacks, and scoring two touchdowns. Perhaps most impressive of all, Carolina held star running back Dalvin Cook to just 83 scoreless scrimmage yards, though he did leave at one point with an injury. The star of the day for the Panthers was rookie safety Jeremy Chinn, who led the team with 13 tackles and two fumble recoveries- he returned both for touchdowns. Carolina will get a Week 13 bye before getting a favorable matchup against the Broncos.
Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill finished with 13 carries for 55 yards in Week 12. Todd Gurley II was ruled out of the game beforehand with a knee injury, meaning Hill and Ito Smith split the work out of the backfield. Hill had 13 carries while Smith had 12. If Gurley returns next week, Hill would have zero fantasy relevance. Even if Gurley cannot go, Hill is still quite a risky choice considering he and Smith split the carries in Week 12 and that cuts into the potential for more production.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired general manager Dave Caldwell, but team owner Doug Marrone was reportedly told that he and his staff's jobs are secure for the rest of the 2020 season. Of course, that doesn't mean Marrone will keep his job going into next year, especially with the Jaguars poised to draft a quarterback early and move into a different era of Jags football. Continuity for the rest of 2020 should at least keep running back James Robinson on pace to be a low-end RB1 play each week.
Carolina Panthers kicker Joey Slye made 2 of 4 field-goal attempts and all three extra points in a disappointing 28-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Slye had a solid day for fantasy purposes, though he left points on the field, including the game-winning kick. The 24-year-old has had a solid season otherwise, as he ranks in the top-ten in points. Slye will get a Week 13 bye before he faces a Broncos' team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to kickers.
New York Giants quarterback Colt McCoy went 6-for-10 passing for 31 yards in relief of Daniel Jones (hamstring) in a win over the Bengals. McCoy didn't throw a touchdown nor record a turnover and added seven rushing yards in the win. Jones is scheduled to undergo further tests on Monday, but early reports indicate Jones is unlikely to suit up in Week 13. The 10-year journeyman McCoy doesn't offer much to fantasy managers and hurts the value of other members in the New York passing game.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley had six receptions for 50 yards and a score on nine targets in Week 12. Ridley was the WR1 on Sunday with Julio Jones not playing due to a hamstring injury. The WR has seen at least seven targets in eight of 10 games and has produced at least 60 yards in seven of 10 games. With such a rich role in this offense, it keeps Ridley in the WR1 tier going forward.
Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines had a productive fantasy day in a loss against the Titans. He had just 10 carries for 29 yards on the ground but made up for it through the air, catching eight passes for 66 yards on 10 targets. He saw a lot of time in the offense due to Jonathan Taylor (COVID-19) being out and the Colts being down substantially for a majority of the game. Hines has been a productive fantasy player throughout the year when given ample opportunity, but there is uncertainty about the amount of snaps he will get on a week-to-week basis. He will likely have potential flex value again next week in a divisional matchup against the Texans.