Tue Sep 10 1:16am ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
Oakland Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley leaves the game on a stretcher after an injury during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr reacts after running back Josh Jacobs scored a touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
An Oakland Raiders cheers during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs runs with the ball as Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Walker (57) and nose tackle Mike Purcell (98) look on during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco is tackled by Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
A fan holds up a sign during the first half of an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Derek Carr threw a touchdown pass on the opening drive of the season, rookie Josh Jacobs ran for two scores and the Oakland Raiders responded to a tumultuous week surrounding former receiver Antonio Brown by beating the Denver Broncos 24-16 on Monday night.
The Raiders (1-0) took out all the frustration over the drama surrounding Brown with a convincing win over the AFC West rival Broncos (0-1). The offensive line cleared holes for Jacobs and protected Carr, and the defense harassed Joe Flacco into three sacks and kept Denver out of the end zone until 2:15 remained in the game.
The win spoiled the Denver debuts for Flacco and coach Vic Fangio and ended the NFL's longest opening weekend winning streak at seven games.
The final scheduled home opener at the Coliseum before the Raiders planned move to Las Vegas next season began with derisive chants from the boisterous fans toward Brown. Those only grew louder after each successful pass play as both the fans and Raiders players seemed relieved to have the monthlong saga over Brown in the past.
He arrived with optimism following a trade from Pittsburgh in March. But a bizarre foot injury, fight with the NFL over his helmet, skipped practices, multiple fines, a run-in with general manager Mike Mayock and odd social media posts ultimately led to the decision to release the game's most prolific receiver two days before the opener.
Brown agreed to a deal with New England just hours after being granted his wish to be released by Oakland on Saturday and the Raiders wasted little time proving they had moved on.
They took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in 10 plays. Carr completed all five passes to four receivers, capped by an 8-yard TD to Tyrell Williams.
Oakland added another score in the second quarter when Jacobs capped a 95-yard drive with a 2-yard run to make it 14-0. Jacobs scored again in the fourth quarter, becoming the first Raider to run for two TDs in his debut.
BY THE NUMBERS
Carr completed 22 of 26 passes for 259 yards and wasn't sacked once after going down 51 times last year. ... Jacobs had 23 carries for 85 yards and a 28-yard reception. ... Wiliams had six catches for 105 yards, including a game-sealing 10-yard catch on third down after the two-minute warning. ... Flacco was 21 for 31 for 268 yards with a 1-yard TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders in Sanders' first game back from a ruptured Achilles' tendon.
After recording an NFL-low 13 sacks last year following the trade of Khalil Mack, the Raiders got off to a much better start this year with the pass rush, sacking Flacco three times. Benson Mayowa had two sacks, becoming the first Oakland player to record more than one in a game since Mack had two against Denver on Dec. 17, 2017. Rookie Clelin Ferrell also had one.
Denver's comeback attempt fell short in part because the Broncos had to settle for field goals on three red zone trips in the second half. A pair of third-down sacks by Mayowa and Ferrell stalled two drives and DaeSean Hamilton dropped a potential TD in the end zone.
Broncos: RT Ja'Wuan James left the game in the first half with a knee injury. ... WR Tim Patrick left in the second half with a hand injury.
Raiders: CB Gareon Conley was taken off the field strapped to a stretcher with a neck injury after being hit in the head by teammate Johnathan Abram.
Conley was down on the ground for several minutes with players on both teams kneeling on the ground out of concern. Conley was taken off the field on a stretcher but was able to give a thumbs up to the crowd.
Broncos: Host Chicago on Sunday. Fangio spent the past four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Bears.
Raiders: Host Kansas City on Sunday in a second straight division matchup. The Chiefs have won eight of the past nine games in the series.
Free-agent WR Antonio Callaway (Browns) signed with the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL Thursday, Jan. 16.
Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy (illness) remained out of practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: McCoy played just one offensive snap in last week's Divisional Round game against the Houston Texans. He's clearly behind RB Damien Williams and is no longer worth starting.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Moore (illness) and DT Chris Jones (calf) didn't participate in practice Thursday, Jan. 16. DT Khalen Saunders (knee), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), CB Kendall Fuller (knee), DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (neck), C Austin Reiter (wrist) and G Andrew Wylie (ankle) practiced in full.
Green Bay Packers DL Kenny Clark (back), TE Marcedes Lewis (non-injury), LB Preston Smith (ankle), FB Danny Vitale (knee) and CB Tramon Williams (non-injury) were limited participants in practice Thursday, Jan. 16. S Adrian Amos (chest), OT Bryan Bulaga (non-injury), WR Ryan Grant (non-injury), LB Blake Martinez (hand) and OL Billy Turner (ankle) practiced in full.
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee) remained limited at practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Kelce earned a light practice week while catching 10 of 12 targets for 134 yards and three touchdowns against the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round. He's the week's top tight end option once against this week so long as he takes the field.
Tennessee Titans LB Jayon Brown (shoulder), LB Rashaan Evans (foot), WR Adam Humphries (ankle), CB Adoree' Jackson (foot), WR Cody Hollister (ankle) and OT Jack Conklin (shoulder) were limited in practice Thursday, Jan. 16. CB Logan Ryan (illness) and LB David Long Jr. (knee) participated in full.
Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (illness) was limited in practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: It's an upgrade for Allison after he missed Wednesday's practice. He's likely to be limited for much of the week but should ultimately suit up for Sunday, Jan. 19's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. He made just one catch for 11 yards last week against the Seattle Seahawks and isn't worth much more than a desperation flier.
Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (non-injury) was a limited participant in practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Graham has caught seven of 11 total targets across his last two games, recording 49 receiving yards in each game. He hasn't found the end zone since Week 7 and doesn't possess much touchdown upside, but the Packers have few better options in the passing game outside of WR Davante Adams. He could be a sneaky play at a thin position.
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (elbow) practiced in full Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: It's Coleman's second straight full practice, and he should be good to go for the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 19. He's coming off one of his best games of the season, and he'll be worth starting once again in all formats.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (calf) was a full participant in practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Mostert's on track to play in the NFC Championship Sunday, Jan. 19. He took a back seat to RB Tevin Coleman in the Divisional Round game against the Minnesota Vikings, but he was still able to rack up 58 yards and 12 carries. He's worth starting, but Coleman should be viewed as the better option.
San Francisco 49ers LB Kwon Alexander (pectoral) and DL Dee Ford (quadriceps, hamstring) were limited in practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Free-agent WR Antonio Brown (Patriots) had his relationship with agent Drew Rosenhaus conditionally terminated Thursday, Jan. 16, until the wide receiver seeks counseling, per a source.
Fantasy Spin: While the talent remains alluring, it's become clear Brown is going to have to make some personal changes before he gets a chance to play again the league.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (ankle) was a full participant in practice Thursday, Jan. 16, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Fantasy Spin: Great news for Kittle after he sat out Wednesday's workouts with the nagging ankle injury. Unless we hear of any kind of setback later this week, count on him being good to go for Sunday afternoon's NFC title tilt.
Updating previous reports, Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald's one-year contract for 2020 will include a base salary of $11 million and will have $500,000 in roster bonuses and $250,000 in incentives.
Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. is the subject of a simple battery arrest warrant issued by the New Orleans Police Department after Beckham appeared to slap a police officer's buttocks in the LSU locker room Monday, Jan. 13 following the College Football Playoff championship game.
Fantasy Spin: While this isn't the most serious of incidents, OBJ continues to make more headlines off the field than on it following his disappointing 2019 debut with the Browns (74 catches-1,035 yards-4 TDs). And if the trend continues, will the new Browns regime say enough is enough for a player brought in by the previous administration?
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been accused of simple battery after an incident in the locker room following LSU's national championship win over Clemson on Monday night. Beckham was caught on video spanking a police officer on the backside during the post-game locker room celebration. New Orleans police have issued a warrant for Beckham's arrest following the incident. The Browns have since released a statement that they are aware of the issue and that they have been in contact with Beckham and his representatives. This is the second issue to stem from Beckham's attendance at the game on Monday night as he was also caught on camera apparently handing money to LSU players on the field after the win. Neither situation is likely to impact Beckham from a fantasy perspective but it's just another issue for the Browns organization to contend with this offseason.
Tennessee Titans CB Logan Ryan (illness) is expected to return to practice Thursday, Jan. 16, after sitting out the previous day with an illness.
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry rushed 23 times for 188 yards and two scores in Week 10 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Titans will take on the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game Sunday, Jan. 19.
Fantasy Spin: The Titans won that game 35-32 in Patrick Mahomes' first game back from his knee injury. The Chiefs could neutralize him by scoring early and often, but Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three scores, and the Titans remained in it. Henry is arguably the best running back in fantasy remaining in the playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday ahead of the NFC Championship showdown against the Green Bay Packers. The All-Pro chipped a bone in his left ankle earlier this season and aggravated it during the third quarter of the Divisional Round. A proven warrior, head coach Kyle Shanahan remains optimistic, but Kittles practice regimen the rest of the week should be telling. Used as a blocker last Sunday, Kittle amassed only three touches for 16 yards. Its improbable the injury will sideline him for the biggest game of his career, but wideouts Deebo Samuel and Emmanuel Sanders would see a bump in targets if Kittle cant go.
New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara could hold out in hopes of securing a long-term contract extension, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Mike Triplett, who notes that the team's other top contributors from the 2017 draft class can have their fifth-year options picked up, whereas Kamara is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season. Triplett also mentions that valuing Kamara may be difficult because despite his versatility he only plays about two-thirds of the team's offensive snaps.
Fantasy Spin: This is pure speculation at this point, but Triplett lays out a compelling case for a contractual impasse. It's just something to file away and keep an eye on once the offseason kicks into high gear.