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.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson had himself a fantastic game against the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. Robinson caught all six of his targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns. He looked unstoppable against the shaky Raiders secondary, but who knows if that will happen again. Robinson, Mecole Hardman, and De'Anthony Thomas will all be in the mix at No. 2 with Tyreek Hill (shoulder) sidelined. Robinson will be a hot pickup in most leagues this week, but he should be viewed as a WR3 for Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce started off a little slow in Week 1, but turned it around quickly in Week 2 against the Oakland Raiders. Kelce caught seven of his nine targets for 107 yards and one touchdown in the victory over the Raiders. Sammy Watkins was the only player targeted more (13), but wasn't able to do much with his chances. Kelce will be a TE1 against the Baltimore Ravens Defense in Week 3. The Ravens were torched in the passing game during their Week 2 matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement (shoulder) left the Week 2 game on Sunday night against the Falcons with a shoulder injury and is questionable to return. Clement is Philly's main kick returner, and he was injured early in the third quarter on a kickoff in which he fumbled to give the ball right back to Atlanta. The 24-year-old has yet to be used on offense in 2019 and is buried on the running back depth chart behind rookie Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard and Darren Sproles. Clement should be on the waiver wire in all leagues. Sanders could return kicks the rest of the night if Clement doesn't return.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis struggled to get going once again in the team's 19-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Davis was able to haul in three of his five targets, but only turned them into 38 yards. It appears that new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is very content with riding the running game and spreading the ball around in the passing game, which is bad news for Davis owners. Davis, who remained relevant a season ago solely due to his elite volume, appears to be an afterthought this season for fantasy. In deep leagues, he may be worth a hold for one more week, but don't hesitate to drop him for a more promising player in shallow leagues.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Adam Humphries has not gotten off to the start many expected with his new team in 2019. Humphries caught both of his targets for negative one yards in the team's 19-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. After the game, quarterback Marcus Mariota mentioned Humphries as someone they needed to get more involved in the offense going forward. Despite these comments, Humphries should be left on waivers in all formats after this week.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins jumped into the No. 1 receiver spot for the team in Week 2, but unfortunately disappointed fantasy owners. Watkins was targeted 13 times, but only caught six passes for 49 yards and was unable to find the end zone. He had a huge three touchdown game in Week 1, but couldn't get anything going against the Oakland Raiders. He should rebound nicely against the Baltimore Ravens Defense in Week 3 that allowed 349 passing yards in Week 2.
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker caught four of six targets for 32 yards in the team's 19-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Despite a lackluster fantasy performance, Walker once again led the team in targets. While his upside may be limited by the pace of the Titans offense, Walker should continue to be the primary target of quarterback Marcus Mariota going forward, which will be enough to keep him in TE1 territory.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry had another strong game in Week 2, rushing 15 times for 81 yards and a touchdown and adding two catches for 12 yards. Surprisingly, the Titans seemed to use Henry less as the game went on despite his success on the ground. Henry's usage and touchdown upside will continue to keep him in the high-end RB2 range this season. Henry will get a matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a short week this Thursday, and his success against them has been well noted over his career.
Tennessee Titans running back Dion Lewis does not seem to have much of a role on the team's 2019 offense thus far. Lewis rushed three times for nine yards and caught his lone target in their 19-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Despite trailing in the fourth quarter, Lewis was still not utilized much by new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. It appears that he is nothing more than the backup to Derrick Henry at this point, making him a drop candidate in all redraft formats.
Chicago Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro went 3-for-3 on his field-goal attempts, including hitting a 53-yard strike with a second left in the game to beat the Broncos 16-14. Much has been made in the offseason about the Bears kicking problems, but on this day the kicker saved the game for them. Pineiro also connected from 40 yards in the first quarter and then nailed a 52-yarder in the second quarter. Pineiro has connected on all of his kicks thus far this season and this game-winning kick certainly should be a confidence booster. The Bears radio announcer Jeff Joniak already has nicknamed the young kicker Eddie "Dinero" Pineiro. Eddie "Money" will try and keep it rolling with a favorable matchup against the Redskins at home in Week 3.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (groin) were both injured on Sunday night in Week 2 against the Falcons and are questionable to return. Tight end Dallas Goedert (calf) also left and is questionable to return. It has predictably affected quarterback Carson Wentz's performance, as he's just 4-for-9 for 37 yards and two interceptions with some of his favorite weapons dinged up. Neither Jeffery nor D-Jax were targeted before they left the game. If they can't return, Nelson Agholor, rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins will need to step up. Zach Ertz will also be heavily targeted by Wentz.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (knee) was unable to get anything going on the ground against the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. He rushed nine times for eight yards and added three receptions for 48 yards through the air. Both Williams and LeSean McCoy struggled to get anything going in the ground game. Williams left during the fourth quarter due to a knee issue. It's unclear if he's going to miss time or not, so fantasy owners will have to wait and see. Williams will be a RB2 against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, assuming he's able to suit up.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 19 of 28 attempts for just 154 yards and one touchdown in the team's 19-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Mariota did add five rushes for 32 yards on the ground, but he appeared to be more timid in the passing game than we saw a week ago in Cleveland. The Titans are content to just grind the clock and play defense when the score permits, rendering Mariota nothing more than a low-end QB2 in fantasy. The Titans and Mariota will have to rebound from this poor performance quickly during the short week before they travel to Jacksonville for Thursday Night Football.
The Chicago Bears Defense put forth an excellent effort but barely survived as the offense rallied with :31 left to beat the Broncos 16-14. The defense held the Broncos offense in check most of the game but things got interesting the second half. The Bears offense struggled to sustain drives and the high altitude began to effect the vaunted defense as the Broncos rallied from a 13-3 deficit to take the lead on a two-point conversion with less than a minute to play. The team picked up only two sacks in the game, one by Khalil Mack. But the unit recorded their first takeaway of the season when cornerback Kyle Fuller picked off Joe Flacco in the red zone to stifle a possible scoring drive. The Bears defense is legit and will have a juicy matchup against a rebuilding Redskins offense in Week 3.
Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton caught only two passes for five yards in the Bears gritty, come-from-behind win over the Broncos 16-14. Burton has missed most of training camp plus the first game of the season recovering from sports hernia surgery and a groin injury. Burton did not fill up the box score, but his presence in the running game was felt. The threat of Burton on the field also opened up some easier throws for quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Health will be key moving forward but Burton should be able to produce more than five yards in upcoming games.
The Washington Redskins Defense didn't have an answer for the Cowboys on Sunday. They did pick off Dak Prescott once, but they only got to him for one sack and allowed him to complete 86.7% of his passes. Prescott launched three touchdowns, and Ezekiel Elliott rumbled for 111 yards on 23 rushing attempts with a touchdown of his own. The end result was a 31-point showing from Dallas that proved to be too much for Washington's offense to keep up with. Up next for this unit is a Bears team that actually appears to be a favorable matchup. Mitch Trubisky has not looked good in Chicago's first two games, and if Washington is able to neutralize the Bears' rushing attack, there is the potential for some success in Week 3.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller once again was not heavily featured in the Bears offensive game plan as the team came from behind to beat the Broncos 16-14. Miller made only one catch, a quick pass, that went for only two yards as his snaps were limited for the second straight game. Miller has been struggling with an ankle injury suffered in training camp and clearly is not up to speed in coach Matt Nagy's eyes. Miller caught seven touchdowns in his rookie season and was widely expected to take a step forward this season. But that progress has completely stalled and fantasy owners may need to move on from Miller until his snap-count rises.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (hand) will be examined by a hand specialist in Los Angeles on Sunday night after leaving the Week 2 game early in the first quarter against the Rams. Brees' right thumb collided with defensive tackle Aaron Donald's hand, and the future Hall of Fame quarterback couldn't even grip a football on the sideline, which is an obvious concern. It's unclear if Brees will travel with the team to practice all week at the University of Washington before their Week 3 game against the Seahawks in Seattle. He finished 3-for-5 for 38 yards and an interception and ruined a lot of fantasy owners' weeks with his injury. If he can't play next week, backup Teddy Bridgewater would get the start but would only be worth starting in two-QB leagues. Brees' injury is a huge concern for the fantasy value of all of New Orleans' skill players on offense. Stay tuned for updates on his injury when they come.
Chicago Bears tight end Ben Braunecker caught two passes for 24 yards in the team's 16-14 win over the Broncos in Week 2. With the Bears scaling down their offensive game plan and starter Trey Burton playing limited snaps, Braunecker came through with some key catches. When 100%, Burton is the unquestioned starter. But that may take a few more games and the Bears offense moves smoothly when it targets the tight end position. Braunecker is not expected to dominate the targets but could be in line for more modest production in the weeks ahead.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught just one of his seven targets for a 49-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Though Diggs saw plenty of targets, Kirk Cousins was abysmal all afternoon and the pair were unable to get anything else going on the road against the Packers Defense. Diggs caught another touchdown in the game, but it was called back upon a booth review discovering a phantom offensive pass interference on Dalvin Cook. Though it's encouraging to see Diggs get some usage and have some success in this contest, he should be viewed as a low-end WR2 until the Vikes' passing attack shows some signs of life. The Oakland Raiders are an enticing matchup in Week 3 but volume remains a concern for Diggs.