Thu Oct 14 4:59pm ET
By MARK LONG
AP Pro Football Writer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Miami and Jacksonville have two of the NFL's longest current losing streaks. The Dolphins have dropped four in a row by a combined 76 points. The Jaguars' skid stands at 20, the longest in the league in nearly five decades and six shy of the record.
The teams went to great lengths this week - literally - in hopes of getting a victory.
The Dolphins (1-4) and Jaguars (0-5), who both reside in the same state about a five-hour drive apart, traveled 4,500 miles (7,242 kilometers) to play in London. They will meet Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, both desperate to end slides.
''We need a win,'' Jaguars offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor said. ''We've worked hard for a win, every day out here in the hot sun. We continue to believe in each other, and it's time to make it happen.''
Most would argue Jacksonville is long overdue. Coach Urban Meyer insists his team is making progress despite losing four of five games this season by double digits. Nonetheless, the Jaguars are closing in on Tampa Bay's dubious NFL record. The expansion Buccaneers hold the league mark for consecutive losses at 26, setting it in their second season in 1977.
''The two components of winning are work ethic and belief,'' Meyer said. ''And if you have a group that works hard but doesn't believe, you just have a bunch of hard-working guys. If you have a group that believes but doesn't work hard, you have a bunch of people just wishing.
''The combination, I see it growing and I see a team growing. . Belief and work ethic are the secret sauce to winning.''
A dash of Trevor Lawrence might help, too. The overall No. 1 pick in this year's NFL draft is coming off his two best games, throwing for 473 yards, rushing for 64 more and accounting for three touchdowns and just one turnover.
''I mean he really has been jumping off the tape as of late,'' Jaguars linebacker Damien Wilson said. ''I kind of knew it would be a matter of experience. The more games he gets under his belt, the better he is going to get. His ceiling is very, very high.''
The Dolphins feel the same way about Tua Tagovailoa, who hurt his ribs early in a Week 2 loss and spent the last three games on injured reserve. He's expected to return against Jacksonville.
''This is really just, `Let's see how this goes at practice. Can he make the throws? Can he roll to his left, roll to his right, step up in the pocket?''' Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. ''The one thing we won't know is taking a hit. We won't know that until the game, but we'll try to do as much as we can to get a feel for what that will look like or what that will feel like without having a setback, obviously.
''I'll say this, he's a tough kid. He's a tough kid.''
The Dolphins are the only team in the NFL to be ranked 30th or worse in the four primary offensive categories: yards, passing yards, rushing yards and points. The New York Jets are 29th in passing, missing joining the Dolphins in that dubious club by 8 yards. The Jets almost achieved the feat for a full season in 2019, again finishing 29th in passing, 3 yards ahead of the 30th-ranked Indianapolis Colts that season.
It's been more than seven years since a rookie quarterback threw a touchdown pass in London. Derek Carr of the Raiders was the last to accomplish the feat in 2014, at Wembley Stadium.
Jacksonville's Blake Bortles (2014), Cleveland's Deshone Kizer (2017), Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew (2019) and Zach Wilson of the New York Jets (last week) all failed to get one in the end zone since in London. Lawrence gets the next shot. He also could become the first rookie QB with a pair of TD passes across the pond.
''I think I'm just playing a lot smarter ball,'' Lawrence said. ''I feel like I'm getting better every week and just trusting that that's going to put us in situations to win games down the road.''
The Dolphins haven't had a big problem starting games. They're winning first quarters this season by a combined score of 34-23, the sixth-best differential in the league. The problem is the rest of the games. They have been outscored 44-3 in the second quarter, 27-14 in the third, 54-25 in the fourth and 6-3 in overtime. Add it all up, and that's a difference of 131-45 after the opening 15 minutes of every contest. That's by far the worst differential in the NFL this season after the first quarter.
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus made his only field-goal attempt from 42 yards out in the 22-9 loss to the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. The Broncos offense finally got into the end zone late in the game when they were down by multiple scores and elected to go for a two-point conversion (which failed) instead of kicking the extra point. McManus has only missed three of his 22 field-goal tries on the season and has missed one of his 23 extra-point attempts, so accuracy hasn't been the issue. Denver's low-upside offense is what is keeping McManus from being a top-12 fantasy kicker each and every week. This was the first game in 2021 in which he didn't attempt an extra point, but he's also had three games with no field-goal tries. McManus should be much more active in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions at home.
Even though the Denver Broncos defense only scored four points in most fantasy formats in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, they played pretty well overall against an explosive Chiefs offense. They were able to hold Patrick Mahomes and Company under 300 yards of total offense, including just 178 yards through the air and 89 yards on the ground. The Broncos defense sacked Mahomes twice, and rookie first-round cornerback Patrick Surtain II recorded his third interception in the last two games on a tipped pass off the hands of receiver Tyreek Hill. The Denver D is the strength of this team, and they'll be a popular streaming option in Week 14 against a Detroit Lions team coming off their first win of the season.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick will want to move on quickly from his performance in the Sunday night loss to the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs. In the 22-9 loss, he had season-lows in catches (one) and receiving yards (nine) on five total targets in Week 13. Since scoring his fourth touchdown of the year in Week 9, Patrick has only six catches on 14 targets for 49 yards in three games. The 28-year-old usually catches most passes thrown his way, but he couldn't get on the same page as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in prime time. In Denver's low-volume passing attack as the No. 3 receiver behind Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, Patrick's floor is scary as a WR4/5 in deeper leagues.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant finished the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13 on Sunday night with four grabs for 33 yards on four targets. The bad news is that backup tight end Albert Okwuegbunam had the same number of targets as Fant and caught three passes for 21 yards. The Broncos just have two many receiving weapons and Fant isn't really being used as a viable receiving threat down the field. As long as the Denver offense continues to be a run-first unit and Okwuegbunam remains involved to steal targets away from Fant, he'll likely be a frustrating low-end TE1 play unless he gets into the end zone. Fant hasn't scored since Week 6 and has gone over 40 receiving yards just once since then.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton was barely heard from yet again in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Week 13. Sutton finished the game with two receptions on six targets for a measly 15 yards. Really the only good news in this one was the fact that his six targets were tied for second-most on the team with Jerry Jeudy. Since Jeudy returned from a high ankle sprain in Week 8, Sutton has nine catches for 110 yards and no touchdowns on 18 targets in five games. That says it all right there. The Broncos prefer not to throw the ball too much if they don't have to, and when they do, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater usually spreads it around to a bunch of different weapons. The 26-year-old has found his way to the bench is most fantasy leagues.
Facing the toughest defense against tight ends in Week 13, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce posted a rare dud. Targeted eight times on the evening, Kelce was only able to haul in three balls for 27 yards. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has struggled this season and that has trickled down to Kelce having some rare duds this season. Despite that, managers should continue to treat Kelce as one of the best tight ends in the game. The good news is that Kelce will face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14. When the teams previously met in Week 10, Kelce went for eight receptions and 119 yards. Managers should have no reservations about sitting Kelce next Sunday or any week moving forward.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy caught four of his six targets for a team-leading 77 receiving yards in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. Jeudy's four receptions were tied for second-most on the team, and his six targets were also tied for second-most. The 22-year-old second-year wideout continues to be quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's favorite receiver. However, Bridgewater has mostly been mediocre this season, and the Broncos are a run-first offense when they get into positive game script. Most of Jeudy's damage was done late in the game with the Chiefs up by multiple scores. Jeudy will be looking for his first touchdown of the season in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions, where he'll be a WR3/flex.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a quiet outing in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The Cheetah was targeted five times during the contest and caught two balls for 22 yards. He also had a ball hit off his hands and into the hands of rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II that would be the only interception for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes struggled on the evening and with windy playing conditions, those could both be attributed to Hill's final game line. Regardless, Hill posted a dud, but managers shouldn't be too concerned with his ability to put up WR1 numbers in most weeks. Hill will face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 and previously recorded 7 receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 10 victory.
Denver Broncos running back Mike Boone stepped into the RB2 role behind rookie Javonte Williams in the Sunday night loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with Melvin Gordon (hip, shoulder) inactive. Boone only had five touches on the night (four carries, one catch) compared to Williams' 29, but he looked explosive and fresh when he was called upon. On his four carries, Boone totaled 35 yards (8.8 yards per carry), and he caught his lone target for a 19-yard gain. The 26-year-old was basically used to spell the impressive Williams in this one, and that would likely continue to be the case if Gordon misses time, which won't give Boone any standalone fantasy value. If Gordon returns in Week 14, Boone will have an even smaller role as the RB3.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire played the lead role in his second game back from a knee injury during a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. CEH recorded 54 yards on 14 rushing attempts with three receptions for 28 yards. It wasn't the best performance for the sophomore runner, but it was a solid performance nonetheless. Backup running back Darrel Williams saw his fair share of action on Sunday evening and was on the field for all third-down plays. Edwards-Helaire should see his role grow down the stretch run, but managers would be wise to insure him with Williams. Next up will be a matchup versus the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 and CEH should be considered a RB2 with RB1 upside in that contest.
Denver Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams was finally unleashed on Sunday night against the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs with Melvin Gordon (hip, shoulder) inactive, and he didn't disappoint. Williams was the Broncos offense, carrying 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 for Denver's lone touchdown in the 22-9 loss. He averaged 4.4 yards on the ground and looked like the real deal. Williams is one of the toughest backs in the league to bring down, and he's an extremely powerful runner with tackle-breaking ability. His fantasy managers will be crossing their fingers that Gordon won't return in Week 14 for a dream matchup against the Detroit Lions. If Gordon is out again, Williams will have RB1 upside.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams recorded 20 yards on five carries in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The veteran was in for all third-down plays and recorded three receptions for 60 yards. With running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire healthy and back in the picture, Williams has fallen back into a backup role over the past two contests. Moving forward, Williams should be rostered by all Edwards-Helaire managers for the stretch run, but will be hard to trust without a full time role. Next up for Williams will be a Week 14 date against a Las Vegas Raiders defense that he had his best game of the season against earlier in the year.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (ankle) stated he "absolutely" expects to play in Week 15 against the Washington Football Team. During Sunday's meeting against the Jets, the 24-year-old aggravated the same ankle the landed him on the injured reserve list back in October. However, with the team having a Week 14 bye, Sanders has a good chance at being back. However, if he doesn't, Jordan Howard (knee), Boston Scott (illness), and rookie Kenneth Gainwell, who arguably had the best game of his career against Washington, could be in store for more work. Still, fantasy managers should keep Sanders on the roster as there is a small upside there, although he has been far from a reliable option throughout the 2021-22 campaign.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes put together another underwhelming performance in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The former MVP has been having an off year by his standards and completed just 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 184 yards and an interception. His interception came when wide receiver Tyreek Hill failed to haul in a pass that hit off his hands and into the hands of rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II. It wasn't all bad for managers of Mahomes with him rushing four times for 12 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Mahomes has been a shell of himself this season, but his enormous upside makes him a must-start on a weekly basis. Mahomes will look to put up improved numbers versus a Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, a defense that he torched for five touchdowns earlier this season.
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had more interceptions than touchdown passes in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Week 13. He finished the night 22-for-40 for 257 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a game-sealing touchdown for KC's defense. Bridgewater ran the ball four times for 17 yards. The yardage total was nice, but Bridgewater and the Broncos passing game never really got in sync all night, with a lot of his yards and his lone touchdown to rookie running back Javonte Williams coming in garbage time with the Chiefs ahead by multiple scores. The Broncos offense is usually in trouble when they have to rely on Bridgewater's arm. He'll have a nice matchup against the Detroit Lions next week, but Bridgewater lacks upside on a weekly basis as a low-end QB2.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin finished with only three catches for 22 yards during the win over Las Vegas on Sunday. The 26-year-old disappeared in Week 13, and it came after he had at least seven targets in each game since Week 1. However, Logan Thomas (knee) likely is done for the year, so McLaurin could get more looks from Taylor Heinicke moving ahead, starting in Week 14 during the NFC North battle with the Cowboys.
Baltimore Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey (shoulder) is expected to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 13, according to sources. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Humphrey could be out 'a while.'
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr completed 28 of his 38 pass attempts for 249 yards and gained 24 yards on two carries in a 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team in Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Carr has now finished with one touchdown or less in four of his last five games, and his hot start to the season seems like a distant memory. At this point, Carr is a reach as QB2.
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson had another solid performance on Sunday during the win over the Raiders, compiling 88 yards off 23 attempts. He also secured five of his six targets for 23 yards while also finding the end zone off one of those catches. The 23-year-old has turned up the volume, as he now has at least 19 carries in each of his last four games. He's also been an essential contributor on the receiving end, and he could have an even more prominent role moving ahead with Logan Thomas (knee) likely done for the year. Nonetheless, Gibson has been the real deal and should be considered a priority option for fantasy managers in all formats.
Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (ankle) has a high-ankle sprain, according to a source, and will undergo further testing Monday, Dec. 6.
Fantasy Spin: Not good. Regardless of the test results, it's improbable we'll see him in Week 14, and don't be surprised if he is out multiple weeks. WR K.J. Osborn will be a hot fantasy pickup this week.