Mon Nov 28 2:03pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) talks with teammate quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed (38) intercepts a pass ahead of Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs moved the ball well against the Los Angeles Rams between the 20s, though drives too often fizzled in the red zone, and their defense shut down a team missing most of its offensive playmakers.
All good things from Sunday's 26-10 victory.
Special teams, on the other hand? It was another rough day for coordinator Dave Toub, who watched Skyy Moore fumble a punt for the third time this season, then watched the Rams execute a fake punt that kept another drive alive.
Those two miscues didn't cost the Chiefs any points, thanks mostly to the fact that the Rams were missing quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson II and two starting offensive linemen. But against just about any other NFL team, including the Bengals this coming weekend, that sort of execution isn't going to cut it.
''We had the fake on us this time - it's the second time we've had one - which is true, obviously, but we anticipated that happening and worked on it and they just got us,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday.
''I think one great learning place for the players, especially the young players, is to put them on special teams, and then you just continually progress and get better as the season goes on,'' Reid continued. ''There are going to be some early issues as we go here and you hope it picks up as we go forward. That's where we're at right now.''
It's not early in the season, though. The Chiefs (9-2) are well past the halfway point, and despite all the special teams mishaps this season, they are in first place in the AFC. The stakes couldn't be a whole lot higher over the final six games, the first three of them on the road, as they try to secure the No. 1 seed and lone first-round playoff bye.
''I'm happy with the `W,' like everybody else, but you don't want to get complacent looking at the win and forgetting about the other underlying issues with this,'' Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark said. ''Sean McVay, that shows what type of coach they have. They are playing their (third teamers) and not giving no quit - not showing no quit or surrender. My hat's off to those boys. We were able to get the 'dub but there's some more work to do.''
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was 27 of 42 for 320 yards with a touchdown and an interception, which are pedestrian numbers by his lofty standards. But those 27 completions went to a whopping 10 different players, and all of those receivers had a catch of at least 9 yards. That makes the Kansas City offense a nightmare to defend.
WHAT NEEDS WORK
Take away some nice scrambles by Mahomes and the Chiefs only averaged about 3 yards per carry. They were hard yards, too, and Isiah Pacheco and Ronald Jones fought for every one. So it falls upon the offensive line, which gave up just two QB hits and no sacks, to create some better holes for the running game.
Nick Bolton picked off a pass for the second straight game while deflecting a pass and leading the Chiefs with 11 tackles. It was another excellent performance that ultimately could help the second-year pro earn his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Toub has long been one of the best special teams coordinators in the game, going back to his days coaching Devin Hester and Robbie Gould in Chicago. Reid is confident that he will turn things around this season, but time is running out.
There were no new injuries against the Rams. The bigger question is whether Kadarius Toney, who missed the game with a hamstring injury, will return this week. His history of injuries is one reason the Giants were willing to trade him.
5 - The Chiefs have won five straight games, giving them at least one five-game winning streak in each of the past 10 seasons. The longest has been 10 consecutive wins during the 2015 and 2020 seasons.
The Chiefs begin a three-game trip in Cincinnati, which rallied to beat them in last year's AFC title game and deny Kansas City a third straight Super Bowl appearance. The Chiefs then head to Denver and Houston before finally returning home on Christmas Eve to face the Seahawks.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams (knee) is reportedly a long shot to play in Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft hasn't played football since tearing his ACL in the College Football Playoff National Championship game in mid-January of 2021. With the Lions sitting at 4-7, the team is in no rush to get him on the field and risk re-injury. There is some hope he will play this season, but head coach Dan Campbell said "it would take a lot" for him to suit up on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney is being labeled day-to-day with his hamstring injury that has bothered him since early in the season when he was a member of the New York Giants. The second-year wideout has only appeared in four games this season after missing seven last year, so head coach Andy Reid is cautious with him. He has upside in the powerful Chiefs' offense, but expect the team to wait until he's close to 100 percent to put him back on the field. Skyy Moore and Justin Watson seem to benefit most from Toney and Mecole Hardman's absence.
Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker continues to show the NFL and fantasy managers that he might be the best all time at his position. He is an elite kicking option weekly and annually and is a fantasy monster from that position. Tucker has connected on over 90% of his field goals in 2022 and is currently the league leader with 114 fantasy points. In Week 12, he made four field goals and hit one extra point, giving him 15 fantasy points, which marked his second-highest total of the season. Tucker should continue to be cemented in fantasy lineups each week, with Week 13 against Denver no exception.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Sammy Watkins played just four offensive snaps in Sunday night's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and he wasn't targeted at all in the passing game. Watkins fell out of favor in Green Bay's game plan against the Eagles, with rookie Christian Watson, Allen Lazard and veteran slot man Randall Cobb serving as the three primary receivers alongside tight end Robert Tonyan. Watkins is still searching for his first touchdown of the season, and he has just three catches for 47 yards in the last three games combined for Green Bay. Fantasy managers can't realistically consider him for starting lineups, even in deeper leagues.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr went 25-for-36 for 295 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the 40-34 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12 on Sunday. He also ran the ball twice for 10 yards. The 31-year-old has now had at least two touchdown passes in four games, and this was his first game of the season with three touchdown passes. It was also his first time throwing multiple picks since he threw three in the season opener. With All-Pro wideout Davante Adams leading the way, Carr has been more reliable as a high-end QB2 for fantasy managers, including for a Week 13 rematch against the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers. Carr had 295 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions against the Bolts back in Week 1.
Minnesota Vikings rookie second-round cornerback Andrew Booth (knee) is undergoing knee surgery on Monday, according to sources. There is a chance that Booth will miss the rest of the season, but that won't be clear until after the surgery is complete. Booth popped up on last week's injury report and didn't play in the Thursday night win over the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving. The 22-year-old has recorded 12 solo tackles in his first six NFL games. If he's out for the rest of the season, Kris Boyd is expected to see more playing time in Minnesota's secondary.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (foot) injured his foot in the Week 12 win over the Baltimore Ravens and didn't return early in the contest after just two carries for three yards. JaMycal Hasty entered to lead the backfield with 12 carries for just 28 yards and he caught all five of his targets for 67 yards and a touchdown through the air. The 26-year-old wasn't very effective on the ground, but he made up for it with his work in the passing game. Etienne's injury doesn't appear to be very serious, so Hasty won't have any standalone starting fantasy value in Week 13 against the Detroit Lions if Etienne is active. Hasty could be worth a waiver-wire pickup as insurance in deeper leagues if you have Etienne rostered.
Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks won't commit to quarterback Sam Darnold beyond saying he'll start in Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks after the team's bye in Week 13. Wilks also isn't committing to Baker Mayfield as the backup QB in Week 14. Darnold started his first game of the 2022 season in the Week 12 win over the Denver Broncos and went 11-for-19 for 164 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He also had three carries for three yards and another score. The 25-year-old wasn't great by any means as the team leaned on the ground game against a solid defense, but the fact that Darnold didn't shoot himself in the foot has to be considered a positive. Darnold earned another start after the bye, where he'll once again be a low-end QB2 consideration for those in superflex leagues.
The plan is for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (hip) to return in Week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a source. Chase was close to playing in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, but he's expected to go this week versus the Chiefs. The 22-year-old has missed the last four games with a hip injury, but the Bengals and fantasy managers should have him for the rest of the way. The question now becomes if Cincy will limit Chase's snaps in his first game back this weekend. Either way, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd will lose valuable targets and fantasy upside with Chase back in the fold as quarterback Joe Burrow's favorite target. Before his injury, Chase had 47 catches on 74 targets for 605 yards and six touchdowns in eight games played.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said that running back Travis Etienne Jr. (foot) was cleared to return to the Week 12 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday with his foot injury, but he decided to hold Etienne out as a precaution. The team was planning to do more tests on Monday, but Etienne said he was fine and the team thought so, too. We'll have to monitor Etienne's practice status this week, but all signs point to him being ready to suit up in Week 13 against the Detroit Lions. The 23-year-old had just two carries for three yards before leaving, while JaMycal Hasty led the backfield with 12 carries for 28 yards in his absence. If Etienne is fine to face the Lions this weekend, he should be a must-start in all fantasy lineups.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Mack Hollins caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders' overtime win over the Seahawks. Hollins scored on a flea flicker as he came open late on a well-disguised crossing route. He continues to work as the team's number two wide receiver and should hold this role for the foreseeable future as he remains reliable. Expect Hollins to be in the weekly five to seven target range, which is valuable in fantasy. He has shown the ability to high-point the ball and make plays downfield. Hollins is a viable flex option in a Week 13 matchup with the Chargers.
Dynasty | Rams receiver Allen Robinson will undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season. Dynasty Analysis: To say the addition failed in a big way is an understatement. He finishes 2022 as PPR's WR58 with only four double-digit fantasy performances across 11 weeks, including three touchdowns. The Rams signed Robinson to a three-year $46.5M deal including $30M guaranteed so 29-year-old will be back in 2023 and could be an intriguing sleeper selection for risk-on willing dynasty coaches. The team was a proverbial train wreck across the board so the blame shouldn't rest solely on Robinson's shoulders. He's found as DLF's WR58 and will likely slide further as we enter the off-season.
Dynasty | Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has completed his 11-game suspension and has been reinstated Dynasty Analysis: He'll be under-center in week 13, sending Jacoby Brissett back to the bench. Watson may not be fully clear from future legal action but, for now, he's back and should provide a boost for the 5-6 Browns who are still fighting for a spot in the playoffs. He's listed as DLF's QB11.
Dynasty | Deshaun Watson has been reinstated following his 11-game suspension, sending Jacoby Brissett back to the bench. Dynasty Analysis: Brissett knew what he had signed up for when he became the Browns starter in 2022 and he performed admirably, finishing his 11 starts as the QB17 in fantasy. Still only 29 years-of-age, he's done well enough to stick around the league for additional time performing his best Ryan Fitzpatrick imitation as he fills in where and when needed. His runway and ceiling for production remain low as evidenced by his unranked status on DLF's quarterback rankings.
Dynasty | Travis Etienne was cleared to return following a foot injury in week 12 Dynasty Analysis: Etienne sunk the fortunes of many in week 12 when he limped to the sidelines and headed to the locker room, limping on the same foot in which he underwent Lisfranc surgery on. The fact he was cleared is fantastic news and all expectation will be for him being back in fantasy lineups in week 13. The injury is yet another reminder about the need for adequate depth at running back for fantasy players. He's listed as DLF's RB5.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams recorded seven catches for 74 yards in the Raiders' Week 12 overtime win against the Seattle Seahawks. Adams was unable to get anything going downfield like he had been doing so often in recent weeks. He still saw a team-high 11 targets and was a consistent chain mover. The Raiders turned to the run game and Josh Jacobs for most of the second half and overtime. Expect Adams to get back to elite WR1 numbers in Week 13 against the Chargers.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Foster Moreau caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders' overtime win over the Seahawks. Moreau was much more involved in this one, tying for second on the team with seven targets. He continues to be a target in the red zone and will have that role going forward. With the current state of the tight end position, Moreau will continue to be on the TE1 radar. He will look to follow this top-10 performance up against the Chargers in Week 13.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs rushed for a career-high 229 yards and two touchdowns while adding six catches for 74 yards. Jacobs was questionable with a calf injury going into this matchup. He proceeded to total over 300 yards and score the game-winning 86-yard touchdown in overtime. It was a dominant performance at all phases for the Raiders' running back who has had a career season and emerged as one of the best values in all of fantasy. Jacobs had always been a solid volume play with touchdown ability but he showed he has overall RB1 upside in this one. He will face the Chargers in Week 13, one of the best matchups in fantasy football.
Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson has complied with all the terms following his 11-game suspension for violations of the personal conduct policy and is officially active.
Fantasy Spin: He'll be a low-end QB1 against Houston Sunday. His presence should give Nick Chubb a boost, too, as teams will have to account for Watson's threat through the air and on the ground.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been officially reinstated following his 11-game suspension. The 27-year-old was suspended for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. He's eligible to practice on Monday and is expected to make his season debut against the Houston Texans in Week 13. Watson will take over the starting duties from Jacoby Brissett who did a fine job to start the season. Everyone knows how talented Watson is, but he hasn't played a professional snap since 2020. He might need time to shake off the rust, but luckily he'll have a favorable matchup against the Texans.