Fri Oct 15 3:25pm ET
By The Associated Press
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver John Taylor (82) is hit by New Orleans Saints linebacker Sam Mills after Taylor tipped the ball and tried to catch it during the first half of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, in this Dec. 1, 1991, file photo. The pass fell incomplete. The New Orleans Saints will soon add the name of the late Sam Mills to their ring of honor in the Superdome. The club announced the decision to honor Mills, who died from cancer in 2005, during halftime of their Dec. 2 home game against Dallas. Mills made 934 tackles with the Saints, ranking second in club history. (AP Photo/Brad Mangin, File)
The New Orleans Saints will soon add the name of the late Sam Mills to their ring of honor in the Superdome.
The club announced the decision to honor Mills, who died from cancer in 2005, during halftime of their Dec. 2 home game against Dallas.
Mills, who played for New Orleans from 1986-94, was part of a linebacker corps known as the ''Dome Patrol,'' along with Pro Football Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling and Vaughan Johnson. Mills also was part of the first four playoff teams in Saints history.
Mills made 934 tackles with the Saints, ranking second in club history to Jackson. Mills also had 10 1/2 sacks, four interceptions, 15 forced fumbles and 17 fumble recoveries for New Orleans.
His name will appear alongside those of late owner Tom Benson, Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen, Jackson, quarterback Archie Manning, Hall of Fame offensive tackle William Roaf and the late defensive end Will Smith. The club's ring of honor was established in 2013 and currently features the illuminated names of honored players hanging above the dome's Superdome's upper deck.
A native of Long Branch, New Jersey, Mills also was a finalist for the 2020 and 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame classes and is a nominee for the class of 2022.
Mills played in college for Montclair State and began his pro career with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL in 1983. He spent his last three NFL seasons with Carolina, where he later served as a scout and linebackers coach.
No rookie quarterback has won a game in London, with the Jets' Zach Wilson the latest to fail in last Sunday's loss 27-20 o Atlanta.
Now, Trevor Lawrence, the top overall draft pick by Jacksonville, gets a shot in Sunday morning's game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The rookie quarterbacks to start an international game since 2005 have been Gardner Minshew for the Jaguars in a 2019 loss to Houston; Cleveland's Deshone Kizer in a 2017 defeat against Minnesota; Jacksonville's Blake Bortles in a 2014 loss to Dallas; and the Raiders' Derek Carr the same year, when they fell to Miami.
Only Carr threw a touchdown pass among those rookie QBs.
The NFL is rocking out with a 2021-2022 NFL Songs of the Season series, that began Thursday night when musical duo The Audibles did the first track.
A four-time Grammy nominated duo of Dominic `DJ' Jordan and Jimmy Giannos, they have produced songs for Justin Bieber, Lupe Fiasco and Sam Smith.
Songs of the Season highlights recording artists of all genres, incorporating their music into game broadcasts throughout the 2021 season. Revenue generated from the program will benefit organizations supported by Inspire Change, the NFL's social justice initiative.
focused on reducing barriers to opportunity in four priority areas: education, economic advancement, police and community relations, and criminal justice reform.
''`Songs of the Season is an exciting initiative that allows fans an opportunity to get involved in the great work NFL players and clubs are doing to advance social justice in their local communities,'' said Anna Isaacson, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility. ''We are thankful for this collaboration with four-time Grammy-nominated duo The Audibles and their thrilling single `Outrageous,' to support the impact being made by the Inspire Change social justice initiative.''
Songs of the Season debuted during the 2019-2020 season and featured artists Blackway, Kelly Rowland, Robin Thicke, Royce Da 5'9?, Lecrae, and SASH.
Linebacker Avery Williamson is back with the team that drafted him in 2014 in his home state of Tennessee, and he's busy learning the defensive playbook.
Having kept an eye on his old team's defense should help.
''Of course you know I was gone, but it's like an ex-girlfriend,'' Williamson said before his second practice back. ''You'll kind of keep up with her on social media, try not to like any pictures and stuff. But I kept up with them. So I'm always watching them, and they're flying around man. Flying around.''
Williamson left the Titans in March 2018 when he signed a contract with the New York Jets weeks after the Titans hired Mike Vrabel as the new head coach. A torn ACL cost Williamson the 2019 season, and the Jets traded him to Pittsburgh during last season. That's where he played with linebacker Bud Dupree, who signed this offseason with the Titans.
''When he ended up signing here, I was low key like, `Man that would be nice to team up with him,''' Williamson said. ''God blessed me with another opportunity. I was man, super thrilled. Still thrilled.''
Williamson had been on the Denver practice squad only a week when his agent texted that Titans general manager Jon Robinson wanted him on the Tennessee roster. The Titans have had a couple of inside linebackers dealing with injuries and needed help. That couldn't have made the native of Milan, Tennessee, any happier.
Add in the fact the Titans are a winning franchise is even better. Williamson only experienced one winning season before leaving in free agency.
''The Titans are doing amazing things now,'' Williamson said.
BREES TO CAMPBELL
Dan Campbell, Detroit's winless coach, said former NFL quarterback Drew Brees reached out to him after the Lions' latest loss last Sunday.
''He shot a text to me just talking about how impressive it was,'' Campbell recalled. ''It was like, `My God, man, those guys are fighting. Those guys are not giving up. They're fighting.' He goes, `You guys are close.'''
Campbell and Brees became close in New Orleans, where Campbell was the assistant head coach for the final five seasons of the quarterback's playing career.
''I probably wouldn't be standing up here if it had not been for Drew Brees,'' Campbell said.
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.