Carr throws two touchdowns in Raiders’ 31-24 win

photo from sfgate.com: Indianapolis Colts safety Khari Willis (37) breaks up a pass intended for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Sept. 29

In the midst of their road trip, the Oakland Raiders road swing headed to Americas Heartland, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Derek Carr went 21-for-31 for 189 yards and 189, helping the Raiders break their two-game losing streak with a 31-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Carr took the Raiders down the field on their first series of the game, as he threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Foster Moreau that ended a 16-play 75-yard drive to give the Raiders an early 7-0 lead.

After the Colts were forced were forced to punt after going three-and-out on their first series of the drive, Trevor Davis quickly made it 14-0, when he took a Carr handoff and scampered 60 yards to the end zone just 10 seconds after taking the punt to the Raiders 40-yard line.

Jacoby Brissett, who was forced into the Colts number 1 position at quarterback when Andrew Luck abruptly retired during the preseason cut the Raiders down to 14-7, as he found tight end Jack Doyle for a five-yard touchdown pass.

Despite the loss, Brissett went 24-for-46 for 265 yards, throwing three touchdowns and was intercepted once.

After the Brissett to Doyle connection for a touchdown, Carr once again gave the Raiders a 14-point lead, as he found Tyrell Williams for a 19-yard touchdown pass.

Veteran Adam Vinatieri then cut the Raiders lead to 21-10 nearly half way thru the second quarter, as he connected for a 26-yard field goal.

On their first series of the third quarter, Daniel Carlson kicked a 26-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 14-point lead for the third time on the afternoon.

Like before, the Raiders, could not put the Colts away, as Brissett found Chester Rogers for a four-yard touchdown pass to cut the Raiders down to seven once again.

It looked like the Raiders put the game away, when Erik Harris picked off a Brissett pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown with just 2:09 remaining in the game.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, that was not the case, as Eric Ebron caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Brissett with 70 seconds in the game.

Following a failed onside kick, Carr kneeled to end the game and the Raiders escaped with a seven-point victory.

Rookie Josh Jacobs led the Raiders in rushing with 79 yards rushing on 17 carries.

NOTES: Vontez Burfict was ejected from the second quarter, as he was called for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Doyle. Burficts ejection came after the officials reviewed the penalty.

UP NEXT: Even though it is a home game for the Raiders, the game will be played in London, as the Raiders will face the Chicago Bears and former teammate Khalil Mack on October 6.

Raiders look to get back into the win column with road test against the Colts

Photo credit: raiderswire.usatoday.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

With the Raiders in the midst of their 49-day stretch away from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Raiders will try to avoid a three-game losing streak as they travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in Week 4 action. Sunday’s game will mark the first time since 2013 that Oakland has played in Indianapolis, with the Raiders holding a 4-2 edge as the away team in the all-time series. Overall, Oakland is 8-7 all-time against the Colts in head-to-head locations.

The 16th matchup between the two teams will kickoff at 10:00 a.m. PDT from Lucas Oil Stadium.

Last week, the Raiders (1-2) lost to the Minnesota Vikings (2-1), 34-14, in Week 3 at U.S. Bank Field. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr went 27 for 34 for 242 yards and touchdowns to wide receivers J.J. Nelson and Tyrell Williams, but also threw an interception to Vikings safety Harrison Smith.

Nelson scored on a 29-yard flea-flicker pass midway through the second quarter that pulled the Raiders within two touchdowns, but that was as close as Oakland would get for the game.

With his 25th game with at least 100 passer rating, Carr tied Daryle Lamonica for second-most in franchise history.

Even as the Raiders were getting rolled by the Vikings, tight end Darren Waller had a career day for the Silver and Black catching 13 passes for 134 yards. Both the catches and yards were the most by a tight end this year in any game.

Through 3 games, Waller’s 26 catches ranks second behind Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen’s 29 for most in the NFL; and the most for a Raider through the first three weeks of the season in franchise history.

After dropping their first game of the season, the Colts have won two in a row and enter Sunday’s contest 2-1. Indianapolis took down the Atlanta Falcons, 27-24, in Week 4 at home.

Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett had a strong performance, completing his first 16 passes of the game before finishing 28 for 37 with 310 yards and two touchdowns.

Indianapolis scored on five of their seven possessions in the game.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will fly to London to take on the Chicago Bears for the NFL’s first game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Week 5.

The Colts will head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in prime-time on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Former pitcher Wetteland up on child sex abuse charges; NFL Championships game predictions; plus more

Photo credit: @nypost

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 Former Major League pitcher John Wettland, who pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, was arrested for continuous sexual abuse with a child under 14. The abuse was reportedly to have taken place between 2004-2009.

#2 NFL Championships game and the road to the Super Bowl. London makes his predictions: New England and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC.

#3 In the NFC Championship: The Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints. One of these teams are just one game shy of getting into the Super Bowl.

#4 The Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will be replacing the Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers in the Pro Bowl. In the regular season, Luck completed passes 67.3 percent of the time for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns.

#5 The NHL All-Star game will be in San Jose on Saturday, January 26 without Alex Ovechkin, who’s the Washington Capitals star.

London Marq does the Headline podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com each Wednesday

Headline Sports with Tony Renteria: Raiders GM Mayock wants to talk to coaches before making any moves; plus a look at the NFL Wild Card games

Photo credit: @theScoreNFL

On Headline Sports with Tony Renteria:

#1 Tony talks about the hiring of Raiders GM Mike Mayock, who said that job was to get the coaches and personnel on the same page.

#2 Mayock was a former analyst on the NFL Network. How do you see him transitioning from TV analyst to GM?

#3 Mayock said he’s not going to make any judgements on anyone until he gets a chance to meet with the coaches.

#4 On the NFL Wild Card schedule, Tony makes his predictions Saturday’s matchups: Indianapolis at Texas for the NFC Seattle at Dallas. On Sunday: In the AFC, LA Chargers at Baltimore, and in the NFC, Philadelphia at Chicago.

Tony does Headline Sports each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports with London Marq: Cardinals fired Wilks too soon; With no GM experience, Mayock expected to put Raiders together; Despite loss, Kings an up and coming team; plus more

http://www.purdueexponent.org file photo: Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks held this facial expression for most of the Cardinals’ 3-13 season.

On the Headlines Sports podcast with London:

#1 Steve Wilks was fired after coaching the Arizona Cardinals to a 3-13 season. Wilks was fired after coaching one season for the Cardinals.

#2 Oakland Raiders new general manager Mike Mayock, who is considered a draft expert and a former analyst for NFL Network, will try his hand as the Raiders’ GM.

#3 The Sacramento Kings played a close game in Los Angeles only to lose to the Lakers 121-114. Despite the loss, the Kings have played much improved this season.

#4 Will the Golden State Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins stay on with the Warriors? Cousins has been injured all season and has yet to see action as a Warrior. Will he come back next season?

#5 NFL Wild Card games coming up Saturday: In the AFC, Indianapolis at Houston, and the NFC, Seattle @ Dallas. Sunday’s slate: In the AFC, Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore, and in the NFC, Philadelphia at Chicago.

London does Headlines Sports each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Raiders’ three-point stance: Three takeaways from the Raiders’ 42-28 loss to the Colts

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — In the battle between two of the NFL’s most promising quarterbacks, Andrew Luck got the better of Derek Carr as the Indianapolis Colts traveled to the West Coast and defeated the Raiders 42-28 on Sunday in front of 54,372 fans at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday in Week 8.

Oakland finished with 347 yards of total offense and was 4-of-8 on third downs, but  couldn’t overcome running back Doug Martin’s (13 carries for 72 yards) fumble late in the fourth quarter in Oakland’s territory that was recovered by Indianapolis.

The Colts would capitalize on the game’s only turnover by adding another touchdown that put the game away for good for Indianapolis.

With the loss, Oakland’s streak of 16 straight wins in which they scored 21+ points in a game is snapped.

Checkout my three takeaways from Oakland’s sixth loss in their last five games:

Derek Carr quieted his critics, for now.
With Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper traded away for first-round draft picks in separate trades that pretty much cemented the Raiders were heading for a rebuild, the talk of trading Carr was growing louder by the moment.

For the first time this season, it appeared that Carr looked completely comfortable operating in the pocket. Carr finished the game completing 21-of-28 passes for 244 yards and accounted for all four of Oakland’s touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing). He finished the game with a blistering 136.6 passer rating and for the first time this season, wasn’t sacked in a game.

Carr tossed touchdowns to tight end Jared Cook (4 catches for 74 yards), and wide receivers Brandon LaFell (3 catches for 39 yards) and Seth Roberts (2 catches for 42 yards).

Running back Jalen Richard was Carr’s leading receiver, catching eight passes for 50 yards. Richard and the aforementioned Martin are expected to be the lead running backs with Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve with a groin injury.

I think its pretty safe to say that Carr won’t be going anywhere and will stay put once Tuesday’s NFL trading deadline at 1:00 p.m PT passes. Reports surfaced early Sunday that the organization “reassured” that Carr wasn’t going to be traded.

Colts’ offense looked effortless.
After throwing four touchdowns in last week’s 37-5 victory for the Colts over the Buffalo Bills in Indianapolis, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw three touchdowns against the Raiders. Sunday’s game marked the fifth straight game that Luck has thrown three or more touchdowns.

All three of Luck’s scores went to tight ends, as Jack Doyle (6 catches for 70 yards), Eric Ebron (3 catches for 37 yards) and Mo Alie-Cox (1 catch for 26 yards) each had a touchdown reception. Alie-Cox’s touchdown was a thing of beauty, catching it with one hand to give the Colts a 7-0 lead on the team’s first possession of the game.

Indianapolis racked up 461 yards of total offense, picked up 28 first downs, converted on 9-of-13 on third down, and dominated the time of possession holding onto the football for 36:30 to just 23:30 for the Raiders.

The game featured three punts, one by Indianapolis and two by Oakland.

Second-year running back Marlon Mack has established himself as the Colts’ lead ball carrier. Mack led a Colts’ ground game that rushed for 222 yards, their second straight game rushing for 200 yards this season. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Colts haven’t had back-to-back 200-yard rushing games in a season since 1985.

Mack, who finished with a career-high 132 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, has rushed for 100+ yards in back-to-back weeks after rushing for 126 yards on 19 carries (previous career-highs) and a touchdown last week against the Buffalo Bills.

Backup running back Nyheim Hines carried the ball 11 times for 78 yards.

Adam Vinatieri becomes the NFL’s all-time scorer, passing Hall of Famer Morten Andersen.
Vinatieri set the record as the NFL’s top all-time scorer in the first half. He kicked a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter to tie Morten Andersen with 2,544 points and then added a 25-yarder late in the second to set the record .

Vinatieri scored three more points, giving him 2,550 for his career.

Oakland (1-6) doesn’t have time to dwell on this latest loss, as they will play their Bay Area rival the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday Night Football at 5:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon. San Francisco lost a tough game to the Arizona Cardinals, 18-15, on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale dropping the 49ers to 1-7 on the season.

The Colts (3-5) enter their Bye Week on a high note after their victory.

Luck throws three touchdowns for Colts, as Raiders lose 42-28

Photo credit: @newswire_nfl

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND — After Andrew Luck threw his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, the Oakland Raiders got the ball back with a chance to tie the game late in the game; however, the Indianapolis Colts were having none of that.

Matthew Adams recovered a Doug Martin fumble that was forced by Darius Leonard at the Raiders’ 26-yard line, and the Colts and five play Marlon Mack put the game away with a one-yard run, helping the Colts complete 21-0 run on their way to a 42-28 victory over the Raiders before a crowd of 54,372 at the Coliseum on Sunday.

“It was a tough loss. They took control of the game offensively, they ran the ball repeatedly, they possessed the ball and made it tough on us. I thought we hung in there and fought,” said head coach Jon Gruden.

The Martin fumble was the only turnover of the game that saw the two offenses combine for 808 yards of total offense.

“Very disappointed. Both sides were playing hard, having a good game, offensively, defensively. To fumble like that in the end, it but a lot of went out there and played their hearts out. They put it all out there on the field. I’m really proud of ourselves,” said Martin.

Luck, who played his college football down the road at Stanford, threw three touchdowns, as he went 22-for-31 for 239 yards on the afternoon.

All three of his touchdowns went to three different tight ends, as Mo Alie-Cox, Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle were on the receiving end of the touchdowns.

The Luck touchdown pass to Doyle with 5:28 remaining in the game gave the Colts the lead for good, and then Mack put it away two minutes and 33 seconds later, as he scored from one yard out.

Luck’s first touchdown pass to Alie-Cox “was Michael Jordan esque,” according to Gruden, as the tight end made a fabulous one-handed catch in the end zone to give the Colts a quick 7-0 lead after their 11 play 75-yard opening drive.

As fate would have it, the six foot five inch Alie-Cox also played college basketball at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Mack ran for a career-high 132 yards and those two touchdowns. Just last week, Mack ran for a then career-high 126 yards in last week’s game versus the Buffalo Bills.

Derek Carr also threw three touchdowns, and ran for one, but the Raiders fell 1-6 on the season and face a short week, as they travel down interstate 880 to face the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday night.

After the Raiders were unable to get a first down on their first series of the game, the Colts drove the field and settled for a 26-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri, as the first quarter came to an end, giving the Colts a 10-0 lead.

Carr got the Raiders back into the game on their drive, as he found Seth Roberts for a 31-yard touchdown pass to cut the Colts lead down to 10-7.

Following a three-and-out by the Colts, Carr once managed to get the Raiders into the end zone, as he found Jared Cook for a 25-yard touchdown pass. The Raiders were helped out by three defensive penalties on the Colts defense.

The Colts cut the Raiders lead down to one, as Vinatieri kicked a 25-yard field goal and the veteran kicker made NFL history on that field goal.

Vinatieri passed Morten Andersen for most points scored in NFL history on the field goal, as the game was stopped and the entire Colts team came out to greet the 23-year veteran out of South Dakota State University.

Carr and the Raiders got all the way down to the Colts one-yard line, and on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Carr scored on a one-yard run that was originally ruled no good; however, there was a penalty and then Gruden challenged the call. The officials looked at it, and it was overturned, giving the Raiders a 21-13 lead.

It was the first NFL rushing touchdown for Carr, and it was the first one by a Raiders quarter since Terrelle Pryor scored on a 93-yard touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 27, 2013.

The duo of Luck and Mack drove the Colts right back down the field, as Mack gained 49 yards on a first down run, then after a Nyheim Hines six-yard run, Luck found Ebron for a 20-yard touchdown pass to cut the Raiders lead down to 21-19. The Colts went for two points on the ensuing conversion, as Luck found Chester Rogers for the two-point conversion that tied up the game.

Carr gave the Raiders the lead again on their possession, as the big play came when Carr found Cook for a 30-yard pass play to get the Raiders down to the Colts 22.

Martin then took over on the ground, as he carried the next two times for a combined 16 yards and then Carr gave the Raiders the lead, when he found Brandon LaFell for a six-yard touchdown pass.

Mack then tied up the game once again, as he scored from four yards out, four plays after Luck’s only completion of the afternoon to T.Y. Hilton that went for 34 yards.

After another quick offensive series by the Raiders, and an abysmal 25-yard punt by rookie Johnny Townsend gave the Colts great field position at their own 43-yard line.

Six plays later, Luck found Ebron for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown from 10 yards out.

After the Martin fumble that gave the ball back to the Colts, Mack put the game away, as he scored on a one-yard run.

Carr attempted to get the Raiders back into the game, but his fourth down pass to LaFell went incomplete and the Colts ran out the clock.

NOTES: Mack is just the seventh 100-yard rusher for the Colts in the seven seasons since Luck was drafted out of Stanford with the number one pick in the 2012 draft.

The second-year back out of the University of South Florida is the first Colts running back since Joseph Addai during the 2007 season to have back-to-back 100-yard games.

Raiders Offensive Lineman T.J. Clemmings was forced to leave the game with a knee injury in the second quarter. Former Raiders Safety Mike Mitchell left the game for the Colts in the second half with a calf injury.

UP NEXT: The Raiders travel to Levi’s Stadium for the first time ever, as they face the 49ers on Thursday night at 5:20 pm PT. This will be the first meeting between the teams since the Raiders’ 24-13 victory over the 49ers on December 7, 2014 at the Coliseum.

According to Pro Football Reference, there have been 784 prime-time games played in the NFL on November 1 or later and the matchup between the Raiders and 49ers will have a combined winning percentage of .133, the lowest winning percentage of any matchup in history.

Raiders return home to host Colts in Week 8 following Bye Week

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Returning from their Bye Week, the Raiders return to action in Week 8 as they will welcome the visiting Indianapolis Colts to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday. Kickoff for the game is at 1:05 p.m. PT. It will be the first true home game for the Silver and Black since their Week 4 win over the Cleveland Browns 45-42 in overtime on Sept. 30.

The Raiders (1-5) are looking for back-to-back wins over the Colts after defeating Indianapolis 33-25 in Oakland on Christmas Eve in 2016. That was also the game where quarterback Derek Carr broke his fibula and was lost for the rest of the season in which Oakland, who were 12-3 at the time and heading into the playoffs for the first time since their Super Bowl season of 2002, prior to Carr’s injury.

Oakland (1-5) entered their Bye Week after losing to the Seattle Seahawks 27-3 in London, England in Week 6. Carr completed 23-of-31 passes for just 142 yards, but was sacked six times in the game. Oakland’s offense managed just 185 yards total and was just 4-of-12 on third downs.

Defensively, rookie defense end Arden Key made his first start of his career and recorded his first sack, but Oakland’s defense was gashed for 369 yards of total offense by Seattle.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 222 yards and three touchdowns (one interception by Raiders cornerback Daryl Worley, who was making his first start of the season for Oakland).

But the week off for Oakland would be an eventful one, as the team unexpectedly traded wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday. News of the trade was first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Dallas is sending Oakland a first-round pick in 2019 for the wideout, who has just 22 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown this season in six games.

The former first-round pick by Oakland in 2015 was in the NFL’s concussion protocol after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit against the Seahawks. In his first two seasons in the NFL out of Alabama, Cooper had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl after each season.

With the team already dealing away star defensive end Khalil Mack to Chicago a week before the season for a 2019 first-round pick, and including their own (which could be in the top-five if the season continues to spiral downward), Oakland has three first-round picks in 2019.

You add the fact the team placed running back Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve with a groin injury, the Raiders will feature Doug Martin and Jalen Richard in the backfield the rest of the way. Richard’s career-high 31 receptions rank sixth among all running backs in 2018.

Indianapolis (2-5) drubbed the Buffalo Bills 37-5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 7.

Quarterback Andrew Luck completed 17-of-23 passes for 156 yards and four touchdowns. Luck has been hot in his last four games, throwing 15 touchdowns over that stretch. The Colts dominated the time of possession, controlling the game for 33:19 to Buffalo’s 26:41 and was nearly unstoppable on third downs, converting 7-of-13 chances (53 percent).

Second-year Marlon Mack rumbled over Buffalo’s defense, rushing the ball 19 times for 126 of the Colts’ 220 yards, the most rushing yards in a game for Indianapolis since 2007 per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Rookie linebacker Darrius Leonard was all over the field against the Bills, racking up 17 combined tackles (12 solo, 5 assisted). In six games this season for the Colts, the second-round pick in 2018 has recorded double-digit tackles in four of them including a career-high 19 combined tackles (15 solo, 4 assisted) in a 21-9 win over Washington back in Week 2.

Indianapolis’ defense sacked Bills quarterback Derek Anderson twice and intercepted him three times. The Colts limited Buffalo on third downs (2-of-9 for 22 percent).

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will travel to Santa Clara to take on their Bay Area rival, the San Francisco 49ers for Thursday Night Football, while the Colts will head home to host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in an AFC South battle.

NFL Thursday Night Week 5: Here’s Your Written Fantasy Football Prescription

DiehardFIN

by Dr. Vasu Vaddiparty

Week 5 of the NFL has a matchup of two teams who have played just ok to start the year. The Patriots, everyone’s gold standard has been nothing short of pedestrian the first 3 weeks but then, after the ugly upset in Detroit two Sunday nights ago, came back and showed the 1st place and previously undefeated Dolphins that they are not exactly conceding the AFC East yet with a 38-7 win in which all three phases played extremely well. Specifically, the defense who had been shell-shocked stepped up and held Miami to very little offensive production.

The Colts have started out 1-3 but have been very competitive in all four games including a big upset win at Washington who some believe could win the NFC East. The Colts had the lead vs. the Bengals in week 1 but the defense let them down. The Redskins win was very big. The Eagles loss was late in the 4th and because of Luck’s arm strength, not all the way back had to use their backup Brissett for late heave on the final play of the game. Last week, after coming back down 14 to send it to OT, they decided to forgo a punt and a potential tie to end up losing in OT to Houston.

The question here is can the Colts be competitive at New England a place that has been a house of horrors including the bludgeoning by the Pats in the AFC Championship game some years ago, that eventually lead to the whole “Deflate-Gate” situation. Ever since then the Patriots have made it a personal mission to go after the Colts every time.

The Thursday preview of Fantasy Football ramifications will be broken down below between the Patriots and Colts to get you a good jump on your week.

Colts

QB

Andrew Luck is certainly back and has shown the competitive fire when he was completely healthy in his first few years. Post-surgery has been a question mark of exactly how healthy he is. He’s had 4 pretty good games but the arm strength is not there. That was never more evident than the end of the game in week 3 vs. Philadelphia when they took him out on the final play of the game. Luck is a good choice because he doesn’t make mistakes and won’t cost owners negative points. The Patriots defense hasn’t been good all year until this last weekend. This is a spot where Luck could succeed but if there are other options I would use them. This could be a tough spot for Luck considering the history between the two teams and the way the Patriots played last weekend.

RB

This section of the Colt’s preview is going to consist of one sentence. Unless you have bye-weeks and injury, there are no options for the Colts from the RB standpoint. Wilkins and Hymes are the two main backs for Indy but these are clearly RB3 and RB4 options. Not to totally dump on them Hymes did have nine catches for 63 yards last week in the OT Loss vs. Houston. All in all, if you have to rely on the Colts RB for fantasy points then you can expect a loss without having to worry about other positions.

WR / TE

Receivers are a different story for the Colts because of Luck and his ability to find open receivers. They have had success in the air for the four weeks so far this season. TY Hilton has been Luck’s “go to” receiver, but he will not be available on Thursday night due to injury. He would be a 1.5 or WR2 on any fantasy team because Luck will look for him. Ryan Grant the former Redskins player is another option for Luck. Luck’s lack of arm strength enables the offense to get quick short passes out and this could be an option for a TE with the skill of Eric Ebron as a solid TE2. He has been a very good option through the first four weeks and should be a decent option.

Patriots

QB

Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady. He is everyone’s QB1. While his numbers have not been great this year, he has the ability to pick up numbers. The running game has featured a few injuries and potential roadblocks to a decent running game. This could be a great spot for Brady to attack the Colt’s defense. Coming off a big victory last week vs. Miami and at 2-2 challenging for the division again should be enough motivation for Tom Terrific to have one of his great, or at least really, really, really good game. Not to mention whenever he is on National TV he always seems to rise to the top. Start him!!

RB

Rex Burkhead has been up and down and suffered an injury that caused him to miss last week vs. Miami and that has now landed him on the IR list. James White has been in the system for a few years. He has been effective but nothing more than a solid RB3 because there are other options that can be used. However, the star of the blowout last week was rookie RB Sony Michel. The rookie from Georgia is a quick, small load. 112 yards last week on 25 carries. Granted a lot of that was after the Pats established a big lead but he is an effective back and if the Patriots get out to a big lead again look for him to get a good workload going. He is a solid RB2 for your team.

WR / TE

Rob Gronkowski came out early last week against Miami with a non-serious injury. Bumps and bruises are starting to get in the way of fantasy football owners as well as bye weeks. Check your injury reports to find out what his status is. You may not know until near game time what Gronk’s status is but the faster we find out the faster the click to No. 1 TE button and start him. He’s the best TE or definitely top 3 so he’s a clear TE1 pending injury status. Phillip Dorsett has become a deep threat for Brady since the loss of Cooks from last year. The big question is how much will Josh Gordon be implemented into the offense. With the potential of Gronk being out feeling is that Gordon knowing the playbook better and the Colts secondary not playing very well could be another factor to make Gordon a starter on your team this week. WR1.5 or WR2 is the most likely spot for Gordon because of the ability for Tom Brady to utilize his entire offensive weapons.

Special Teams/ Defense

Both special teams and defenses have been shaky at best. Though the Colts has played pretty well before week 4’s OT loss vs. Houston. 34 vs. Cincinnati, 9 in a win vs. Washington, 20 vs. Philadelphia and 37 vs. Houston. Lots of yards and lots of points on defense has gotten them off to a 1-3 start. Not a good play on the Colts defense. The Patriots gave up 20 to a struggling Houston offense in a win, 31 given up to a so-so offense in Jacksonville in a loss, 24 to a Lions team whose offense is pretty good but a bad night overall. Last week looked the part for NE has they had all phases working but defensively was outstanding giving up 7 points and thoroughly stifling the Dolphins offense. This is a good play for the Patriots to start as a defense for the following reasons; it’s Thursday night football, a home game and finally the last game of domination against Miami.

Overall Matchup

Patriots are -10 with an over/under of 51. This might be a low number based on last Sunday’s game if, in fact, the Patriots are back from their dominant win over Miami. The Colts could find themselves in a tough spot coming off an OT Loss on Sunday and then trying to get ready for a potential Super Bowl contender only 3 days rest. This could be a bad spot for Indy and NE licking their chops. This is where Belichick and the coaches are the best prepared when it comes to preparing for two opponents at the same time.

Patriots 27

Colts 10

 

Don’t forget to listen to our Fantasy Football Doctors podcast with Dr. Charlie O. Mallonee and myself Dr. Vasu Vaddiparty on SportsServiceRadio.com for the rest of the NFL as it relates to Fantasy Football.

Any correspondence you may have can be sent to my twitter account @VPartySports or directly to Sports Service Radio.

Morris and James Jr. Make Their Case In 49ers’ 23-17 Loss to Colts

Photo credit: @49ers

By: Joe Lami

If Saturday was the final tune-up for the San Francisco 49ers’ 2018 season, it might be time to rethink expectations for the year. In a 23-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the San Francisco 49ers looked sluggish at times offensively, especially in the red zone at Lucas Oil Stadium.

In a continuation of last year, they depended too much on the foot of kicker Robbie Gould, instead of punching the ball into the end zone. The 14-year vet hit all three of his kicks with his first being the longest of the night from 37 yards.

Jimmy Garoppolo played the entire first half, connecting on nine of his 19 attempts for 135 yards. Though his performance wasn’t great, he connected with both Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin three times each for 62 yards and 40 yards respectively.

Goodwin left the game with a hand injury but came back for his final catch of six yards, making it appear only minor.

Though Garcon and Goodwin seem to be finding a rhythm with Garoppolo, they were once again outplayed by Richie James Jr. The seventh-rounder continues to prove his case in making the 53-man roster, as he finished with three catches for 65 yards.

Alfred Morris saw his initial touches as a 49er and finished with a strong 84 yards on 17 attempts, making a strong case to make the final 53-man roster.

Former Stanford star Andrew Luck played the first half for the Colts and shined, throwing 8-of-10 for 90 yards and a touchdown. He found Eric Ebron on the sole touchdown of the first half that included a beautifully thrown ball over the middle. Coming back from a significant throwing arm injury, it appears that Luck may be back and better than ever.

Unfortunately for the Niners, they had a severe injury of their own. Linebacker Reuben Foster continues to be riddled with injuries as he suffered a concussion in the pre-season contest. Foster’s return is expected for week three of the regular season, following his two-game suspension.

Cornerback Jimmie Ward also went down with a quad injury.

The sole 49ers’ touchdown once again came in the form of late heroics from Nick Mullens. The third-string quarterback is quickly becoming a fan favorite, finishing Saturday 4-of-6 passing for 62 yards. He also ran in a score from two yards out.

Does last year’s scout squad quarterback have a chance to make the team? We’ll find out after Thursday night’s contest against the Chargers at Levi’s Stadium at 7 pm PDT to close out the pre-season.