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Ryan McDowell

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Dose: Chargers Shock Chiefs

Friday, December 14, 2018


Los Angeles Chargers- 29

Kansas City- 28

 

Week 15 kicked off with the game featuring the highest over/under of the week and one of the rare times in NFL history a pair of division foes have faced off each sporting at least 10 wins. From the start, this just didn’t feel like the Chargers' night. Not only were they playing without RB Melvin Gordon for the second straight week but they also lost star WR Keenan Allen early in the game with a hip injury. Allen made a miraculous catch in the end zone but slid out of bounds before securing the ball. He got up favoring his hip and did not see another target on the night. The Chargers and QB Philip Rivers trailed throughout the night, often by two touchdowns as Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes continued his season-long assault on opposing defenses. 

This game was as much about who didn’t play as who was on the field. With Allen, Gordon, Chargers RB Austin Ekeler and Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins all on the sidelines, others had to step up. Those others were Williams ... lots of Williams. Veteran RB Damien Williams led the Chiefs in both rushing and receiving, totaling 123 yards from scrimmage and scoring a pair of touchdowns. Rookie RB Darrel Williams also scored his first career touchdown to get things started for Kansas City. The Chargers had their own Williams in action as WR Mike Williams took advantage of Allen’s departure, catching seven passes for 76 yards and two scores. He even added a rushing touchdown on a 19-yard pitch from Rivers. It was Williams’ final touch of the game that was most important though.

 

After cutting the Chiefs lead to just seven points, the Chargers shut down Mahomes and forced a punt with just over two minutes remaining. The final drive wasn’t pretty as Desmond King nearly fumbled the punt and then the Chargers were called for a holding penalty. Rivers connected with deep threat WR Travis Benjamin for gains of 26 and 31 yards to get his team into the red zone. The officials, who were terrible all night, missed a clear helmet to helmet shot against Rivers and then made up for it with a pass interference call on the next play, putting the Chargers at the one-yard line with just seconds remaining. Rivers found Williams, that’s Mike Williams, for his third touchdown of the game. Rivers immediately held up a pair of fingers, signaling that his team would go for the improbable win and not give Mahomes another chance to touch the ball. Risky, but smart. Rivers went back to Williams, who was standing wide open on the right side of the end zone and celebrated by sprinting to midfield to join his teammates. The comeback was complete!

 

Rivers finished with 313 yards, two scores and a pair of picks while Mike Williams 7/76/2 line led his team. Rookie RB Justin Jackson, the team’s third-stringer, totaled 85 yards and a touchdown. WR Tyrell Williams (6/71) and Benjamin (2/57) were also key contributors. 

 

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It was largely a night of disappointment for the Chiefs, their fans and any fantasy players who were expecting big things. Mahomes only threw for 243 yards and two scores, which nearly qualifies as his worst game of the season. Scary. TE Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 61 yards but couldn’t even sniff the end zone and WR Tyreek Hill saw multiple end zone targets only to finish with a meager four receptions for 46 yards. WR Kelvin Benjamin made his Chiefs debut, catching one pass for 17 yards. 

 

If there is any good news for fantasy players needing the Chiefs to rack up points, this loss gives the two AFC West teams identical 11-3 records and assures us that Kansas City will need to keep their stars in the lineup as they attempt to hang onto their playoff standing and a potential bye week. 

 

 

Top Stories

 

A recent Washington Post report gave an update on Redskins rookie RB Derrius Guice and it is not what fantasy players or the Redskins want to hear. Guice reportedly suffered an infection following his surgery to repair a pre-season ACL tear that set him back nearly two months in his rehab. Guice admitted there was no timetable set for his return to action, leaving his availability for OTAs, training camp and even the start of the 2019 season in question. The Redskins are also dealing with the potential loss of veteran QB Alex Smith, who also had complications following his leg surgery.

 

We learned on Wednesday that Eagles QB Carson Wentz would likely miss Week 15 with a back injury and more information came to light yesterday. Wentz has a fractured vertebra in his back but it is expected to heal on its own. Wentz has not yet been ruled out for the remainder of the season but that seems to be the direction this is going.

 

 

Quick Hits

 

Eagles TE Zach Ertz gave backup QB Nick Foles a vote of confidence. With starting QB Carson Wentz out this week and possibly longer, Foles will be back in the lineup. ... Falcons WR Julio Jones was sent home from the team facility as he was dealing with an illness. According to beat writers, this is not expected to impact his Week 15 status. ... Steelers OC Randy Fichtner suggested RB James Conner (ankle) could play even without practicing this week…Just one day after claiming him via waivers, the Saints released veteran TE Erik Swoope. ... In a recent interview, Cowboys WR Amari Cooper suggested it was Raiders owner Mark Davis, not HC Jon Gruden, who wanted to trade him.

 

 

Injury Update

 

Jets RB Isaiah Crowell (foot) missed another practice and was later ruled out this week against the Texans. RB Elijah McGuire should see plenty of work in his place. ... Bucs WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) did not practice. There have been some reports suggesting Jackson won’t return to the field this year. ... Redskins WR Josh Doctson (concussion) missed practice once again. Regardless of his health, Doctson should not be in fantasy lineups this week. ... The Redskins were also without TE Jordan Reed (toe), who is likely out for Week 15…The Jets ruled out WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) for this week’s game. ... Colts WR T.Y. Hilton missed another practice with an ankle injury, suddenly putting his Week 15 status in doubt. ... The Browns ruled out DB Denzel Ward, which could be good news for Broncos WR Courtland Sutton. ... Falcons TE Austin Hooper is dealing with a pair of injuries, to both his knee and ankle, and he missed another practice. He could be in trouble this week. ... Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger returned to a full practice and is all set to face the Patriots in a must-win game. ... Several players managed to get in a limited practice. Among them were: WR Allen Robinson (hip), RB David Johnson (quad), RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring), WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), RB Kenyan Drake (shoulder), QB Cam Newton (shoulder), WR Dante Pettis (foot), WR Marquise Goodwin (calf) and RB Matt Breida (ankle).



Ryan McDowell is a senior writer for dynastyleaguefootball.com. You can follow him on Twitter @RyanMc23.
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