In a battle of AFC North teams, the Cincinnati Bengals started strong at home and then held off an always tough Baltimore Ravens team at home. Although QB Andy Dalton typically struggles against the Ravens, especially in prime-time games, that was not the case Thursday evening. Dalton began the first-quarter with a pair of touchdown passes to his top wideout A.J. Green, spanning four yards and 32 yards, respectively. Another Dalton to Green connection in the third quarter made it 21-0 before the Ravens finally got on the board.
A 45-yard bomb to WR John Brown led to a short rushing score for RB Javorius Allen, who consistently saw red zone usage ahead of starting RB Alex Collins. The two teams traded another score before the half ended with a surprisingly high score of 28-14. The scoring pace slowed down in the second half as the Ravens slowly chipped away at the Cincinnati lead, thanks to a field goal and a touchdown catch for Brown. The Bengals got a late field goal and then recovered a strip-sack of Ravens QB Joe Flacco to seal the 34-23 win.
For the Bengals, Dalton finished with 265 passing yards and four touchdowns, his fifth career game with four or more passing touchdowns. Green stole the show with his three touchdowns, but actually left some production on the field, catching five of his nine targets for 69 yards. Green had a ball stripped from him that was eventually ruled an incompletion early in the game. Still, fantasy players won’t complain about his 28+ fantasy points. Slot WR Tyler Boyd continues to outperform WR John Ross and Boyd led the team with a 6/91/1 line on nine targets, tied with Green for the team lead. RB Joe Mixon left the game multiple times with a knee issue but was able to return each time, finishing with 87 total yards. Veteran RB Giovani Bernard looked explosive as he spelled Mixon, totaling 42 yards on 10 touches.
Flacco’s fantasy numbers ended up better than his actual gameplay as he threw for 376 yards and a pair of scores, but also turned the ball over three times. It was a second consecutive disappointing performance for Collins, who rushed for only 35 yards but did catch three passes for 55 yards. Meanwhile, Allen, who was out-touched by Collins 12-11, totaled 44 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens continued to rely on their new receiving corps with Brown (4/92/1) and WR Michael Crabtree (5/56) each drawing a team-high 10 targets, while WR Willie Snead caught five of eight targets for 54 yards. With the struggling running game, we should be able to continue to rely on these wideouts seeing high volume. Rookie TE Mark Andrews caught his first career touchdown among his three receptions for 18 yards.
In a surprising turn, LB Mychal Kendricks signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks just days after pleading guilty in a federal insider trading case. It was presumed Kendricks would never play again, but now he is expected to suit up in Week Two. ... The Colts waived TE Erik Swoope, who was a much-hyped player in fantasy circles at one point but was never able to stay healthy. ... After RB Christian McCaffrey saw 19 touches in Week One, Panthers coaching staff continue to push the idea of CMC touching the ball as many as 30 times per game. HC Ron Rivera suggested he’d like McCaffrey to run the ball up to 20 times while catching up to 10 passes. ... Raiders OC Greg Olsen suggested the team would move WR Amari Cooper around the formation following Cooper’s quiet Week One debut…Jaguars HC Doug Marrone said he wants to use backup RB Corey Grant more moving forward. This could be related to the health of starter Leonard Fournette or simply based on Grant’s ability…Browns HC Hue Jackson said WR Josh Gordon will see more targets in Week Two against the Saints. He also said Gordon wouldn’t start Week One, but there he was on the field.
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Bengals rookie C Billy Price was forced from the team’s Thursday night game with an ankle injury. He was later spotted on the sidelines in a walking boot, though it is not clear how much time he might miss…49ers WR Marquise Goodwin (quad) missed practice again and is looking questionable at best for Week Two. ... Chargers WR Travis Benjamin (foot) remains sidelined. ... Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (finger), who missed Week One, was able to practice in full and is expected to play this week. ... Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) called himself a game-time decision for Sunday’s game. ... Eagles RB Darren Sproles (hamstring) did not practice Thursday. ... Chargers HC Anthony Lynn said he expects star DE Joey Bosa (foot) to miss the next couple of weeks. There is a real concern that Bosa misses significant time. ... Packers QB Aaron Rodgers missed practice once again and a decision might not be made on his Week Two status until Saturday…Among the players who managed just a limited Thursday practice were: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, RB Sony Michel, WR Corey Davis, WR DeAndre Hopkins, RB Marlon Mack, QB Marcus Mariota, QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Rex Burkhead, WR DeSean Jackson, RB David Johnson, WR Will Fuller and WR Davante Adams.