Matt Breida opened the 49ers' first drive of Monday night’s blowout win over the Browns with an 83-yard touchdown run after Cleveland quickly fizzled out on its opening possession. Breida went untouched up the left side behind perfect blocks from Kyle Juszczyk and George Kittle. Breida reached 22.3 miles per hour on the play, per Next Gen Stats, the fastest among any player this season. He then capped the next drive with a short touchdown catch. Little did we know at the time that this was by far all the Niners needed to win this lopsided affair. The 49ers did whatever they wanted on the ground in this one, as Tevin Coleman also got in on the fun with 97 yards and a touchdown of his own on 15 carries in his first game back from a high-ankle sprain. The two combined for 226 yards and three touchdowns. It was mostly a two-man backfield, refreshingly, with Raheem Mostert sticking to special teams and Jeff Wilson inactive. Both Breida and Coleman will be RB2 plays in next week’s NFC West showdown against the Rams.
With the Browns trailing 31-3 with under five minutes left, Baker Mayfield was pulled from the game after going 8-of-22 for 100 yards and two interceptions. That's an abysmal 36.4% completion rate and 13.4 passer rating. Mayfield was also sacked four times and fumbled twice, losing one. After looking like they may have turned a corner last week in an impressive road win over the Ravens, the Browns completely bottomed out on national television. Mayfield didn't complete a pass until the final play of the first quarter, and that was after tossing a pick to Richard Sherman and losing his fumble. The Niners' defensive line owned the Browns' offensive front five, as Nick Bosa was wrecking the game, whether it was against LT Greg Robinson or tight ends. Mayfield continues to look frightened in the pocket behind this awful line and is panicking on every throw. His second pick was a bad drop by Antonio Callaway at the goal line that should have been a touchdown. Cleveland is now on a short week ahead of a home date with the Seahawks. Mayfield isn't a one-QB league fantasy option until the Browns figure out what the heck to do with this offense. Odell Beckham has even devolved into a WR2 with a scary-low floor each of the last two weeks. Things aren’t pretty.
George Kittle hadn't scored a touchdown yet this season prior to Monday night and totaled yardage counts of 54 > 54 > 57 before the Week 4 bye. It was a much needed 6-70-1 slump-busting night for Kittle, who led the team with eight targets and in receiving on a night the Niners ran the ball with ease and rode that along with their defense to a 28-point win. Kittle was long overdue, and the scores should start rolling in for him now. He'll be a top-three TE1 play next week against the Rams in L.A.
Jay Gruden Finally Out in D.C.
After putting the Patriots in their first hole of the season by jumping out to an early 7-0 lead, the Redskins ended up getting predictably smashed by New England for 33 unanswered points to drop Washington to 0-5. It would be coach Jay Gruden’s last game at the helm in D.C. Gruden’s long been lost and likely had been anticipating, maybe even hoping for, this result. Gruden finishes his Redskins tenure with a 35-49-1 record with one playoff appearance, losing in the Wild Card round. His greatest success might have been producing Sean McVay, who was Gruden’s OC before getting the Rams job. Taking over for Gruden will be Bill Callahan as the Redskins’ interim coach. First order of business should be seeing what Dwayne Haskins can do as the starter, not as some mid-game replacement with no prep work with the first-team offense.
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Raiders, Bills Make a Deal
Zay Jones was selected 37th overall by the Bills in the 2017 draft. He was the fourth wideout off the board that year after Corey Davis, Mike Williams, and John Ross were all first-rounders. Jones was the top Day 2 pick among receivers. Taken after him on Day 2 that year? Curtis Samuel. JuJu Smith-Schuster. Cooper Kupp. Kenny Golladay. Ouch. On Monday, the Bills finally pulled the plug on Jones and shipped him to the Raiders for a 2021 fifth-round pick. Jones has seven catches for 69 scoreless yards on 18 targets this season and was benched in Week 5, playing just one snap, after starting the first four games. Duke Williams has taken over as the Bills’ No. 3 wideout. In Oakland, Jones will get a change of scenery and team up with Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow behind Darren Waller. Jones is off the redraft map for now.
David Johnson’s back “locked up” in the Week 5 win over the Bengals, and coach Kliff Kingsbury wouldn’t commit to Johnson being available for Week 6 against the Falcons. Johnson will be monitored all week. If he can’t go, Chase Edmonds would immediately become an RB2 in this fast-paced offense against a putrid Atlanta defense.
The Giants have a number of injuries to monitor on a short week ahead of a Thursday date with the Patriots. Coach Pat Shurmur said there is a “possibility” Saquon Barkley (ankle) is able to suit up after missing the previous two contests. Wayne Gallman left Week 5 with a concussion and remains in the league’s protocol. Sterling Shepard suffered his second concussion of the season already and is expected to miss multiple weeks. After playing just two-thirds of the offensive snaps in his Week 5 debut, Golden Tate should be relied on more as we move forward. Darius Slayton is also someone to keep an eye on after scoring this past Sunday. Evan Engram (knee) was listed as a DNP for Monday’s practice. He probably has the best chance to play Thursday. This offense is in a brutal spot, however.
Enjoying a career year to this point, Jaguars TE James O’Shaughnessy entered Week 5 as a top-15 fantasy tight end. The bad news is he suffered a torn ACL against the Panthers and is done for the season. Former Cowboys starter Geoff Swaim will take over No. 1 duties for the Jaguars. He’s obviously not an enticing fantasy option. O’Shaughnessy is an underrated loss.
Quarterback & Running Back Quick Slants
Tony Pollard is “nicked up” with knee and ankle issues. He’s played just seven offensive snaps the last two weeks as a strict backup to Ezekiel Elliott. … Rex Burkhead (foot) was limited in Monday’s practice. … Mason Rudolph is in the concussion protocol. If he can’t play Week 6, Devlin Hodges will make the start. … Darren Sproles is week to week with a strained quad. Jordan Howard is expected to handle even more carries after back-to-back big weeks. … Patrick Mahomes merely tweaked his ankle in the Sunday night loss to the Colts.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Quick Slants
Coach Anthony Lynn refuses to rule out Hunter Henry (knee) for Week 6. We doubt he plays. … Instead of activating Ben Watson off the suspended list, the Patriots opted to release him. Watson’s ban is over and is eligible to play now. … Julian Edelman (chest) and Josh Gordon (knee) were limited in Monday’s practice. Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) didn’t participate. … A.J. Green (ankle) is already out for Week 6. … Marquise Brown’s ankle injury isn’t believed to be serious. … DeSean Jackson (abdomen) remains in the rehab phase of his recovery.