Michael Thomas was listed as a limited participant in practice as the New Orleans Saints prepare for their Week 7 clash with the Carolina Panthers.

All-Pro wide receiver Thomas has not featured for the Saints this season since their opening win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A high ankle sprain kept Thomas on the sidelines and, though he was fully recovered for the Week 5 meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers, he did not play in the overtime win because of an altercation with a team-mate at practice.

Coming off their Week 6 bye, the Saints listed Thomas as being limited because of ankle and hamstring injuries.

It is unclear whether he will be ready for the visit of the Panthers to provide a boost for an unconvincing Saints offense.

The Saints are 3-2 after squeaking past the Chargers, with Thomas' four-game absence keenly felt.

He led the NFL in receiving yards in 2019 with 1,725, averaging 107.8 per game.

This season, running back Alvin Kamara is the Saints' leading receiver averaging 79 yards per game. Veteran Emmanuel Sanders, with whom quarterback Drew Brees has taken time to establish a rapport, is next with 304 yards at a rate of 60.8 per game. 

Drew Brees acknowledged the New Orleans Saints' thrilling 17-point comeback to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers was a "wild one" but says the win will help the team become "battle-tested".

The veteran quarterback overcame a deficit of 17 points or greater for just the second time in his career as the Saints earned a 30-27 overtime win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Brees last achieved the feat against the Miami Dolphins back in the 2009 Super Bowl-winning season and his 12th career overtime victory sees him tie Tom Brady for the most in the NFL as a starting QB.

After finishing with 325 passing yards, a touchdown pass and a touchdown run, Brees told ESPN: "Yeah, this was a wild one.

"The bottom line is we were not playing Saints football in the first half. There were too many mistakes that get you beat.

"We shouldn't have had to mount the comeback we had to mount in order to win this game."

The Saints are enduring a mixed season but now move to 3-2 and once again showed their mettle having come back from 14 points down against the Detroit Lions last time out.

It was a comeback triumph that took the shine off a fine performance from Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, who became the first rookie to throw for four touchdowns in a Monday Night Football game.

"At the end of the day, these are growing experiences. These are learning experiences," Brees added. 

"To have wins like this, where you really have to fight to win – just like we did last week – this is how you grow as a team. This is how you become battle-tested. And I think it pays dividends as you move along here."

The Saints now have some time to recharge with a Week 6 bye, after which star wide receiver Michael Thomas should be back in the fold.

Thomas was not part of the line-up against the Chargers following reports he threw a punch at a team-mate in practice, having missed three games because of an ankle injury.

Brees said head coach Sean Payton had addressed the issue and there will be no lasting ramifications.

"Mike is a big part of this team, and he's going to be a big part of this team moving forward," he said.

"We had an incident, and Sean addressed it and we're gonna be all good."

The New Orleans Saints escaped with a 30-27 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Chargers after fighting back from a large deficit in the NFL.

Drew Brees and the Saints trailed 20-3 with just over four minutes remaining in the second quarter, but New Orleans rallied from 17 points down to prevail on Monday.

The Saints closed within 27-20 with under four minutes of regulation time to play before star quarterback Brees connected with Alvin Kamara for 28 yards and Taysom Hill levelled proceedings 52 seconds from the end in the final quarter.

Wil Lutz then converted a field goal with 5:08 remaining in OT at Mercedes-Benz Superdome to give the Saints (3-2) back-to-back wins.

Brees had entered the game 1-48 in his career when trailing by at least 17 points. The Super Bowl champion and MVP improved to 2-48 in such scenarios.

He finished 33-of-47 for 325 yards, one touchdown, one rushing score and one interception for the Saints, while Chargers QB Justin Herbert was 20-of-34 for 264 yards and four TDs.

Herbert – the sixth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft – made history after becoming the first rookie to throw four touchdown passes on Monday Night Football.

The Chargers (1-4) stormed out of the blocks away from home, Herbert combining with Keenan Allen for a 17-yard score and a 6-0 lead in the opening quarter, though Lutz' 48-yard field goal reduced the deficit.

Herbert continued to cause New Orleans plenty of problems in the second period after throwing TD passes to Mike Williams and Hunter Henry as the Chargers took a 20-10 lead into the interval following Brees' one-yard running score.

Lutz nailed another field goal, a 53-yard effort, for the only score in the third quarter before the Saints completed their comeback in the final period – touchdowns from Jared Cook and Hill, sandwiched in between Williams' 64-yard combination with Herbert – forcing OT.

New Orleans Saints star Michael Thomas is listed as questionable for Monday's NFL showdown against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Thomas has been sidelined by an ankle injury since Week 1, though the Saints wide receiver has practiced on a limited bases every day for two consecutive weeks.

After being ruled out last week, Thomas is now questionable for the clash with the Chargers in Week 5.

"We'll always do what's best for the athlete and be smart regarding any player," Saints head coach Sean Payton said.

Thomas – a three-time Pro Bowler – broke the NFL record for most catches in 2019 with 149 receptions.

In his only appearance this season, Thomas had three receptions for 17 yards.

The Saints are 2-2 after snapping a run of back-to-back defeats by topping the Detroit Lions 35-29 in Week 4.

An unstoppable force meets the immovable object in Week 5 of the NFL season as the Cleveland Browns host the Indianapolis Colts. 

Cleveland's offense has averaged over 200 rushing yards a game through the campaign's first quarter, while the Colts defense has been among the best run-stuffers in the league so far. 

Two of the NFL's finest young receivers will look to grab the acclaim when the 4-0 Seattle Seahawks face the Minnesota Vikings, while the Washington Football Team and Houston Texans will hope a big change can reverse their fortunes. 

Here, we look at the NFL's latest slate using Stats Perform Data.

 

FEATURE GAME

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns - Sunday 4.25pm (All times Eastern)

- Colts QB Philip Rivers enters the matchup with 4,996 career completions and he will almost certainly become the fifth player to complete 5,000 passes on Sunday. In the last 60 seasons, only three other quarterbacks have completed a higher percentage of their attempts through four games with a new team than Rivers' 72.7 per cent – that list includes Matt Schaub (74.0 per cent, 2007 Houston Texans), Teddy Bridgewater (73.0 per cent, 2020 Carolina Panthers), and Mark Herrmann (73.0 per cent, 1985 San Diego Chargers). 

- The Colts allowed just 28 rushing yards in their Week 4 win over the Chicago Bears, their fewest since Week 3 of 2009 (24 rushing yards versus the Arizona Cardinals). They have allowed just 945 total yards this season, their fewest through four games since holding opponents to 575 yards through the first four games of 1971.

- The Browns trio of Kareem Hunt (five TDs), Odell Beckham Jr. (four TDs), and Nick Chubb (four TDs) are the fifth trio of team-mates to each score four touchdowns in the first four games of the season. They are the first to do so since the 2013 Denver Broncos group of Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and Julius Thomas.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans - Tuesday, 7pm 

- Buffalo have recorded 21 plays of at least 20 yards this season, second-most in the NFL behind only the Dallas Cowboys (23). Tennessee have an NFL-low nine plays of 20-plus yards this season, though neither the Titans nor the Bills have a single 20-yard running play this season. 

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks - Sunday, 9.20pm 

- Ascending Seahawks star D.K. Metcalf leads the NFL in yards per catch (25.2 - minimum 10 receptions) and catches for 25-plus yards this season (seven). Justin Jefferson, a rookie with the Minnesota Vikings, ranks second in both these categories (21.8 average, 6 catches of 25-plus yards). 

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday, 1pm

- Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (1,526) and Raiders tight end Darren Waller (1,392) rank first and second in receiving yards for players at their position since 2019. Kelce's 845 career receiving yards against the Raiders are the most among active players at any position.

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers - Sunday, 1pm

- The Steelers are looking for their first 4-0 start since 1979. Their current streak of 40 consecutive seasons without a 4-0 start is tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history behind a 48-year streak by the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1960-2007.

Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints - Monday, 9.15pm

- Ahead of meeting the Justin Herbert-led Chargers, New Orleans QB Drew Brees has a 20-10 record when facing off against first-year quarterbacks, including wins in each of the last five such games. In those wins, Brees has a 75.8 completion percentage and has a 12-1 TD-INT ratio.

ELSEWHERE...

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans - Sunday, 1pm

- The Texans fired Bill O'Brien this week. He was the seventh coach in NFL history to be replaced following back-to-back 10-win seasons with a team, though the first to be replaced after four or fewer games. O’Brien's replacement, Romeo Crennel, will be the oldest head coach in NFL history (73 years and 115 days on Sunday).

Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team - Sunday, 1pm

- Washington, who will have Kyle Allen starting at QB after benching Dwayne Haskins, have now lost three straight games by at least 14 points after a 31-17 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens. The last time the franchise lost four straight games by at least 14 points was in 2001.

The Philadelphia Eagles completed a dramatic comeback to upstage the San Francisco 49ers for their first win of the season on Sunday.

Philadelphia used a big fourth quarter to stun last season's Super Bowl finalists the 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Week 4.

Things got physical between Jalen Ramsey and Golden Tate as the Los Angeles Rams beat the New York Giants 17-9.

There were also wins for the in-form Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts.

 

EAGLES SHOCK NINERS

After two losses and a draw to open 2020, and with a growing injury list, Philadelphia faced an uphill battle away to the 49ers.

The Eagles (1-2-1) also trailed in the fourth quarter before back-to-back touchdowns lifted Philadelphia past San Francisco.

Carson Wentz threw a 42-yard TD pass to Travis Fulgham with less than six minutes remaining as the Eagles moved ahead 18-14.

With starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined, Nick Mullens then threw an interception that Alex Singleton returned for a TD as the 49ers (2-2) lost at home again.

Mullens, who committed three turnovers, was 18 for 26 for 200 yards and a touchdown before he was replaced by 49ers team-mate C.J. Beathard.

Eagles QB Wentz finished 18-of-28 for 193 yards, a touchdown and interception, while he rushed for 37 yards and a TD as the Eagles moved top of the NFC East.

NO LOVE LOST IN INGLEWOOD

There was not much drama between the Rams and Giants, that was until the game ended.

The Rams (3-1) claimed a hard-fought victory over the winless Giants (0-4) after Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp combined for a 55-yard TD with just under seven minutes left to play at SoFi Stadium.

After grinding out victory, things really heated up as Rams star Ramsey and Giants wide receiver Tate traded punches.

Ramsey, who has two young children with Tate's sister, and the latter were pulled apart by team-mates in chaotic scenes.

"We don't want to have happen at the end of the game what happened," Giants coach Joe Judge said afterwards. "That's not the way we want to be as a team."

 

BILLS STAY PERFECT

The Bills remain undefeated after seeing off the Las Vegas Raiders 30-23.

Josh Allen led the way, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another as the Bills improved to 4-0 for the season.

QB Derek Carr was 32 for 44 for 311 yards and a pair of TDs after the Raiders (2-2) lost their second straight game and first at the new Allegiant Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Philip Rivers and the Colts (3-1) took down the Chicago Bears (3-1) 19-11.

Rivers was 16 of 29 for 190 yards and a touchdown as he moved within four completions of joining Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning with 5,000.

 

Week 4 scores:

Seattle Seahawks 31-23 Miami Dolphins
Cincinnati Bengals 33-25 Jacksonville Jaguars
Minnesota Vikings 31-23 Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns 49-38 Dallas Cowboys
Baltimore Ravens 31-17 Washington Football Team
New Orleans Saints 35-29 Detroit Lions
Carolina Panthers 31-21 Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-31 Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Rams 17-9 New York Giants
Buffalo Bills 30-23 Las Vegas Raiders
Indianapolis Colts 19-11 Chicago Bears
Philadelphia Eagles 25-20 San Francisco 49ers

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. dashed the Dallas Cowboys' comeback hopes in Week 4, while the Seattle Seahawks improved to 4-0. 

Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow claimed his first win as the Cincinnati Bengals overcame the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-25, while the Carolina Panthers caused an upset, beating the Arizona Cardinals 31-21. 

Both the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens rebounded from Week 3 reverses, but Los Angeles Chargers passer Justin Herbert came up short as he became the latest rookie QB to lose to a team led by Tom Brady. 

Elsewhere, in a battle between two previously winless teams, it was the Minnesota Vikings who triumphed, dropping the Houston Texans to 0-4.

 

BECKHAM OUTSHINES DAK WITH BIG DAY

Dallas knew all about Beckham's brilliance - it was against the Cowboys when he performed his astonishing one-handed touchdown grab as a rookie with the New York Giants - yet they failed to stop Cleveland's receiver grabbing two first-half touchdowns - one thrown by fellow wideout Jarvis Landry. 

The Browns were 41-14 up by the end of the third quarter but the Cowboys, who rallied from 29-10 down to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2, came roaring back thanks to Dak Prescott, who had 502 passing yards and four touchdown throws. 

However, Beckham scored on a 50-yard end-around run to seal Cleveland's 49-38 win, with Dallas' nemesis going off for 154 yards from scrimmage and three scores.

SEAHAWKS SURVIVE MIAMI TEST

Seven teams began Week 4 with a perfect 3-0 record and Seattle became the first to go 4-0, securing a 31-23 win over the Miami Dolphins. 

Russell Wilson threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns - giving him 16 already for the season - while running back Chris Carson also found the end zone twice and the Seahawks defense picked off a couple of Ryan Fitzpatrick passes. 

Fellow preseason Super Bowl favourites New Orleans and Baltimore got back on track, the Saints triumphing 35-29 over the Lions while the Ravens defeated the Washington Football Team 31-17, during which Lamar Jackson becoming the quickest in NFL history to reach 5,000 career passing yards and 2,000 yards rushing.

BURROW GETS FIRST W, HERBERT COMES CLOSE TO UPSTAGING BRADY

First overall pick Burrow led the Bengals to their first victory of the 2020 campaign, though it was Joe Mixon's 181 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns that really made the difference against the Jaguars. 

Herbert, another opening-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, looked on course for his maiden NFL win too, the Chargers racing into a 24-7 lead thanks in part to a Brady pick-six. 

However, Brady, whose teams had won their previous 10 straight games against rookie QBs, would end the high-scoring contest with five touchdown passes, Tampa Bay triumphing 38-31. 

Week 4 scores:

Seattle Seahawks 31-23 Miami Dolphins
Cincinnati Bengals 33-25 Jacksonville Jaguars
Minnesota Vikings 31-23 Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns 49-38 Dallas Cowboys
Baltimore Ravens 31-17 Washington Football Team
New Orleans Saints 35-29 Detroit Lions
Carolina Panthers 31-21 Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-31 Los Angeles Chargers

Michael Thomas and Marshon Lattimore headline a lengthy list of New Orleans Saints players ruled out of their Week 4 game against the Detroit Lions.

Wide receiver Thomas, who broke the NFL record for most catches in 2019 with 149 receptions, will miss a third successive game for a Saints team in need of kickstarting their season after back-to-back losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Green Bay Packers.

Thomas has been troubled by an ankle injury and though he practiced on a limited basis this week, he will not suit up on Sunday.

Lattimore (hamstring) and fellow starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins (shoulder), have also been ruled out, along with tight end Jared Cook (groin), offensive lineman Andrus Peat (ankle) and defensive end Marcus Davenport (elbow/toe).

"I think they're a dangerous team, especially when they're healthy at receiver and having [Kenny] Golladay back in the lineup is significant for them," Saints head coach Sean Payton said of the Lions.

"[Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford] has got all the arm talent that you want at that position. He can fit it into tight windows. I think he's played well."

Aaron Rodgers said the Green Bay Packers were always going to need to put up big numbers against Drew Brees and the star quarterback is enjoying the trust being shown by head coach Matt LaFleur.

The Packers defeated Brees' Saints 37-30 on the road at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, with Rodgers passing for three touchdowns and 283 yards.

It means the Packers have gone 3-0 to start the NFL season and an in-form Rodgers is encouraged by the team's performances, especially against a team led by the quality Brees possesses.

"Any time you're playing a Drew Brees team you know you have to score, he's such a dynamic player," Rodgers said. 

"The two times we've played here before it felt like they put up 50 both times, I know they got 52 in one of them. 

"We knew the type of game [they would play], they've got a lot of playmakers and Drew obviously knows how to deal the ball.

"But right now, our offense, I feel really good about it. We got in a good flow, I feel like again Matt had a nice flow with the calls, we did a good job on third downs for the most part and were opportunistic with some big plays when we needed it.

"We got a lot of guys involved, had a number of guys catch passes and a number of guys we needed to play well played well."

Rodgers' scoring passes were recorded at five yards to Allen Lazard, 18 yards to Marcedes Lewis and one yard to Robert Tonyan.

The 36-year-old feels the team are being trusted to make the right decisions by second-year head coach LaFleur.

"I really like the timing on certain calls," Rodgers said. 

"Sometimes, you've got to kind of dig deep at certain times and hold on to something and trust the players. I really appreciate the flow that we had and the trust in us to make the plays."

The Saints are 1-2 from their three games and head coach Sean Payton admitted the team are not performing how they need to.

"We're not playing well enough. Let's not fool ourselves. We're making too many mistakes," Payton said. "We're not playing disciplined enough on both sides of the ball."

Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a comfortable NFL win, while the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks stayed unbeaten.

Brady's Bucs were largely untroubled by the Denver Broncos as they claimed a second straight win on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Russell Wilson made history for the red-hot Seattle Seahawks, who overcame the Dallas Cowboys.

Like Seattle, the Packers are 3-0 after holding off the New Orleans Saints.

 

BRADY LIFTS BUCCANEERS AFTER STRONG START

Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first half as the Buccaneers enjoyed a 28-10 win over the Broncos.

The six-time Super Bowl champion finished the game with 297 yards after completing 25 of 38 passes.

Brady threw two TD passes to Mike Evans in the second quarter, having found Chris Godwin with a 10-yard pass in the first.

"He [Evans] is a great red-area threat, and I think his size, his quickness, his elusiveness, his hands – everything," the QB said.

"Mike is one of the great receivers in the NFL so I've got to find ways to get him the ball and get him into space, not just in the red area but all over the field. It's my job to find the guys that are open and get it to them."

The Buccaneers are 2-1 and top of the NFC South.

 

SEAHAWKS, PACKERS STAY PERFECT

Wilson starred again as the Seahawks edged the Cowboys 38-31.

The quarterback threw five touchdown passes, including 315 yards on the back of 27 of 40 completed passes.

Wilson's 14 TD passes through the first three weeks of an NFL season are a record, eclipsing Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes' 13 to begin 2018.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were too strong for the Saints 37-30.

Alvin Kamara brought the Saints level late in the third quarter after an incredible run following a pass from Drew Brees (completed 29 of 36 passes for 288 yards and three TDs).

But the Packers closed out victory in the fourth quarter, with Rodgers (21 of 32 for 283 yards and three TDs) and Robert Tonyan combining for a crucial TD.

 

LIONS HAND CARDINALS FIRST LOSS, JETS SLIP TO 0-3

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals fell to their first loss of the season, beaten by the Detroit Lions 26-23.

Murray, the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, had a difficult outing, intercepted three times. He finished 23 of 35 for 270 yards and two TDs.

Matt Prater kicked two fourth-quarter field goals for the Lions, including a 39-yarder as time expired.

The New York Jets fell to 0-3 after suffering a 36-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Carolina Panthers recorded their first win of the season thanks to a 21-16 success over the Los Angeles Chargers.

 

Week 3 scores:

Chicago Bears 30-26 Atlanta Falcons
Buffalo Bills 35-32 Los Angeles Rams
Cleveland Browns 34-20 Washington Football Team
Tennessee Titans 31-30 Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots 36-20 Las Vegas Raiders
San Francisco 49ers 36-9 New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles 23-23 Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21 Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts 36-7 New York Jets
Carolina Panthers 21-16 Los Angeles Chargers
Detroit Lions 26-23 Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-10 Denver Broncos
Seattle Seahawks 38-31 Dallas Cowboys
Green Bay Packers 37-30 New Orleans Saints

Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson will do battle on Monday Night Football in Week 3 as the Kansas City Chiefs face the Baltimore Ravens.

Mahomes, the Super Bowl LIV MVP and 2018 season NFL MVP, and fellow quarterback Jackson, the 2019 season's NFL MVP, will hope to get the W that moves their team to 3-0.

That clash, one of a number of enticing Week 3 matchups, will provide an early indication of which franchise might be in the best shape to be the AFC's Super Bowl LV representative too.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we break down that game and the other top Week 3 showdowns.

 

FEATURE GAME

Chiefs at Ravens - Monday, 8.15pm (All times Eastern)

- There have been 13 games featuring the reigning and previous NFL MVPs starting against each other at the quarterback position (including playoffs). The reigning MVP has led his team to victory in eight of the last 10 such matchups, and is 8-5 overall.

- Mahomes hooked up with Tyreek Hill for a 54-yard touchdown in the win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2. That was Mahomes' 11th career touchdown pass of 50-plus yards (most in the NFL since 2018). The Ravens as a team have only had nine such touchdowns since 2015, four coming from the arm of Jackson.

- The Chiefs are 6-3 against the Ravens, including wins in each of the three most recent matchups and they have a 4-1 record in Baltimore.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Texans at Steelers - Sunday, 1pm

- The Steelers are 2-0 for the seventh time since 2000. They made the playoffs in each of the previous six seasons, reaching three Super Bowls and winning two titles. Pittsburgh's last 3-0 start was in 2010, when the Steelers made their last trip to the Super Bowl.

Raiders at Patriots - Sunday, 1pm

- New England are tied for ninth in the NFL in rushing yards per game (142.0) and are eighth in passing offense (268.5 yards per game). They are one of three teams in the league's top 10 in both categories, joining the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams. In Sunday's loss at the Seattle Seahawks, Cam Newton passed for 397 yards, including 312 in the second half.

Rams at Bills - Sunday, 1pm

- Buffalo are attempting to start 3-0 for a second straight season, a feat they have accomplished only twice previously in franchise history (1964-65, 1991-92). The Bills have won 10 straight games since December 2018 when scoring 20 or more points, the longest active streak in the NFL. 

Cowboys at Seahawks - Sunday, 4.15pm 

- Dak Prescott enters this weekend with 99 career touchdown passes in 66 career games. With another touchdown pass on Sunday, Prescott would be the fastest Cowboy to reach 100 TD passes – Tony Romo currently holds the record at 79 games.

Packers at Saints - Sunday, 8.20pm

- Since 2018, Davante Adams - who could miss this game through injury - has accounted for 27.8 per cent of Green Bay's receiving yards, the fifth-highest mark in the NFL. The player with the highest percentage during this span is Saints star Michael Thomas (34.5 per cent), who is out this week with an ankle injury.

ELSEWHERE...

Titans at Vikings - Sunday, 1pm

- Ryan Tannehill threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, extending his streak of regular season games with multiple touchdown passes to a franchise-record nine games. Tannehill has a 118.1 passer rating since joining Tennessee in 2019, the best mark in the NFL over that span (minimum 250 attempts).

Buccaneers at Broncos - Sunday, 4.25pm

- Melvin Gordon has tallied 148 rushing yards on 34 attempts this season, 124 more than the Broncos' next-leading rusher (Phillip Lindsay, 24). Gordon also has five receptions and has accounted for 41.9 per cent of the Broncos' touches this season, fifth highest in the NFL.

Jon Gruden insisted he is trying his best in terms of wearing a facemask and communicating with his Las Vegas Raiders players as a number of NFL coaches received fines for not wearing theirs.

Gruden and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton were each pictured not wearing masks during the Raiders' 34-24 victory on Monday.

NFL Network reported that San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Denver Broncos boss Vic Fangio had all been handed fines for violating rules regarding wearing face masks during Sunday's action.

Each coach has been fined $100,000, with their respective teams docked $250,000.

It appears a similar punishment awaits both Gruden and Payton but the Raiders head coach appears willing to pay the price. 

"I'm doing my best. You know, I've had the virus, okay. I'm doing my best," Gruden said in a media conference. "I'm very sensitive about it, but I'm calling plays.

"I just want to communicate in these situations and I apologise and if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine, but I'm very sensitive about all of that and I apologise."

Drew Brees hit back at suggestions he is in decline after a disappointing showing in the New Orleans Saints' 34-24 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The 41-year-old quarterback is in his 20th season in the NFL but he failed to shine at Allegiant Stadium on Monday, finishing with 312 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 26 of 38 completed passes.

It has played into an emerging narrative that Brees – the NFL's all-time leader in passing yardage, completions and touchdown passes – is losing his touch, but he rejected that notion and cited a wider malaise in the team.

"Well, my job is to execute the offense," he said, having seen opposite number Derek Carr chalk up three TDs. "My job's not to have the most air yards or throw the ball down the field most or anything like that.

"I think I've always evaluated myself on being a great decision-maker. And so, at the end of the day, I'll throw the ball to the open guy, move the ball down the field, score points, help us win football games. So that's my job.

"My job's to help us win. My job's to help put everyone around me in the best position to succeed."

The interception Brees threw came at a pivotal moment, with the Raiders capitalising to score a field goal that levelled the scores just before half-time.

Still, it was a generally lacklustre display from the Saints, with Brees suggesting they have some way to go to find their top level.

"Are we totally in sync right now? No, we're not. We're not even close to where we are capable of. Not even close," said Brees.

"We did some good things early on, but it just wasn't enough for the few opportunities that we had. Again, I think we just need to be more efficient.

"We called a shot play or two today and just got the wrong coverage on both of them. So what could've been big-play opportunities, what could've been throws down the field unfortunately had to be checked down.

"But I think both of those [resulted in completions for about 10 yards]. At the end of the day, our job is to move the ball and score points, however we have to do that."

Derek Carr was hailed "a great quarterback" by Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden after getting the better of Drew Brees in Monday night's win over the New Orleans Saints.

While veteran Brees struggled to make an impression for the Saints, Carr was the driving force behind a 34-24 win at the Raiders' new Allegiant Stadium home.

The 29-year-old completed 28 of 38 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while Brees managed 312 yards, a TD and an interception on 26 of 38 completed passes.

Victory moved the Raiders to 2-0 and inflicted a first loss on the Saints.

There have been reports in the past that Gruden is not Carr's biggest fan, but those have been quashed recently, and Monday's performance confirmed to the coach that his signal caller is among the best in the business.

Gruden said: "There's a lot of people that make a lot of opinions on Derek and Derek's performance and our relationship. You know he had nine different flankers last year. Nine."

Reflecting on his first spell in charge of the Raiders, taking in each season from 1998 to 2001, Gruden recalled: "We had Tim Brown [as wide receiver] every week for four years.

"We've had I don't know how many different combinations on the offensive line. Yet he threw for over 4,000 yards and 70 per cent [last season], put us in a position to make the playoffs in Week 15.

"This guy's a great quarterback. We're surrounding him with better players. And once our defense I think starts playing to their potential, he can even be better.

"He does so much with the ball and without the ball and behind the scenes that I think Raiders fans should really be proud of him, and I know I am."

The Las Vegas Raiders started life at their new home Allegiant Stadium with a 34-24 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr led the Raiders to a 2-0 start to begin the 2020 season as they played their first game at their new stadium, where no fans were in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carr completed 28 of 38 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns as the Raiders handed the Saints their first loss.

Darren Waller had 103 receiving yards on 12 receptions for the Raiders.

While the Saints made the better start, Drew Brees was unable to see them to victory, the veteran QB finishing with 312 yards, a TD and an interception on 26 of 38 completed passes.

Alvin Kamara rushed over for the game's first touchdown in the first quarter as New Orleans opened up a 10-0 lead.

Carr led an 11-play, 63-yard drive that was completed by a short pass to Alec Ingold, but Brees and the Saints responded to restore their 10-point lead after a six-yard pass to Jared Cook.

But the Raiders would draw level before half-time, Carr leading another drive before a 15-yard pass to Zay Jones and a Daniel Carlson field goal making it 17-17.

Las Vegas pulled away in the second half, Carr and a wide open Waller combining before Jalen Richard's brilliant 20-yard run made it 24 unanswered points for the Raiders.

Kamara gave the Saints hope before Carlson delivered a 54-yard field goal with just over a minute remaining to seal the win.

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