Midseason Report Card For Every NFL Team
Midseason NFL Report Card
Here we are at the midseason point of the 2013 NFL season, and there are quite a number of surprising teams to this point.
Who would have guessed that the last undefeated team would be the Kansas City Chiefs? The Atlanta Falcons are a surprise as well, but not in a good way. After going 13-3 last season, they are currently 2-5 and fading fast. Even though he started the season with a bunch of glorified scrubs at the receiver position, Tom Brady has the New England Patriots at 6-2 and in first place in the AFC East.
However, there are teams that are as good as they were predicted to be. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are 7-1 at this point. The NFC West will come down to the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, who are 7-1 and 6-2 respectively. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars are the only remaining winless teams in the league, but that should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Although a few of the teams have basically locked up their playoff spots and a few others have no chance at going anywhere past Week 17. There are still quite a few teams in the middle of the pack that can make a run at the postseason. The remaining weeks of the NFL season should be very entertaining.
After seeing some good and bad from all 32 teams to this point of the season, here is how I would grade each and every one of them:
Arizona is currently 4-4 and playing better than I expected of them. I'll give the Cardinals a C+.
Boy, has Atlanta been a disappointment this season. 2-5 for a talented team like this is downright unacceptable. They are barely passing at this point with a D-.
The defending Super Bowl champions are below .500 at the midseason point. Apparently, all the changes they made in the offseason is affecting them a lot more than they thought. They still have enough talent to turn it around though, so I'll attempt to keep their hopes up and give them a C-.
No one expected Buffalo to contend this season and being 3-5 at this point proves everyone right. However, they're doing better than I thought with E.J. Manuel playing quarterback. They get a C-.
Just as the picture suggests, Cam Newton may very well be turning into Superman for Carolina. Being 4-3 and still having a shot at the playoffs is huge for the Panthers. I'll currently give them a B.
Chicago started out hot and was tied for division lead at one point, but with the injury to Jay Cutler, their future may not be too bright. Right now though, they get a B-.
Cincinnati has grabbed the AFC North by the throat and likely will not let it go. They have certainly warranted themselves an A.
After starting the season at 3-2, they have lost three straight and now sit at 3-5. If they can ever get consistent play out of a quarterback, they could possibly turn their season around and end on a winning note. As of now, a C- fits them.
What is there to say about "America's Team" that hasn't already been said? Once again, they're playing .500 ball and as a Cowboys fan, I find it sickening to watch their circus sometimes. Tony Romo has been outstanding this season, but their defense has been terrible. At this point, they are extremely average and a C is the best they'll get right now.
Peyton Manning has Denver playing amazing football right now. Outside of their only loss to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, the Broncos have been unbeatable. They almost get an A+, but I think an A is sufficient.
Reggie Bush being signed by Detroit has turned the Lions back into a playoff-caliber team. They're currently neck-and-neck with the Green Bay Packers. Only time will tell if they'll keep it up, but right now a B+ is outstanding for them.
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay started the year in rougher shape than usual. Now it's a different story and they're back on top in the NFC North. Their consistency throughout the years makes me think they won't give up first place anytime soon. They are definitely worthy of an A-.
The Texans are a talented team but due to quarterback struggles, they have dropped the last five games after starting out 2-0. If they don't turn it around, they'll get a lower grade than this D come the end of the year.
Andrew Luck's play continues to make me speechless. Who would have thought that he would get the Colts to the playoffs as a rookie or make them even better in his second season? Luck and the Colts absolutely deserve this A.
There isn't much to say about the Jaguars. They're plain awful and getting this F is the best thing to happen to them so far this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have went from 2-14 to being the last undefeated team in the NFL at 8-0. They have played good football both offensively and defensively, and have beaten the teams they're supposed to. They are the only team worthy of an A+.
It seems like an eternity ago when they were starting the season off 3-0. If Miami gets back to their winning ways, they can raise this grade. As of now, a C- is what I'm giving them.
Adrian Peterson hasn't even been able to get the Vikings to play good football. The only thing keeping them from getting an F is their one victory. Instead, they get a D-.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady has the Patriots at 6-2 and in first place of the AFC East. Plus, he's done it with the lack of a supporting cast. Giving New England an A seems like the right thing to do.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and the Saints are once again playing out-of-this-world football. Their only loss came against the New England Patriots, so that certainly doesn't hurt their resume. They fully deserve this A.
New York Giants
After starting out 0-6, Eli Manning and the Giants have won their last two games to move to 2-6 on the season. They're going to have to win a whole lot more to get a grade that's higher than this D.
New York Jets
4-4 is a great record for the Jets at this point. Everyone thought Rex Ryan was sure to be fired after this season, but the play of his rookie quarterback Geno Smith has not only likely saved his job, but the Jets are in playoff contention at the moment. A C+ sounds about right.
Oakland is the worst team in their division, but Terrelle Pryor has helped make the Raiders appear better than they truly are. This grade can drop or go up depending on how they finish the season, but right now they're just another average team with this C.
New coach. New offense. Below .500 record. Only one game out of first place in their division. With all the injuries to the quarterback position for the Eagles, I'd think they would be completely out of it. However, with how terrible the NFC East is, Philadelphia is still in striking distance. Right now, they deserve this C-, but it could very well end up improving if they end up winning this terrible division.
What a huge disappointment Pittsburgh has been this season. It's hard to imagine giving a the Steelers a D, but that's just what I feel they deserve.
San Diego Chargers
If it wasn't for Philip Rivers, the Chargers wouldn't be above .500. Rivers' play is a big part of this B- grade.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco started the season with a huge win over the Green Bay Packers. After that, they didn't really look good, but they have turned it around big time. Their season thus far has earned them this A-.
Seattle has been just as good as expected. Solid play all the way around leads to this A.
St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford was having a quality season for the Rams until he tore his ACL. I expect the Rams to go downhill from this point, but right now I'll still give them a C-.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay released their starting quarterback Josh Freeman. Some of the players on the team hate head coach Greg Schiano. Oh, and they're winless. Yeah, this F sums up their season.
Jake Locker isn't a standout quarterback and Chris Johnson isn't in his CJ2K form. This all leads to the Titans being a below average football team and they get a C- grade.
After all the offseason talk about Robert Griffin III and his comeback, Washington hasn't been very good at all. If RGIII gets it going, he can turn their season right around. As of now, they don't deserve a higher grade than this D.