Grading Every NFL Team After 10 Weeks (www.yardbarker.com)

The first half of the NFL season has featured unprecedented offense. Some teams have surprised, while others have fans thinking about 2021 already. Through Week 10, here’s how every team has graded.

 

Arizona Cardinals: B+

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Arizona started 5-2 despite playing in arguably the NFL’s toughest division, and ranked first overall in yards in the process with the help of

and DeAndre Hopkins. Even more significant could be the strides of the defense despite the loss of Chandler Jones to injury. While the Cardinals don’t look like a legitimate NFC contender yet, they’re moving in the right direction under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, including an incredible Week 10 win over Buffalo.

 

Atlanta Falcons: F

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Dan Quinn was on thin ice after consecutive 7-9 seasons, and the hammer finally dropped after a 0-5 start that included multiple big leads blown by the defense. The team continues to tread water with the very capable offense, led by Matt Ryan, but the Falcons have wasted another year with Ryan and Julio Jones.

 

Baltimore Ravens: B-

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The Ravens went all-in during the offseason with several major defensive moves, but the offense has regressed. Lamar Jackson struggled in all three of the team’s losses, and the running game has been inconsistent with Mark Ingram injured. Baltimore continues to push ahead, acquiring Yannick Ngakoue at the trade deadline.

 

Buffalo Bills: B

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The first half of Buffalo’s season has been a reflection of their quarterback, Josh Allen. He played like an MVP early, leading to four straight wins, but has struggled since then. The Bills still have a clear path to their first division title since 1995, even as their overall offensive and defensive rankings are in the middle of the pack.

 

Carolina Panthers: C

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With major turnover on both sides of the ball and Christian McCaffrey’s injuries, it’s still remarkable that the Panthers began the season 3-5. Teddy Bridgewater has been the consistent game manager the team hoped, and several building blocks have emerged from the young defense, most notably Brian Burns and Jeremy Chinn. Back-to-back losses against KC and Tampa Bay have all but ended their playoff hopes, but Matt Rhule has shown a bright future.

 

Chicago Bears: C

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Chicago’s offense has been as inept as last season, ranking second worst in points through Week 10. Both Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles have struggled, but the defense has allowed Chicago to stay in most games. The schedule has gotten rougher for Chicago recently, and so have the results.

 

Cincinnati Bengals: C

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It comes as no surprise that Joe Burrow has been a work in progress in his rookie season behind a poor offensive line, so a 2-6-1 record should be considered a decent early result. Burrow has managed to keep the team in most games, and a shocking Week 8 win over Tennessee shows real signs of life. Fans have reason to be optimistic about Cincinnati’s future.

 

Cleveland Browns: B

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Cleveland has had the early turnaround the hoped for when they hired Kevin Stefanski at 6-3, but it hasn’t been without hiccups. The Browns were blown out by the Ravens, Steelers, and Raiders, and Baker Mayfield’s play has still been inconsistent. Injuries to Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham have also made life more difficult.

 

Dallas Cowboys: F

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New head coach Mike McCarthy does deserve some empathy for the major injuries to the offense, including most of the offensive line and Dak Prescott. Still, the Cowboys roster is loaded with talent, and the defense has been the worst in the NFL in points allowed. There’s no sign of Dallas digging out of their 2-7 start, so McCarthy could be one-and-done despite Jerry Jones‘ vote of confidence.

 

Denver Broncos: D

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Von Miller’s major ankle injury just before the season started was a sign of things to come. Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton have also suffered significant injuries, so they team can’t be all that surprised with a 3-6 start. However, Lock’s play has been mediocre when he’s played, putting the Broncos in the same position they have been lately with uncertainty about the long-term quarterback situation.

 

Detroit Lions: C

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The Lions were 1-3 going into their bye, and there was speculation that Matt Patricia wouldn’t last the rest of the season. They won back-to-back games following the bye, but Patricia’s defense continues to struggle. Matthew Stafford has been healthy and playing well, so this isn’t necessarily a tear down situation if the Lions decide to get new blood in the front office and coaching in 2021.

 

Green Bay Packers: A-

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The Packers received criticism for their lack of offseason moves, particularly on offense, but head coach Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers have been masterful in the first half of the season. The team ranked third in points scored through 10 weeks, though the defense remains a concern, particularly with their inability to stop the run against Tampa Bay and Minnesota in two losses.

 

Houston Texans: D

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The questionable trades and free agent signings finally came back to bite the Texans early this season, and Bill O’Brien was laid off after four games. Deshaun Watson has continued to play well, but a severe lack of productivity from the front seven have created one of the worst defenses in the league.

 

Indianapolis Colts: B+

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Indy hoped the addition of veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, along with defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, would lead the team back to the playoffs. They’re clearly on the right track with a 6-3 start, though Rivers has been very inconsistent. The defense, on the other hand, has been elite, ranking fourth in points allowed and first in yards.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars: F

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It appeared the Jaguars were tanking this season, before they shocked the football world and beat the Colts in Week 1. The team has gone downhill from there, as Gardner Minshew has struggled and gotten injured, and the defense has ranked second worst in the league through seven games. As expected, the first overall draft choice is well within reach in 2021.

 

Kansas City Chiefs: A-

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The reigning champs really can’t complain about a 8-1 start, even as their lone loss to the Raiders was severely disappointing. The team ranks second in points scored and sixth in points allowed through eight games, but the offense hasn’t always clicked with injuries on the offensive line. KC still has time to progress, and remain the favorites to win the Super Bowl.

 

Las Vegas Raiders: B

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The lack of fans at the Raiders new home is a disappointment, but their performance on the field has been more than satisfactory. Las Vegas has struggled on defense, allowing 27 points per game, but Derek Carr is playing his best ball and the team beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead. The playoffs are in sight with an easy second half schedule.

 

Los Angeles Chargers: D+

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The Chargers 2-5 start is disappointing, especially considering two overtime losses and a heartbreaking Week 8 defeat at Denver. That said, Justin Herbert has performed better than anyone could have expected in his rookie season, and should make fans optimistic about the future. As usual, injuries continue to plague the organization, most notably Austin Ekeler, Joey Bosa, and Bryan Bulaga this season.

 

Los Angeles Rams: B-

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Will the real Rams please stand up? The 2018 NFC Champs regressed to 9-7 last season and have had an inconsistent 6-3 start this year that’s included mediocre offense and the second ranked defense in the league. New defensive coordinator Brandon Staley’s impact have been immediate, but the team needs more from Jared Goff and the offense.

 

Miami Dolphins: B+

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With the help of a terrible AFC East division, Miami’s turnaround has been faster than expected. Brian Flores’ defense has been in the mold of Bill Belichick, allowing plenty of yards but ranking fifth in points allowed through nine games. The rest of the schedule has plenty of landmines, and Tua Tagovailoa’s first start wasn’t reassuring. Still, a 6-3 start the season is a great result from where Miami came from last season.

 

Minnesota Vikings: D+

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Minnesota suffered major losses in the offseason, including offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, Everson Griffen, Stefon Diggs, and several cornerbacks. Those losses, along with Danielle Hunter’s injury, have played a clear role in the team’s disappointing 4-5 start. The defense has been uncharacteristically terribly under Mike Zimmer, ranking 23rd in points allowed. There is at least some hope the team is on the right track after taking down the Packers on the road.

 

New England Patriots: D

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Despite what seemed like unsurmountable offseason personnel losses, many gave the Patriots the benefit of the doubt due to Bill Belichick. It seems that even Belichick can’t win with this squad, which has been completely anemic offensively with Cam Newton struggling to regain his old form. New England’s playoff streak of 11 straight seasons seems likely to end after their 4-5 start.

 

New Orleans Saints: B

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It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Saints are right where they want to be at 7-2. Issues have come up on offense with Michael Thomas injured and some defensive regression. Now the biggest concern is Drew Brees pending absence, though Jameis Winston is arguably the best backup quarterback in the league.

 

New York Giants: D-

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Head coach Joe Judge knew he was walking into a difficult situation, and it was made even more difficult with Saquon Barkley’s early-season injury. Daniel Jones has made minimal progress in his second season, with the offense ranking third worst in points, but the Giants somehow aren’t out of the NFC East yet.

 

New York Jets: F

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The Jets are a “perfect” 0-9 to start the season, with Sam Darnold making little progress and a defense that has also faltered. The team has continued to trade off pieces in a rebuilding year, and it seems only a matter of time before they move on from Adam Gase.

 

Philadelphia Eagles: D

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The Eagles have been extremely mediocre at 3-5-1, and yet they have a great shot to win the NFC East again. The injuries to the offensive line and receivers have clearly hindered Carson Wentz, but many of his issues have been self-inflicted. Even if the Eagles make the playoffs, they don’t appear to be a team that can go very far.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers: A

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Ben Roethlisberger has looked like his old self in Pittsburgh’s perfect 9-0 start, and as expected, the defense has been elite. It’s a recipe that has led to Super Bowl victories in the past for the Steelers, and an easy schedule puts the team in position to earn homefield advantage and a first round bye in the AFC playoffs.

 

San Francisco 49ers: C-

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The 49ers are finding how difficult it is to repeat success, with an incredible number of injuries during the first half of the season. San Francisco has lost key players in nearly every position group, and the major injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, and Nick Bosa probably put the playoffs out of reach following a 4-6 start.

 

Seattle Seahawks: B

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Russell Wilson is playing his best ball, leading to a 6-3 start and the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL. There remain big concerns about the defense, however, with the lack of pass rush and most yards allowed in the NFL. It remains to be seen if the offense can continue to make up for the defensive shortcomings.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A-

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The Bucs were an instant popular pick in Vegas after signing Tom Brady, and the crowd looks right in their optimism. Brady has rebounded well after a disappointing 2019 season in New England, and the defense ranks eighth in points and third in yards allowed during its 7-3 start.

 

Tennessee Titans: B

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Few teams have been through more during the first half of the season, with the Titans suffering a COVID-19 outbreak that postponed one game. Tennessee was able to maintain offensive consistency despite the missed time, and a 6-3 start should be considered a great result even after a disappointing defeat at Cincinnati. Ryan Tannehill continues to show he’s an upper echelon quarterback.

 

Washington Football Team: C

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Washington is probably where most expected at 2-7, but they remain in the NFC East race despite their lack of success. The benching of Dwayne Haskins was a gutsy but necessary move by head coach Ron Rivera, and the elite defensive talent has helped the team hang around in several games. Alex Smith’s story continues to become more incredible, and would evolve to unbelievable if he’s able to lead the team to a division title somehow.



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