Mid-term grades for NFL teams

By Steve Sell
November 08, 2016

It’s grade-card time again.

All of the NFL teams have now reached the midway point of the season and some have even played nine games as they haven’t had their bye week yet.

The teacher has spoken. The grades are based on preseason expectations and how the teams have actually performed.

• AFC EAST •

New England (7-1) — The Patriots do what they do best — win. And they didn’t even have Tom Brady for the first four games. Grade — A.

Miami (4-4) — After a wretched start, the Dolphins have rebounded behind unheralded running back Jay Ajayi, who has more than 500 yards the last three weeks. Grade — B.

Buffalo (4-5) — Always entertaining with colorful coach Rex Ryan, but never very successful. Grade — C+

New York Jets (3-6) — An underachieving team as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is having an awful year. Grade — D.

• AFC SOUTH •

Houston (5-3) — The Texans are leading the division despite indifferent quarterback play and no J.J. Watt for the whole year. Grade — B.

Indianapolis (4-5) — This is not the Colts teams of the past few years. Andrew Luck and not much else. Grade — C.

Tennessee (4-5) — This is a team on the rise. Great ground game behind DeMarco Murray. Grade — B+.

Jacksonville (2-6) — The expected disaster has come to fruition. Should have beaten the Chiefs on Saturday. Grade — D.

• AFC SOUTH •

Baltimore (4-4) — An up-and-down team deserves an up-and-down grade. Grade — C.

Pittsburgh (4-4) — A huge disappointment. Early in the season I thought this team was Super Bowl bound. Grade — C-.

Cincinnati (3-4-1) — Another team not living up to high hopes. Grade — C-.

Cleveland (0-9) — Could go down as one of the worst football teams in recent history. Grade — F.

• AFC WEST •

Oakland (7-2) — Go to the head of the class. Welcome back Silver and Black. Grade — A.

Kansas City (6-2) — How long can this team hold up with all the injuries? Gutting out some wins even without their "A" game. Grade — B+

Denver (6-3) — Marcus Siemian is doing OK, but Bronco fans expect better. Grade — B.

San Diego (4-5) — The Chargers won’t win the division, but they’re going to spoil it for somebody. Grade — B-.

• NFC EAST •

Dallas (7-1) — The best team in football? Grade — A.

New York Giants (5-3) — No team is flying more under the radar. Grade — A-.

Washington (4-3-1) — I really thought the Redskins would plummet. Grade — B.

Philadelphia (4-4) — Best last-place team in the NFL. Grade — B.

• NFC SOUTH •

Atlanta (6-3) — The Falcons will go as far as their offense will take them. Grade — B+

New Orleans (4-4) — With Drew Brees, there’s always a chance. Grade — B.

Carolina (3-5) — The Panthers have won two in a row. I still think they’ll win the division, even after starting 1-5. Grade — C-.

Tampa Bay (3-5) — Another mill-of-the-run season. Grade — C.

• NFC NORTH •

Minnesota (5-3) – The 5-0 start was a mirage. Grade — B.

Detroit (5-4) — This team was pegged for about four wins before the season. Grade — A-.

Green Bay (4-4) — When’s the last time Green Bay was at .500 at midseason? Grade — C.

Chicago (2-6) — At least Chicago fans have the Cubs. Grade — D+.

• NFC WEST •

Seattle (5-2-1) — My pick to win it all before the season. It won't do it until Russell Wilson gets healthy. Grade — B+.

Arizona (3-4-1) — Big falloff, but still enough talent to make a run. Grade — C-.

Los Angeles (3-5) — LA fans waited how long to get football back? They haven’t been treated to much. Grade — C-.

San Francisco (1-7) — Awful. Grade — F.


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