Professor Sell hands out midterm grades

By Steve Sell
November 04, 2014

It’s report card time in the NFL as midseason grades are handed out. Every team is now at the halfway point and those just past it have bye weeks coming up.

• AFC EAST •

New England (7-2) — After being embarrassed in a Monday night game by Kansas City, the Patriots are back to being the Patriots. Grade — A-

Buffalo (5-3) — I picked them to finish 3-13 at the start of the season. Grade — A-

Miami (5-3) — Not sold on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but really good defensively. Grade — B+

New York Jets (1-8) — A disaster. Enough said. Grade — F.

• AFC SOUTH •

Indianapolis (6-3) — At times the Colts look great, at times they’re very ordinary. Grade — B.

Houston (4-5) — The quarterback play is suspect. Will Jadeveon Clowney ever get on the field to be a factor? Grade — C.

Tennessee (2-6) — The Titans’ opening-game domination of Kansas City now seems like an aberration. It’s all been downhill since. Grade — D.

Jacksonville (1-8) — After last year’s encouraging finish, much more was expected. Grade — D.

• AFC NORTH •

Cincinnati (5-2-1) — The Bengals had a great start, but have looked so-so since. Grade — B.

Pittsburgh (6-3) — You knew the Steelers wouldn’t have another clunker year. Grade — B.

Cleveland (5-3) — I thought the Browns would challenge Buffalo as the worst team in the AFC. Grade — A-

Baltimore (5-4) — A winning record and still in last. Tough crowd. Grade — B-

• AFC WEST •

Denver (6-2) — The Broncos looked unbeatable until they were dismantled by New England. Grade — A-

Kansas City (5-3) — After an 0-2 start, I said the Chiefs might not win more than two. Andy Reid must be a heckuva coach. Grade — B+

San Diego (5-4) — From 5-1 to 5-4. Will the real Chargers stand up? Grade — C+

Oakland (0-8) — The record says it all. Grade — F.

• NFC EAST •

Philadelphia (6-2) — How will they move on with Mark Sanchez at quarterback the next 6-8 weeks? Grade — A-

Dallas (6-3) — The Cowboys’ start may have been all smoke and mirrors. Grade — B+

New York Giants (3-5) — Nobody fears the Giants any more. Definitely in decline. Grade — C-

Washington (3-6) — Washington has QB problems even with RG III. Grade — C-

• NFC SOUTH •

New Orleans (4-4) — The Saints have underachieved and still lead the division Grade — C-

Carolina (3-5) — No surprise here, this was the team I said would take the biggest tumble from last year. Grade — C-

Atlanta (2-6) — What is going on here? Should be better. Grade — D.

Tampa Bay (1-7) — The Bucs were talked of as a playoff team in the preseason. Grade — F.

• NFC NORTH •

Detroit (6-2) — This record is basically without getting much from injured superstar Calvin Johnson. Grade — A-

Green Bay (5-3) — Packers don’t have a defense they can rely on. Grade — B-

Minnesota (4-5) — Despite the record, one of the NFL’s best coaching jobs has been by Mike Zimmer by keeping this team together after the Adrian Peterson scandal. Grade — B+

Chicago (3-5) — The Bears’ defense is awful. Huge disappointment. Grade — D+

• NFC WEST •

Arizona (7-1) — Not sure how long they’ll keep playing this way, but the Cardinals are the NFL’s best story at the halfway point. Grade — A.

Seattle (5-3) — This team looked like it was built for a long run. Chemistry issues have taken over. Grade — C.

San Francisco (4-4) — Maybe Jim Harbaugh’s hyper act has worn thin. Biggest underachievers of the year. Grade — D.

St. Louis (3-5) — Plays great against the supposed good teams (wins over Seattle and San Francisco), but otherwise mediocre. Grade — C.


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