NFL Quarter Season Grades

We like football and we like to act like we know more than we do. Please note: Grades are based on personal expectations.

AFC East
New England Patriots – Record: 2-2
Rob – The Pats have been playing sub-par football so far this year. Their offensive output has been lackluster and their defense is worse than expected. Grade: C+

Brenden – After spanking the Bills, the Patriots proved they will cruise to the AFC east title. Grade: B

Joe – The Patriots are plodding along at 2-2 and no one seems to care because the AFC East is a joke and we know they will win it anyway. The offense erupted last week against Buffalo and is still one of the most proficient in the NFL while the defense needs to pick up the pace to avoid shootouts.  Grade: B

New York Jets – Record: 2-2
Rob – Despite being (-28) in points this year the Jets are doing better than expected. Since it’s 1/4 season grades I’ll be nice, not so much after last week. Grade: B-

Brenden – Well for now they’re a C, and will most likely be an F by week 8. Sanchize has degressed, and GM Mike Tannenbaum should be fired now for not being able to create ANY depth. Grade: C

Joe –  Offense sucks. Defense sucks. Sanchez has no one to throw to. Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes are done for the year. The Wildcat doesn’t work. The Jets’ grade is appropriate because it’s the first letter of the word I find myself repeating over and over every game. Grade: F

Buffalo Bills – Record: 2-2
Rob – A better team than most expected but actually a little disappointing to me, especially when signing Mario Williams. Fitzpatrick & Spiller starting strong saved them a little bit. Grade: B

Brenden – Crushing losses to the Pats and Jets hurt their score. Mario Williams has one whopping sack, but the Bills are right where I expected them to be. Grade: B

Joe –  Wasn’t the Mario Williams signing supposed to be a big deal? Wasn’t the defense supposed to be good?  Aside from CJ Spiller, the offense stinks and I don’t trust Ryan Picks-patrick (see what I did there?). Grade: D

Miami Dolphins – Record: 1-3
Rob – The Dolphins are pretty much where I thought they would be but the surprising factor is that they are only (-4) in net points. If they can score more the East could change drastically. Grade: D

Brenden – The Dolphins aren’t good, but they have at least played respectable Football. Tannehill is looking pretty comfortable in the offense. Grade: C

Joe – Brian Hartline is emerging as a legit receiver in this league. Sure, they have plenty of work to do but at least they have something promising in Ryan Tannehill. The secondary needs work, but I think they are on track with Coach Philbin. Grade: D+

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens – Record: 3-1
Rob – Flacco is emerging as one of the best game managers in the league and we are starting to see his stats reflect his skills finally. Baltimore may be the best all around team in the league. Grade: A-

Brenden – The Ravens are going to the win the Superbowl.  Grade: A

Joe – Move over Ray Lewis, Captain Unibrow has put this team on his back. Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and emerging wideout Torrey Smith are leading the way but the defense needs to step up if this team wants to go far in the playoffs. Grade: A

Cincinnati Bengals – Record: 3-1
Rob – Everyone forgets about this team and I’m not sure why. Andy Dalton has proved he has the ability to be a big time passer and A.J. Green is reaping the rewards. Grade: B+

Brenden – Even though he is a ginger, Dalton is looking like a second round steal. The law firm of Benjarvis Green Ellis has run pretty well and the defense will continue to pick up the pace. Grade: B+

Joe – A.J. Green is a stud and Andy Dalton is the real deal. This team isn’t good enough to win a shootout or clamp down in a defensive battle, but the playoffs are in sight for the second year in a row. Grade: B

Pittsburgh Steelers – Record: 1-2
Rob – Age may finally be catching up with this bruised and battered team and the record reflects it. Grade: C-

Brenden – The steelers hopes rest on Mendenhall’s bad knee. Grade: C

Joe – Boy, this team misses Rashard Mendenhall. Ben Roethlisberger is doing his best to hold the team together with Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace, but if neither side of the ball is strong enough to hold the team on its own. This division is too tough to be sloppy this early. Grade: C

Cleveland Browns – Record: 0-4
Rob – When rookies are the backbone of your offense you expect growing pains, but it’s more than that right now. A building year for sure, don’t expect much more after this point. Grade: D

Brenden – Brandon Weeden threw 52 times against the Ravens. Trent Richardson needs to become more consistent. This team is terrible. Grade: F

Joe – Trent Richardson is a stud. The rest of the team leaves something to be desired-Insert poop joke here- Grade: F+?

AFC South
Houston Texans – Record: 4-0
Rob – I said Baltimore MIGHT be the best all around team and the Texans are the reason it is a MIGHT. The best team, so far, in the league hands down. If they can stay healthy they may be Super Bowl bound. Grade: A++

Brenden – I’m waiting for the Texans to pull off their usual collapse, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m going to go with the dream sequence from A Christmas Story for this one. Grade: A+++++++++

Joe – This team is amazing. Remember when they won with a standout offense? Now they have a standout defense to go along with it. J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Jonathan Joseph lead the way for a team that’s finally ready to legitimately contend for the Super Bowl. Grade: A+

Indianapolis Colts – Record: 1-2
Rob – After last year you couldn’t really expect much, after all Luck is no Manning. A soft D and a abysmal offense = horribleness. Grade: D

Brenden – Luck is the only thing worth watching. Other than that, avert your eyes. Grade: D+

Joe – There really isn’t much to expect in what is the learning year for Andrew Luck. Don’t expect much more to come from a team whose best outcome was a 5-11 season. With Coach Chuck Pagano receiving treatment for Leukemia, this team might surprise us by playing with a lot of heart. Grade: D

Jacksonville Jaguars – Record: 1-3
Rob – It’s a little shocking when you look at their offensive numbers that they are so bad this year and then you look at their Defense and it makes sense. Grade: C-

Brenden – MJD is the best running back in football, and the only reason why they get a C-. Grade: C-

Joe – Yuck. These guys have a lot of work to do. Maurice Jones-Drew’s prime is going to waste and I don’t know anyone who trusts Blaine Gabbert. Grade: D

Tennessee Titans – Record: 1-3
Rob – Jake Locker is getting his first full taste of NFL action and being behind a horrible offensive line and a defense that can’t stop a nosebleed you can’t really do much.
Grade: D-

Brenden – Jake Locker has been beaten and abused. Chris Johnson can’t make up his mind to run well. Grade: C-

Joe – Oh, hey there Chris Johnson! We haven’t seen you in a year and a half. The defense is terrible but there is a lot of offensive promise on this team. An 8-8 record wouldn’t surprise me. Grade: C

AFC West
San Diego Chargers – Record: 3-1
Rob – I never really thought Ryan Matthews was that big of a deal and I think this proves me right. Malcom Floyd has proved to be a great addition for Rivers to throw to. Grade: B

Brenden – Another team that will collapse, but not yet. Grade: B+

Joe – Philip Rivers is taking advantage of a revamped receiving corps. The defense has been phenomenal and the Chargers are making noise in a competitive AFC West. Grade: A

Denver Broncos – Record: 2-2
Rob – A sleeper team, of some sorts, whose 2-2 record doesn’t reflect the talent of this team. I expect big things for the rest of the year. Grade: C

Brenden – Denver has played some close games, and then absolutely destroyed the Raiders. Grade: B+

Joe – The Broncos are still finding themselves and waiting for Peyton Manning to get his groove back (all though I think he found it last week). These guys are playoff bound once more and the AFC Championship game is in sight. Grade: B

Kansas City Chiefs – Record: 1-3
Rob – Injuries to major players really hurt the Chiefs so far and their record shows the depth of their bench. Their Defense has given up the 2nd most points in the NFL, you can’t win doing that. Grade: D

Brenden – Talk about a disappointment. A win over the Saints gets them a boost here. Grade: C+

Joe – Isn’t this the year the Chiefs were supposed to win the division? The running game has been carrying this team, but the defense must step up in order to catch the Chargers. The return of Tamba Hali should provide the rush and fear they need. The remainder of the schedule is tough, but something tells me these guys are going to the playoffs. Grade: C+

Oakland Raiders – Record: 1-3
Rob – Carson Palmer was supposed to be their saving grace and he wasn’t. This team has a lot of talent at the kicker position, that’s pretty much it. Grade: D-

Brenden – Getting crushed by the Broncos didn’t help this much. Grade: D

Joe – The only reason I would go to a Raiders game is to see Sebastian Janikowski launch 70-yard field goals in warmups. I’m tired of waiting for this team to get good. The defense is terrible and the offense is full of big-name disappointments. Grade: D

NFC East
Philadelphia Eagles – Record: 3-1
Rob – If the Eagles didn’t have a defense as good as the one they have the record would easily read 1-3. Despite their record they are extremely disappointing, if their offense can click this team is scary. Grade: C-

Brenden – Eagles defense looked great against the G-men, but the offense is holding this team back. Grade: C+

Joe – This team is crazy talented on both sides of the ball. The defense has been good but the offense hasn’t blown me away yet. The schedule is brutal, but if they survive, they will be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time. Grade: A-

Dallas Cowboys – Record: 2-2
Rob – Another team who has been saved by its Defense. Romo is showing why he isn’t a winner and Rob Ryan is showing why he needs to go to a different team. Grade: C-

Brenden – Tony Romo needs to take his game to another level. Grade: C+

Joe – Another season of Texas-sized disappointment. So much big-name talent that can’t be harnessed. I blame it all on Tony Romo breaking up with Carrie Underwood (what was he thinking?). Grade: C

Washington Redskins – Record: 2-2
Rob – RGIII is looking like the saving grace for this franchise, but so did Jason Campbell a few years ago. Still the Rookie QB is taking this team and putting it on his back. Grade: B

Brenden – RGIII will not survive the season in this offensive scheme. Alfred Morris looks like the real deal at RB. Big win at the Saints (feels like a theme in the NFL) gets them a B-. Grade: B-

Joe – RG III gets them time on Sportscenter and Alfred Morris is proving to be a nice surprise but this team still needs a lot of work. Grade: C

New York Giants – Record: 2-2
Rob – These guys are always a head scratcher and always start off slow. Their secondary is their weakness and it has been exposed a few times this year. Grade: C

Brenden – The G-Men barely beat the Bucs, and the two division losses are killers. They’ve been bitten by the injury bug so I wouldn’t panic just yet. Grade: C+

Joe – The defending champs are just too damn predictable. They have no running game and put all their trust in Aw-Shucks-Eli’s arm. The defensive front is terrifying but underachieving and the secondary can be beat. They dare you to beg against them. I did last year but won’t make that mistake again. Grade: B-

NFC North
Minnesota Vikings – Record: 3-1
Rob – Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder and Percy Harvin are playing on a whole different level and this franchise may have turned a new corner, I didn’t expect them to be this good. Grade: A-

Brenden – On top of beating the 49ers, Ponder, Peterson, and Harvin have made it 1/4 of the way through the season in one piece. It’s an Eggsmas Miracle!!!. Grade: A

Joe – I don’t know how they’re doing it, but somehow the Vikings are 3-1. They’ll ride the coattails of the defense as long as they’ll let them but at some point the offense needs to take it up a notch. They should be 1-3, but so far they’ve beaten the 49ers and the Lions. Grade: B+

Chicago Bears – Record: 3-1
Rob – Having an offense that is hit or miss makes it impressive they are still at a +40 in net points which means their defense is stepping up because they have Cutler at the helm. Grade: B+

Brenden – The defense is who we thought they were, and so far Cutler hasn’t left them off the hook…minus one bad game. Bonus points for dismantling the Cowboys in the JerryDome. Grade: A

Joe –  I’d love to be a fly on the wall in this locker room. No, not like that, but to see sulking Jay Cutler and bi-polar Brandon Marshall together. These guys have their issues, but when they are on their game (which hasn’t happened much) this is a fun team to watch. Give them more time to gel, add in the punishing defense and these guys might find themselves in N’Orleans. Grade: A

Green Bay Packers – Record: 2-2
Rob – I expected Green Bay to be undefeated at this point because they are that good. Jennings being hurt definitely makes them weaker and considering how horrible their D was last year they are stepping up this year. Grade: D

Brenden – Yes, they got screwed on the Seahawks’ Fail Mary. But that overshadowed how poorly their offense played. Grade: C

Joe –  I never thought the offense would struggle as much as it has, but don’t expect that to last for long. A-Rod will “Discount Double Check” the Pack back to the playoffs. Grade: B

Detroit Lions – Record: 1-3
Rob – What happened here? A complete meltdown of epic proportions from a team that was certain to be playoff bound. I think they turn it around but as for now…Grade: F

Brenden – Their secondary is absolute garbage, so unless they can put up 50 points a game, things are looking pretty bleak. Grade: D-

Joe – One of the league’s biggest disappointments so far. They have the talent but can’t eke out the wins. They need to turn things around fast if they expect to jump the Bears or Packers and make a return trip to the playoffs. It won’t happen. Grade: C- 

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons – Record: 4-0
Rob – Seems implied but a 4-0 record makes this team one of the best in the league. Matty Ice is showing his skills in a division that expected to be much tougher and the Atlanta defense has only given up 76 points, Super Bowl bound? Grade: A+

Brenden – The new favorites in the NFC…maybe it’s finally their year. Grade: A+++++

Joe – The Falcons have joined the ranks of the NFL’s elite. Matty Ice is playing like the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be and the receiving corps is among the best in the NFL. I love watching this team play, and I think we will be well into January. Grade: A+

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Record: 1-3
Rob – I never expect much from this team and Greg Schiano has faced a lot of criticism so far this year. Their defense has kept them in games but their offense can’t get their wheels turning. Grade: D

Brenden – They are going to be a frustating team to watch…that is if you even watch them in the first place.  Grade: D

Joe – What a disappointment. This team can’t close and it’s what separates them from a winning record and possibly a tie with the Falcons at the top of the division.  Grade: C

Carolina Panthers – Record: 1-3
Rob – People may want to put the blame on Cam and they probably should. The Sophomore effort has been thwarted by a inept defense and the inability of his key players to break out, with the exception of Steve Smith. Grade: D-

Brenden – Remember when their O-lineman took out an ad in the paper saying that they were a superbowl team? Whoops. Grade: D

Joe – The Panthers will only go as far as Cam can take them. I expected more out of a Ron Rivera-coached defense, as well as more from the running back tandem of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams now that opposing defenses must respect the pass. They’re still a ways away from sniffing the playoffs. Grade: C-

New Orleans Saints – Record: 0-4
Rob – Sean Payton obviously means more to this team than anyone probably expected, especially when Drew Brees it your Quarterback. Giving up more points than you score means an 0-4 record. Grade: F- (because they are that disappointing)

Brenden – An 0-4 team making the playoffs? I wouldn’t be shocked. Did Sean Payton just coach or did he play defense too? They’ve lost a few heartbreakers already, but at least they’ve been in games. Grade: D

Joe – This is what happens when you’re coached by the backup coach’s backup. They are in need of some serious help if they want a shot at reaching the playoffs. It won’t happen. Grade: D

NFC West
Arizona Cardinals – Record: 4-0
Rob – Most shocking team of the year who is riding their hot defense all the way to a 4-0 record. Kevin Kolb deserves some credit to with his 7 TDs and only 2 interceptions, can they ride the hot streak? Grade: A

Brenden – I’m still not sold on this team, but 4-0 is 4-0. Grade: A

Joe – The Cardinals are 4-0 despite no running game, no offensive line, and one talent at receiver. How are they doing it? A formidable defense led by Daryl Washington and Patrick Peterson, both of whom will be household names by the end of the season. Grade: A

San Francisco 49ers – Record: 3-1
Rob – This team is a wild card for me. They have all the talent needed to destroy teams, like the Jets, yet may struggle against well rounded teams, like the Vikings. They are pretty much where I expected them to be. Grade: B

Brenden – They needed that loss to Minnesota to keep themselves grounded. Their defense is dominant, but as always the question mark will still be Alex Smith Grade: A-

Joe – The offense is clicking thanks to a killer running game, but it’s the defense that makes this team stand out. You’re not fooling them with any Wildcat b.s. Grade: A

St. Louis Rams – Record: 2-2
Rob – Such a weird team. They come out hot, then they come out flat and somehow win games, which I didn’t expect either. They aren’t scoring at all but their not getting blown out either. Keep an eye on these guys. Grade: C+

Brenden – Their kicker has one hell of a leg, but in this division I just can’t expect them to even go 8-8. With that being said, I like what I’m seeing in St. Louis. Grade: C+

Joe – I think the defense isn’t getting enough credit for how good they actually are. There is talent in both the secondary and defensive front. The offensive line is still shaky and Sam Bradford needs help at receiver. An 8-8 finish is the best possible outcome. Grade: C 

Seattle Seahawks – Record: 2-2
Rob – Considering I expected nothing from this team I would say a 2-2 record is well deserved. If Russell Wilson can keep the ball away from the opposition and their defense can keep this pace, especially in a non-explosive offensive division, they could sneak into the playoffs. Grade: B-

Brenden – They should be 1-3. The pass rush has been great, and Russell Wilson hasn’t been great, but he’s been ok. Grade: C+

Joe – There was a lot of hype about Russell Wilson in the preseason, but he is still a rookie quarterback with no one to throw to aside from an oft-injured Sidney Rice. The defense is scary good but don’t expect anything from this team other than hideous uniforms. Grade: C-

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