NFL Mid-Season Report Card

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Rahim Ali Merchant

Latest posts by Rahim Ali Merchant (see all)

We have officially reached the halfway of the NFL season, with all teams playing at least eight games. That should give us an idea of where each team should be graded. So let me help by issuing all 32 NFL teams a grade on their first-half performance, along with where they will probably finish in the standings for this season.

NFC East:

Washington Redskins (5-3)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Buccaneers, Texans, at Cowboys, at Eagles, Giants, Jaguars, Titans, Eagles
  • Grade: A
  • Final Record: 9-7

Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Cowboys, at Saints, Giants, Redskins, at Cowboys, at Rams, Texans, at Redskins
  • Grade: C-
  • Final Record: 10-6

Dallas Cowboys (3-5)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • at Eagles, at Falcons, Redskins, Saints, Eagles, at Colts, Buccaneers, at Giants
  • Grade: C
  • Final Record: 6-10

New York Giants (1-7)

  • Upcoming Games:
    • at 49ers, Buccaneers, at Eagles, Bears, at Redskins, Titans, at Colts, Cowboys
  • Grade: F
  • Final Record: 4-12

Division Analysis:

No team in the NFC East has significantly separated themselves from the others. Washington leads the division, but they’re only one game ahead of the Eagles and two games ahead of the Cowboys. Despite one team being at 4-4 and another at 3-5, the 5-3 Redskins are not in a position to be comfortable just yet. This division is still wide open!

 

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Russell Wilson” By Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

NFC West:

Los Angeles Rams (8-1)

  • Upcoming Games: 
    • Seahawks, Chiefs, at Lions, at Bears, Eagles, at Cardinals, 49ers
  • Grade: A+
  • Final Record: 13-3

Seattle Seahawks (4-4)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Rams, Packers, at Panthers, 49ers, Vikings, at 49ers, Chiefs, Cardinals
  • Grade: B
  • Final Record: 10-6

Arizona Cardinals (2-6)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • at Chiefs, Raiders, at Chargers, at Packers, Lions, at Falcons, Rams, at Seahawks
  • Grade: D-
  • Final Record: 5-11

San Francisco 49ers (2-7)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Giants, at Buccaneers, at Seahawks, Broncos, Seahawks, Bears, at Rams
  • Grade: D-
  • Final Record: 4-10

Division Analysis:

It’s safe to say the Rams are going to win this division. They’ve been one of, if not the best team in the NFL all season long. Even though they’re sitting three games ahead in the division right now, they shouldn’t get too comfortable. Their next game is against Seattle. If the Seahawks win, the Rams will only have a two game lead. Expect the Seahawks to at least challenge the Rams in the division standings, but not overtake them. Seattle could get themselves into the playoffs despite not winning the division. What about the Cardinals and 49ers? There’s always next year.

 

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Aaron Rodgers” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

NFC North:

Chicago Bears (5-3)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • Lions, Vikings, at Lions, at Giants, Rams, Packers, at 49ers, at Vikings
  • Grade: A
  • Final Record: 9-7

Green Bay Packers (3-4-1)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Dolphins, at Seahawks, at Vikings, Cardinals, Falcons, at Bears, at Jets, Lions
  • Grade: B+
  • Final Record: 10-5-1

Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Bears, Packers, at Patriots, at Seahawks, Dolphins, at Lions, Bears
  • Grade: C
  • Final Record: 9-6-1

Detriot Lions (3-5)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Bears, Panthers, Bears, Rams, at Cardinals, Bills, Vikings, at Packers
  • Grade: C-
  • Final Record: 8-8

Division Analysis:

This is a division with a tight race for the top spot. Chicago and their elite defense are on top right now, but the Vikings are right on their tail. Despite having a losing record right now, the Packers aren’t out of this race yet. They’ve already beaten the Bears once and tied with the Vikings. Don’t forget about the Lions either. Despite being 3-5, they’re only two games back and have beaten the Packers. Any of these teams could beat the other, and already have. Keep an eye on this division race throughout the second half of the season.

 

NFC South:

New Orleans Saints (7-1)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Bengals, Eagles, Falcons, at Cowboys, at Buccaneers, at Panthers, Steelers, Panthers
  • Grade: A
  • Final Record: 11-5

Carolina Panthers  (6-2)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Steelers, at Lions, Seahawks, at Buccaneers, at Browns, Saints, Falcons, at Saints
  • Grade: B+
  •  Final Record: 10-6

Atlanta Falcons (4-4)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Browns, Cowboys, at Saints, Ravens, at Packers, Cardinals, at Panthers, at Buccaneers
  • Grade: C
  • Final Record: 10-6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Redskins, at Giants, 49ers, Panthers, Saints, at Ravens, at Cowboys, Falcons
  • Grade: D+
  • Final Record: 7-9

Division Analysis:

The NFC South is one of the best divisions in the NFL. Last year there were three playoff teams from this division. The Saints and Panthers have had a strong first half to the year, being almost neck and neck in the division standings and are almost locks to be in the playoffs. Don’t look now, but the Falcons are coming. After a terrible start to their season, the Falcons are back at .500. Matt Ryan is leading one of the best offensive attacks in the league. We’ll see how that defense holds up. Tampa Bay is most likely out the playoff conversation this year, but watch for them to play spoiler in several games in the second half.

 

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Tom Brady” by Peter Bond is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

AFC EAST:

New England Patriots (7-2)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • at Titans, at Jets, Vikings, at Dolphins, at Steelers, Bills, Jets
  • Grade: A
  • Final Record: 12-4

Miami Dolphins (5-4)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • at Packers, at Colts, Bills, Patriots, at Vikings, Jaguars, at Bills
  • Grade: C
  • Final Record: 7-9

New York Jets (3-6)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • Bills, Patriots, at Titans, at Bills, Texans, Packers, at Patriots
  • Grade: C-
  • Final Record: 5-11

Buffalo Bills (2-7)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Jets, Jaguars, at Dolphins, Jets, Lions, at Patriots, Dolphins
  • Grade: D
  • Final Record: 4-11

Division Analysis:

Remember when the Patriots were 1-2 and we all thought it was the end of the reign of Tom Brady? HAHAHAHA That’s funny. New England have themselves a comfortable two game lead on the Miami Dolphins. Do we really expect anyone to challenge the Patriots for the division title this year? No. The rest of the year for the Jets and Bills should just be about trying to bring their young QBs along, despite how bad they’ve been. The Patriots still rule the AFC East, and there’s nothing any of these teams can do about it.

 

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Philip Rivers” by Nathan Rupert is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

AFC West:

Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Cardinals, at Rams, at Raiders, Ravens, Chargers, at Seahawks, Raiders
  • Grade: A+
  • Final Record: 12-4

Los Angeles Chargers (6-2)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • at Raiders, Broncos, Cardinals, at Steelers, Bengals, at Chiefs, Ravens, at Broncos
  • Grade: A
  • Final Record: 10-6

Denver Broncos (3-5)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Chargers, Steelers, at Bengals, at 49ers, Browns, at Raiders, Chargers
  • Grade: C-
  • Final Record: 6-10

Oakland Raiders (1-7)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Chargers, at Cardinals, at Ravens, Chiefs, Steelers, at Bengals, Broncos, at Chiefs,
  • Grade: F
  • Final Record: 2-14

Division Analysis:

Patrick Mahomes = WOW. There’s no other way to put it. This kid could challenge the record for most TD passes thrown in a single season. His 29 TD passes have lit up the scoreboard in every game. Philip Rivers and the Chargers are right on their tail. Along with Mahomes, Rivers is in the mix for MVP to this point in the year. He’s having a great year for the Chargers. Expect the Chargers to keep the pressure on the Chiefs as the season goes on. Denver started off well, but has since fallen. It’s probably safe to say they won’t be in the playoffs this season. The Raiders, well, they’re just bad. Number one overall pick in the draft bad.

 

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Ben Roethlisberger” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

AFC North:

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Panthers, at Jaguars, at Broncos, Chargers, at Raiders, Patriots, at Saints, Bengals
  • Grade: B
  • Final Record: 10-5-1

Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • Saints, at Ravens, Browns, Broncos, at Chargers, Raiders, at Browns, at Steelers
  • Grade: B-
  • Final Record: 8-8

Baltimore Ravens (4-5)

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Bengals, Raiders, at Falcons, at Chiefs, Buccaneers, at Chargers, Browns
  • Grade: B-
  • Final Record: 9-7

Cleveland Browns (2-6-1)

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • Falcons, at Bengals, at Texans, Panthers, at Broncos, Bengals, at Ravens
  • Grade: F
  • Final Record: 4-11-1

Division Analysis:

After a terrible start to the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are sitting in first place in the AFC North, just like many of us thought. It feels like they’ve shaken off the absence of Le’Veon Bell. RB James Conner is running with purpose right now. If he keeps it up, it’ll be tough for any team to defend him, AB and Juju. Although the Steelers are winning the division, the Bengals are right on their tail. Baltimore has fallen a little in the standings, but their defense can keep them in it throughout the rest of the year. Cleveland won’t be in the playoffs once again. Why am I even mentioning Cleveland and the playoffs? They have some things to work out, but their future looks much better than it did at this point last season.

 

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Blake Bortles” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

AFC South:

Houston Texans (6-3) 

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • at Redskins, Titans, Browns, Colts, at Jets, at Eagles, Jaguars
  • Grade: A-
  • Final Record: 10-6

Tennessee Titans (4-4) 

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • Patriots, at Colts, at Texans, Jets, Jaguars, at Giants, Redskins, Colts
  • Grade: C+
  • Final Record: 9-7

Indianapolis Colts (3-5) 

  • Upcoming Key Games:
    • Jaguars, Titans, Dolphins, at Jaguars, at Texans, Cowboys, Giants, at Titans
  • Grade: C-
  • Final Record: 6-10

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5) 

  • Upcoming Key Games: 
    • at Colts, Steelers, at Bills, Colts, at Titans, Redskins, at Dolphins, at Texans
  • Grade: D+
  • Final Record: 9-7

Division Analysis:

The Houston Texans have won six straight games after starting the season 0-3. None of those wins have come against a team with a winning record. Good thing they have a fairly easy schedule for the rest of the season. Only three teams on their schedule for the rest of the year have a winning record. Expect them to win this division. The Titans might push them, but they need to be more consistent. The Colts are pretty much just Andrew Luck, but they’re only two games behind in the division. Same with the Jaguars. Can Blake Bortles pull himself together? Can the defense start playing like Sacksonville again?

 

Let us know what grade you give each team in the league and where you think they will finish in the final standings!

Josh Norman” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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NFL Mid-Season Report Car…

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