Grading all 32 NFL teams after week one
September 11, 2019
With week one of the NFL over, teams are just getting a sense of what the season could hold. Big numbers were put up and big injuries plagued a few teams. Editor In-Chief David Campbell grades all 32 teams on overall performance and success after their openers.
New England Patriots: Grade A+
I knew the Patriots were a great team, obviously. However, I didn’t expect the absolute demolishment they gave the Pittsburgh Steelers. While I do believe the Steelers aren’t that good of a team, I expected them to compete at least. Oh and by the way, the defending champs ae going to add a top ten receiver in Antonio Clown.
Baltimore Ravens: Grade A+
I’m only going to give the Ravens partial credit on this one. Did Lamar Jackson have the best game of his life? Yes. Did the Ravens play a team that might go 0-16? Also yes. I am a big believer in the Ravens this year and if they can do this to an NFL team, don’t care how bad, they could have some real success this year. Not bad for a running back huh?
Tennessee Titans: Grade A+
I can’t be giving out too many A+, but my goodness the Titans deserve one. The Browns had so much hype around them, got knocked down a few because of a Titans team that flat out embarrassed them at Baker’s home. Tennessee didn’t just play well, they surprised I’m pretty sure, everyone in the league. While I don’t think they will make the playoffs, teams are going to be taking notice of the Titans.
Minnesota Vikings: Grade A
Talk about one team dominating the other, the Vikings ruined the Falcons at US Bank Stadium in a game that was one sided after the very first snap. Anthony Barr’s sack on Matt Ryan was the first of many disastrous plays from Atlanta’s offense. Ryan threw two picks(one of which in the endzone) to potential DPOW Anthony Harris. Kirk Cousins had a lot of pressure on him but that pressure was immediately lifted because he only had 98 passing yards. The man only threw 10 freaking times.
Dallas Cowboys: Grade A
Not gonna lie, I was worried for the boys when the Giants marched down the field on their first drive and punched it in thanks to Evan Engram. However, it was all Dallas after that. Dak Prescott was the one who was eating as his four touchdowns and perfect passer rating is going to lead to a big ol’ contract. The Cowboys offense was unstoppable. I still think this team is one of the best in the entire league.
San Francisco 49ers: Grade B+
The 49ers impressed me on sunday, especially their defense. Richard Sherman’s pick six was great but the fact they played an actually really good offense and held them to only 17, is pretty great. Jimmy G did nothing special, but they have a good roster and don’t need him to be an MVP. Don’t be surprised to see the red and gold in the postseason this year. Their offense has weapons despite tough injuries to running backs Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman.
Oakland Raiders: Grade B+
In the final Monday Night Football game in Oakland, the black and silver put on a show. Without AB, the Raiders seemed fired up. The defense was executing, flying all over the field and the offense showed great balance which led to a 26-14 victory for the Raiders. I know it might be too early to say Josh Jacobs OROY, but he had a good game for my fantasy team and that is all that matters.
Green Bay Packers: Grade B
As much as I hate the Packers, they beat the Bears so it’s not that bad of a win. They played a much better game despite only winning by a TD. It was their defense that surprised everyone because the ruled over a Bears offense that look lost all night. If Rodgers and the run game can have more success, the Packers might head to the playoffs. UGHHH I HATE THEM.
Philadelphia Eagles: Grade B
While the Eagles dug themselves into a 17-point hole early in the second quarter to the middling Washington Redskins, Carson Wentz showed that he still has the talent that made him an MVP favorite before he tore his ACL in 2017. The Eagles put up 25 unanswered points in the second half to start the season on a high note with a 32-27 victory at the Linc. Desean Jackson aided the Eagles in his homecoming by hauling in eight catches for 154 yards and a pair of scores while the run defense stifled the Skins ball carriers and held them to just 28 rushing yards.
Though the Redskins mounted an early lead, Philadelphia thoroughly controlled the second half and looked like the Super Bowl contending powerhouse that they created two seasons ago. The only meaningful Redskins possession of the half was a garbage time touchdown after the previous three drives netted them a measly five yards.
If this Eagles team plays like they did for the final 30 minutes, it should be a fun team to watch in The City of Brotherly Love.
Los Angeles Chargers: Grade B
I am super high on the Chargers this year and half of the team showed they have Super Bowl potential. However, defense wins championships and they did not show much in that department. The offensive side of the ball was terrific. Austin Ekeler might have just proven himself as the most underrated player in the league. Along with him, Keenan Allen picked up right where he left off, being an absolute machine. Offense wins game I guess.
Buffalo Bills: Grade B-
After being down in the fourth, the Bills needed Josh Allen to unleash his clutch trait. Which he honestly kinda did. Huh? The Bills had a great comeback but I am not going to give them too much credit because the Jets defense fell apart like a wet taco after losing CJ Mosely to injury. This was a big win for a Bills team just trying to weave their way into January football.
Los Angeles Rams: Grade B-
This may be a bit low but I am not happy with how the defending NFC champs played against a Panthers team that most likely isn’t going to the playoffs. I understand Todd Gurley had knee problems but the man is still an elite running back. The defense was subpar and unlike the Patriots, the Rams had much more of a struggle.
New Orleans Saints: Grade B-
One of the more tougher games of the season, the Saints got extremely lucky, bottom line. WHAT THE HECK WAS DENNIS ALLEN THINKING? The Saints defensive coordinator called the worst two plays at the worst times. Firstly, this one really isn’t on him but the defense let DeAndre Hopkins(best WR in the league don’t @ me) get behind and gain 35 yards on one play. Secondly, this one is on him and they call a man blitz. Why would you do that. Kenny Stills is a great player and absolutely burns PJ Williams. Lucky for them, Brees is Brees and the Saints pulled out the victory. Dang that one hurt.
Seattle Seahawks: Grade C+
Look the important thing is that they got the win, even thought it was ugly. I feel like the Seawhakws are going to have a bunch of ugly wins this year, because they are an ugly team. They HAVE to get Tyler Lockett involved more, Chris Carson is very good but he isn’t elite, stop acting like it. He had way too many touches while the Hawks have many more weapons on offense. The AJ Green-less Bengals almost snuck out with a win.
Kansas City Chiefs: Grade C+
Ok this one might be a bit harsh but I am worried for the Chiefs. Not because Tyreek Hill is out for multiple weeks, which does suck, but because their defense was terrible. Mahomes was phenomenal, obviously, but Gardner Minishew had a game. A super bowl favorite can’t allow this man to thrown for two touchdowns, they will get killed by Brady. I had my doubts about this defense and now they are coming to fruition. They are still a great team cause of Mahomes, but their defense is a problem.
Indianapolis Colts: Grade C
The Colts actually played a great game and while they didn’t deserve to win, I don’t think they deserved to lose either. Jacoby Brissett proved that he could compete with the best of the AFC, as the Colts marched into a soccer stadium and beat one of the conference’s most talented team. They still have work to do but for the most part I really liked the way the Colts played, especially without their best player in Andrew Luck.
Arizona Cardinals: Grade C
I’m genuinely questioning how the Cardinals came back in this game and managed to pull a tie against the Lions. Kyler Murray showed the clutch factor and veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald stepped up yet again. This tie should feel like a victory, mostly because they were one Trumain Brock drop away from a win. The fact they didn’t roll over and lose like last year Cardinals would have done, shows major improvement.
Houston Texans: Grade C
You could honestly make an argument for the Texans to be ahead of the Saints on this list because they played a better game overall. However, a loss is a loss, especially one that hurts like that. I already questioned the Saints defense and I could do the same to the Texans. They choked this game away, can’t argue that. Playing prevent when the Saints only need seven or eight yards isn’t very smart.
Detroit Lions: Grade C
This is such a tough one because the Lions played a great game but tied. The most Lion move ever. Matthew Stafford had a great game and TJ Hockensen looked amazing in his first game. The one thing the Lions have to improve is the ground game. They have a solid O-Line and Kerryon Johnson is poised to have a breakout year. Overall offense is good and defense needs a lot of work.
New York Jets: Grade C-
Honestly this really sucked. I am disappointed the Jets blew this game, it makes it worse that they loss to a division rival. Also, why in the world did Le’veon Bell not get more involved. People need to realize that Bell is an elite back, top ten for sure. He needs to get 30-40 touches a game at a minimum, more is better. Relying on Darnold to win games won’t work.
Carolina Panthers: Grade C-
Another hard one because they only loss by three to a solid Rams team. I am downgrading them to a C- because of two reasons. Firstly, they lost at home and that’s not good, secondly, Malcom Brown ran over the Panthers. Literally at times, he ran over them. While I think the Panthers will bounce back, the lack of urgency on defense does worry me.
Washington Redskins: Grade C-
How in the world did the Redskins actually stay in this game but still lose it. Case Keenum played a very good first half as the Eagles secondary looked lost, no surprise there at all. The Redskins overall weren’t bad but like many teams in the NFL this week, they blew a lead. Keenum will get hurt between week six or nine and then Dwayne Haskins will take over and have an above average year.
Cincinnati Bengals: Grade C-
Losing to the Seahawks at their place by one isn’t bad at all for a first year coach who’s missing their number one receiver. John Ross stepped up in a big way with the absence of AJ Green and I hope he continues to do this more. While overall the Bengals weren’t bad, losing a close game to a team you had in your hands.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Grade C-
My final C- goes out to a team that I am actually really impressed by. After losing Foles early in the game, they could’ve rolled over, could’ve given up. However, the mustache man that is Gardner Minshew showed that he wasn’t actually that bad after all. The main question is, do the Jags miss Bortles?
Chicago Bears: Grade D+
What a disappointment, seriously. Even as a Vikings fan, I was excited to see where this team would take off after a bad end to last year. The Bears blew this chance. Not only they had the chance to prove themselves amongst the NFL’s best, but now the Packers have more respect in the league. Which might be the worst thing ever.
Denver Broncos: Grade D+
Well that didn’t go to plan. While this game does suck, I’m not surprised in the slightest. The Broncos were always going to lose this game. Not because the Raiders have a better team which they do by the way, but because the game was in Oakland and Raiders fans were already angry. Broncos can rebound even though they won’t.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grade D+
This so called high power offense wasn’t so high powered on sunday at home. The 49ers defense suffocated them and famous Jameis didn’t have an answer. People need to realize that Winston isn’t that great of a QB. For every good moment, their is 5 bad ones. Hopefully they can get a better QB before this star studded receiving core gets too old.
Atlanta Falcons: Grade D
Talk about disappointment. While the season isn’t over, the Falcons acted like a 6-9 team playing in their final game of the season. What’s the point of having Keanu Neal and Deion Jones back if nobody on the defense can tackle Dalvin Cook. The fact that Kirk Cousins only threw ten times for 98 yards doesn’t show the lack of talent from Kirk, but the lack of talent from the Falcons.
Cleveland Browns: Grade D
Somehow I knew this was going to happen. The Browns at home were set up for failure and that is exactly what happened. I do believe they will bounce back despite the tough loss. Baker looked lost out there. One positive is that OBJ looked excited to play and with all the longer room cancer going around in the league right now, this is a good sign.
New York Giants: Grade D
This is probably too harsh but this team is literally Barkley and Engram on offense. Also, Dak Prescott tore them up. Like if Dak and Amari Cooper ripped them, it wouldn’t be bad but the fact Dak used every receiver in the entire state of Texas really sucks for a team that is poised to have a bad year. Oh but they can’t upset Eli though.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Grade D-
Am I the only one who doesn’t believe in this team at all. Yeh JuJU and James are great but Big Ben isn’t getting any younger and the defense is terrible. The only thing stopping this team from completely falling apart is Mike Tomlin who is actually a great coach I really think so. James Conner is also a beast, anyone who questions that is dumb.
Miami Dolphins: Grade F(NC)
Well… that was tough to watch.
I was considering giving the Dolphins a D or a D- as a pity grade for managing to scrap out 200 yards of total offense when they were vastly overmatched, but I think they deserve a failing grade because of the collective 11-man eye sore that came out to face the Ravens offense.
You could point to anything in the Ravens offensive stat line to get a sense of just how thoroughly the Ravens whooped them, so I’ll just rattle off a few: Lamar Jackson’s perfect passer rating and 643 yards of total offense, including 265 on the ground, give a sense that this was no ordinary beatdown.
But the real telling factor of how pathetic the Dolphins defense came in the second half, when they were already down 42-10. During the 30-minute second half, the Ravens held possession of the ball for about 24 of those minutes. The Ravens had just four drives, each lasting longer than five minutes, including the final drive which lasted almost eight minutes and ended in the victory formation deep in Miami territory.
The Miami Dolphins defense looked like a junior varsity team playing against the varsity team from Mark Ingram’s 49-yard rush on the first play from scrimmage. They couldn’t even stop the Ravens’ backup roster, headed by Robert Griffin III, who went 6/6 after being summoned from the depths of NFL irrelevancy.
The offense was bad, the defense was worse, and even the special teams unit couldn’t give the Dolphins faithful any silver lining, as their return man muffed the Ravens’ only punt of the game.
I feel like I have devoted too much time to this horrifically lopsided defeat, but there’s losing and there’s balling up in the fetal position in hopes of living another day. On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins were forced to choose the latter.