We’re midway through the NFL season, which means there’s no better time than the present to hand out some report cards. Some teams have performed okay, some are great relative to expectations, and others simply have not performed well enough all season long. We also still have an unbeaten team even after Week 8.Which teams pass and who fails? Here’s a grade for all 32 NFL teams midway through the season.Arizona Cardinals (2-6) — DThere’s not a lot to say about the Cardinals. Josh Rosen has looked promising at times and led a nice comeback drive in Week 8, but they don’t have a lot of talent. What they do have seemed to be misused under former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Perhaps Byron Leftwich will be an improvement in that role. However, there’s no ignoring the fact that their only two wins have come against a woeful 49ers team with no Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s hard to see many more coming their way.Atlanta Falcons (3-4) — D+The … [Read more...] about Grading each NFL team at the midway point of the season
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In 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars were three minutes away from their first Super Bowl appearance after arguably the best season in franchise history. In 2018, the club brought back nearly every important player from that AFC South championship team — and after Week 8’s loss, the Jaguars are on pace for a return to their 6-10 roots. Jacksonville isn’t the only NFL team that’s seen its postseason hopes suffer significant casualties over the first half of the year. 2017 contenders like the Falcons, Titans, Eagles, and Vikings would all miss the playoffs if the season ended after Week 8. Some of those teams are in better shape than others, but none can be happy with the way the first eight weeks of the season have played out. So what’s been the problem ailing these teams whose lofty preseason hopes have been torn apart and left to be reassembled like jigsaw puzzles with varying degrees of difficulty? Let’s take a look at five teams who’ve … [Read more...] about Is there still hope for these 5 disappointing NFL teams?
When are we going to learn? We all do the same thing every season. We overreact to September football only to find out in October those overreactions are just that: overreactions. And Week 6 was where most of those went to die. When the new CBA was signed in 2011, practice time was forever changed. The offseason program was shortened by at least a month and time restrictions were put in place. No more two-a-days in camp, with new mandatory days off and less padded practices during the season. This has led to September feeling and looking like the preseason at times, which leads to the wild reactions after the first month of the season. And we all do it, even myself. Let’s go through all these overreactions, as well as that thrilling Sunday Night Football contest. First, let’s start with the positive: 5 teams that turned out to be just fine, no surprise New England Patriots: Order is restored in the AFC after the Patriots narrowly escaped against the Chiefs. When the … [Read more...] about 8 NFL teams that remind us never to overreact in September
By John Clayton, Special To The Washington Post The third week of the NFL season didn’t just defy the odds — it was flat-out weird. Despite being 16-and-a-half-point underdogs, the Buffalo Bills blew out the Minnesota Vikings, 27-6, after being the worst team in football the first two weeks. The Detroit Lions, one of the worst three teams in football the first week, dominated the New England Patriots, 23-10. In total, six of the 14 games Sunday were won by underdogs. It was crazy. And it also revealed an important lesson: There are no great NFL teams this season — at least not yet. The most likely exceptions to this rule are the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, both of which improved to 3-0 with impressive wins Sunday. But don’t lull yourself into thinking both teams are automatically heading to 13- or 14-win seasons. Just look at their schedules. The Rams faced the Vikings on Thursday and they might be without their two best cornerbacks, Marcus Peters … [Read more...] about There are no great NFL teams this season (except maybe the Chiefs and Rams)
Over the weekend, the news that people have been expecting for years, but is still somehow surprising, hit when the Cleveland Browns announced they would be parting ways with wide receiver Josh Gordon. They might not have to do that. As of Monday morning, they were expected to have to have trade offers to choose from. In 2013, playing in 14 games with the Browns, Gordon caught 87 passes for a league-leading 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He was unstoppable, and has flashed that kind of ability off and on since then, including a 115-yard game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. But the game-breaking receiver with deep-threat ability has missed more football than he’s played over the course of his NFL career. That’s primarily due to off-field issues, almost all of which relate to positive drug tests and the ensuing suspensions. But when he’s on the field, he who would be an asset to pretty much any group of receivers in the league, provided there is even a … [Read more...] about 6 NFL teams that should try to land Josh Gordon