NFL: NFC Grades Through First 5 Games

Remember when Dan Quinn took the Falcons to the Super Bowl in his first season as Head Coach and he blew a 28-3 halftime lead? He accomplished that feat multiple times in 2020 and was finally axed by Falcons Brasse. The NFC East is a disaster of a division and is open for anyone that wants it. The Cowboys are sitting on top at 2-3, however, if they want to have any success it will be on the arm of the greatest red-headed QB ever, Andy Dalton. It’s hard for any Head Coach to survive in Dallas when you are living in Jerry’s world. A man that micro-manages his coaches with the best of them. As long as he’s cutting the checks in Big D he’ll have his opinion heard.

Whether the Owner of the Eagles wants to admit it he may have made a mistake by signing Wentz to a mega-deal. Or else he wouldn’t have drafted Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round of this past draft. My personal favorite is my man Nick Foles earning the starting job, AGAIN! He’s made a living on starting the season off the bench. Did you know he started the season as the backup at the University of Arizona before taking the job from Matt Scott? This may be a stretch but if Rob Gronkowski hadn’t missed the season with a back injury at UofA he and Foles would have hit the record books. Moving back to the NFL, starting out in the wild, wild, West where it’s Russell Wilson and everybody else watching greatness unfold.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks: 5-0 (A-)

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The only reason there is a (-) next to that A is the defense is towards the bottom in scoring defense. Russel Wilson can make up for that with leadership ability we haven’t seen. All he does is win. He’s playing at an MVP level and let’s hope he gets the love he deserves when the voting takes place late in the season. He’s had MVP-type numbers in the past but has come up short not getting the recognition he deserves. Without Wilson the Seahawks are a .500 team or slightly better. He makes them Super Bowl Contenders as long as he’s behind center. Wilson throws the best deep ball in football and have one of the best young deep threat wide receivers in DK Metcalf. Here are some of his MVP highlights so far this season.

LA Rams: 4-1 (B)

ORCHARD PARK, NY – (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

In one of the deepest divisions in the league Jared Goff and the Rams are off to a hot start. But how good are they really? There wins were against the Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, and Eagles. Didn’t I tell you the NFC East was bad? The Rams have owned them already. The most impressive game might have been the Bills game which they lost 35-32. It must be ‘Hard Knocks’ that got their swag back. They have a great WR corps that are all selfless and have a great unity about them. A rare attribute of a wide receiver. Those are usually the most dramatic players on the field. Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and past players like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.

Arizona Cardinals: 3-2 (C)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

When Steve Keim OK’d the deal to bring Deandre Hopkins to the desert for David Johnson he must have thought it was April 1st and was being setup. There is no way Bill O’Brien would send Hopkins to the Cardinals for a RB that had 1 good season right? For a young QB to have Larry Fitzgerald, No. 2 all-time in receptions, and Deandre Hopkins to go along with Christian Kirk you are putting your QB in a good position to be successful. This team has the talent that exceeds their 3-2 record. Losing games against the Panthers and Lions brought them down to the C range. To give you a quick glance at what the next 3 years good look like in the desert check out this Hopkins catch in double coverage, one-handed through contact.

San Francisco 49ers: 2-3 (C-)

SANTA CLARA, CA – NOVEMBER 05: (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Metlife stadium really took the life out of the 49ers. Injuries across the board starting with Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas on defense and Jimmy G and Raheem Mostert for multiple weeks on offense. Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Salah have this team focused and are all-in on the ‘next-man-up’ mentality. The reason I still put them as a C- is because of their week schedule so far and the fact that they are competing.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints: 3-2 (B)

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

I mentioned earlier that Wide Receivers were the most dramatic players on the field. Well, had Michael Thomas to the list. His recent antics in New Orleans by punching a teammate and being suspended for a Monday Night Football game the day he was supposed to return from Injury has been the only Saints news we’re talking about. Not even going to talk about Drew Brees and Emmanuel Sanders leading the Saints to a 30-27 comeback win against Justin Herbert and the Bolts.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-2 (B-)

TAMPA, FLORIDA – (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Week 1 Tom Brady and the QB Whisperer, Bruce Arians, didn’t seem to be on the same page. After a slow start week 1, Brady and Arians made some changes on offense showing signs of the old Patriots system and Arians down-the-field approach. “No Risk It, No Biscuit” as Arians likes to say. They are still getting to know each other and are getting better each week. Except for Nick Foles and the Bears. Brady can’t seem to beat Nick Foles. Rob Gronkowski hasn’t impressed yet but what can you expect when you take time off like he did. This defense is flat out nasty to go with it.

Carolina Panthers: 3-2 (B-)

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

You can’t say anything bad about Teddy Bridgewater and what he does in the NFL. He’s a winner that almost saw his career end in Minnesota with a knee injury that was so bad he nearly had his leg amputated. When Christian McCaffery went down with a knee injury he picked up the slack with big plays. Teddy also doesn’t turn the ball over and is a very smart, ‘heady’, quarterback. He’s got this team playing at a high level. Having them at 3-2 they don’t need to rush McCaffery back from injury with Michael Davis being rejuvenated and able to carry the workload.

Atlanta Falcons: 0-5 (F)

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Dan Quinn is finally out in Atlanta and became the second head coach to get canned in 2020. Players consistently expressed their desire to play for Quinn but when you aren’t closing games to protect him they had no choice but to make a change. In a week 2 loss to the Cowboys the Falcons became the 1st team in NFL history to score 39 points with 0 turnovers and lose. They had a 26-7 lead and lost 39-40. Week 3 they had a 26-10 lead over the Bears and then Nick Foles came in to lead a 30-26 point comeback. The Falcons have promoted Raheem Morris to interim Head Coach to see if he can turn this thing around.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: 2-3 (C-)

FRISCO, TEXAS – (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Mike McCarthy is the next man up for “America’s Team” after a long-overdue tenure by Jason Garrett. So far it’s a very disappointing season for the Cowboys but as I mentioned earlier, this is the worst division in the league and it’s not close. Dak was putting up ridiculous numbers before a very ugly injury ended his season and now we have the Andy Dalton, the NFL’s favorite Ginger. Joking aside, Dalton was a perfect offseason pickup for the Cowboys because you have a veteran QB that has made the playoffs and been a starter in this league for a long time. He’ll do well with this young receiving corps and Zeke Elliot.

Philadelphia Eagles: 1-3-1 (D)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – (Photo by Yong Kim-Pool/Getty Images)

It is highly likely the Eagles bench their franchise Quarterback Carson Wentz but if things don’t turn around soon the Philly Fanbase will run him out of town if owner Jeff Lurie won’t. Jalen Hurts is waiting in the wings and we know he’ll push Wentz. Hurts has been in this situation before in college with Tua at Alabama and turned out just fine. He’s a very smart QB, a leader, and one of the hardest workers you’ll see in the game.

Washington Football Team: 1-4 (C)

August 18, 2020 Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Every one in the NFL can’t help but respect Ron Rivera and what he’s doing right now. He’s battling cancer and he is giving the team everything he’s got. With a new and improved defensive front led by Chase Young from O-H-I-O gives them a presence on defense. They’re 5th in the NFL in sacks so now they just need to build their secondary and this will be a formidable defense and we know Rivera loves his defense.

New York Giants: 0-5 (D+)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Poor Danny Dimes. Losing Saquon Barkley hurts the Giants big time because he gives Daniel Jones a safety net to dump the ball off to when things get dicey. Plus it lets him open the pass game up with Golden Tate. Yeah, Golden Tate is their best Wide Receiver. Poor Danny Dimes.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers: 4-0 (A)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN-.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have taken their games to another level and have more weapons than they had when they both won Super Bowls. Chris Carson doesn’t have the name recognition that Marshawn Lynch had when he was in Beast Mode. The Packers big difference from their SB team is that it’s not all on Rodgers right arm. They’ve got a running game and a very good running game. The packers are coming off a by but in just 4 weeks he’s number 6 in rushing yards and has 4 TDs. They’re averaging over 5 yards per carry, which is top 5 in the NFL. They’ve dismantled every team they’ve faced so far even though those 4 teams have a combined record of 5 wins and 14 losses (Lions, Vikings, Saints, and Falcons).

Chicago Bears: 4-1 (A-)

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 08: (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Did you know that the Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky with the 2nd pick of the 2017 draft? They drafted Trubisky OVER Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. That’s all you need to know because Nick Foles has come in an taken the starting job once again. We know what he did in Philly can he do this in another major sports town in Chicago? He came in against the Falcons down big and led a comeback and is now “the guy” in Chicago. Nick Foles and the Bears pose the only threat to Rodgers and the Packers high flying offense. You may think an A- is too high but for the coach to admit they drafted the wrong guy and to name Nick the starter took guts. And Foles backed it up.

Detroit Lions: 1-3 (D)

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 13: (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Matt Patricia’s job is on life support right now after 3 miserable seasons in Detroit. Patricia was a former Bill Belichick pupil and we can add him to the list with Bill O’Brien and Josh McDaniels as former Belichick coaches to be unsuccessful head coaches. They always think they are ready once they leave Belichick but they can’t swim on their own once they leave! They start this season with a 1-3 record and his 4th year looks very similar to the 1st 3 with the Lions. Patricia was a good X’s and O’s coach but he lacks the ability to connect with his players like Andy Reid. Mike Vrabel is the only former Belichick head coach to really succeed on his own because he has a swag about him that players can relate too. Patricia doesn’t have that.

Minnesota Vikings: 1-4 (D)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)

The Vikings are having a very disappointing season after starting 1-4 with the leagues number 1 Running Back, Delvin Cook. Kirk Cousins is one of the more overrated QBs in NFL history and he cashed in big with Minnesota. He has 7 rushing TDs in the first 5 weeks and they drafted WR Justin Jefferson who has exploded the past 2 out of the last 3 weeks. The rookie receiver from LSU looks poised to fill the void left when Stefon Diggs was traded to the Bills.

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