NFL Report Cards: Week 4-6


[Ed. Note—For the things that are out of date here, we’d like to apologize. Mr. Morales-Bermúdez, co-publisher of the Shield, was out of town a couple weeks ago. Pretend this is from October 

NFC North 

  • Packers: The Packers held on to win in week four before losing in weeks five and six. The run game is not being used enough, and the lack of proven wideouts is evident. Matt LaFleur could be on the hot seat by the end of the year, as could Aaron Rodgers. D+
  • Vikings: The Vikings currently sit atop the NFC North at 5-1, and the new era under Kevin O’Connell is off to a great start. Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson look as good as ever, and Dalvin Cook remains a top five running back. The Vikings look poised to steal the division title, and could even make a deep playoff run. A-
  • Bears: The Bears are pretty much the same. The team looks better without Matt Nagy, but you can only glitter up a porta-potty so much. Losses to the Giants, Vikings and Commanders show that this team is still years away from potentially becoming contenders. C+
  • Lions: The Lions are easy to root for, yet continue to disappoint their fans. A heartbreaking loss in week four and a shutout in week five (with a bye week in week six) show that the Lions were not as good as most of us thought and hoped, but, as the fans are used to saying, there’s always next year. C+

NFC East

  • Giants: The Giants are good?!?!?! Sitting at 5-1 is a surprise, but a welcome one. (Just ask Mr. Clar.) Brian Daboll looks to be a solid Coach of the Year contender, and an up-and-coming supporting cast around Daniel Jones could give the Giants their first shot at relevance since Super Bowl XLVI. A+
  • Eagles: The Eagles remain the only undefeated team in the league after six weeks. The team has elite players like Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown and Fletcher Cox, and the team looks poised to become a contender for years to come. A+
  • Commanders: The Commanders may have drama on their hands. Ron Rivera throwing Carson Wentz under the bus for the team’s struggles, especially with his job on the line, is not a great look. Nor is their weakened defense, or their terrible offensive line. The Commanders need to consider trading for a star QB before the trade deadline, as well as maybe firing Ron Rivera, if they want their season to stay afloat. D+
  • Cowboys: Cooper Rush, despite his 5-1 record as a starter, is only a stopgap until Dak Prescott returns from his injury. The Cowboys could theoretically make the playoffs, but a wild card loss is probably the ceiling for this team. B+

NFC South

  • Panthers: The Panthers have fired Matt Rhule, but the age-old QB issues remain prevalent. Honestly, it hurts to see Baker struggling after the struggles in Cleveland, but he, among other players like Christian McCaffrey [Ed. Note—lol], could be on the move now that Rhule is gone and the Panthers start to rebuild. C
  • Falcons: The Falcons are honestly not as terrible as most expected. A 3-3 start is actually decent considering the mediocre roster. However, Falcons fans should not get their hopes up. Their team is still terrible, and another losing season while missing the playoffs is in store. C
  • Saints: The end of the Brees-Payton era welcomes a set of struggles in the Big Easy. Jameis Winston is injured, leaving the starting role to a washed up Andy Dalton. A slew of injuries does not help, and the Saints look set to take the crown for the worst team in the division. D+
  • Buccaneers: The Buccaneers have remained decent, albeit not great. Sitting at 3-3 after winning the Lombardi Trophy two years ago should be concerning. Tom Brady’s family issues, as well as his age and tablet-breaking habits could seem to be holding the team back. C+

NFC West

  • Cardinals: The Cardinals are terrible. Kyler Murray shows little sign of improvement, and the defense remains mediocre. The return of DeAndre Hopkins will be appreciated, but it probably will not help the Cardinals turn the season around. D+
  • Rams: NFL fans seemed to underestimate the impact that OBJ and Von Miller had on the Rams last year. The team has struggled mightily since those two left in free agency, and while the division crown is still likely, a repeat is out of the question. C-
  • 49ers: The 49’ers should be lighting off alarm bells. Jimmy G remains limited in big games, and even in little ones (like losing to the Falcons in week six). Trey Lance is missed greatly, and Kyle Shanahan could end up on the hot seat if things continue like this. C-
  • Seahawks: The Seahawks continue to surprise people. Geno Smith is having the best year of his career, and the duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett remains elite. The bright future expected in Seattle could end up happening this year. A

AFC North

  • Bengals: The Bengals should be concerned. While the team is overall decent, the same problems that stopped this team from winning the Super Bowl seem to be worse, which will probably stop the team not only from making it back to the big game, but maybe from even reaching the playoffs. D+
  • Browns: The Browns are surprisingly not terrible. Jacoby Brissett has managed to keep the team above water, and the Browns look poised to become scary when Deshaun Watson returns in a few weeks. C-
  • Steelers: Kenny Pickett has officially taken the reins in the Steel City, but the team has some improvement to do. The Steelers are limited for now, but the future past this season is bright. B
  • Ravens: The Ravens are one of the best teams in the league, despite their 3-3 record. The electrifying duo of Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews is just as good as last year, and the elite offensive line and defense remain title-worthy. The Ravens are well within reach of the division title, and maybe even a Super Bowl championship. A-

AFC East

  • Bills: If anyone could challenge the Ravens for the best team in the league, the Bills are that team. Josh Allen is the best QB in the league, and the rest of the team is elite. The Bills are the Super Bowl favorites, and don’t be surprised if that ends up being true. A+
  • Patriots: The Patriots are more or less irrelevant. The roster is average at best, and the play calling by Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia is borderline horrid. The Patriots are also without Mac Jones, so their season is pretty much over, minus a few potential upsets later in the year. C
  • Jets: The Jets sit at 4-2. They also beat the Packers in Green Bay in week six. The Jets are good. The problem with this is that the world simply cannot comprehend it. The Jets are a weapon of mass destruction more dangerous than every nuclear weapon in the world. Fear them. B+
  • Dolphins: The Dolphins’ year is unfortunately over. Tua was keeping the team relevant, and now that Teddy Bridgewater is hurt, the team has crawled back into is hole of irrelevance. Even though he returns in week seven, his injuries could hold him back even more than his absence. C-

AFC South

  • Colts: The Colts are full of ups and downs. One week they play amazing football, then become horrible the next. There really is no sign of what will happen for them moving forward, although the future does not seem as bright as some had hoped. C+
  • Titans: The Titans are easily one of the most irrelevant teams in the league. Derrick Henry is a shell of his former self, and the Malik Willis era has surprisingly not started yet. AJ Brown is missed, and the Titans look like a guarantee to NOT win the super bowl. D
  • Jaguars:  The Jaguars go where Trevor Lawrence goes. So far he’s been mediocre to terrible, as has been the team. Lawrence fans are going to potentially have some uncomfortable conversations if he continues to struggle. C+
  • Texans: The Texans are terrible. While this is not surprising, what is surprising is the rise of Dameon Pierce. While the year is over, the future is bright in Houston. C+

AFC West

  • Chiefs: The Chiefs, despite losing Tyreek Hill in the offseason, remain feisty. Patrick Mahomes is still electric, and the new receiving corps is faring quite well. The Chiefs are still a playoff contender, and will remain so until the end of the regular season. B+
  • Broncos: Broncos Country continues to ride straight off of cliffs, and the 2-4 record is terrible considering the talent on this squad. Nathaniel Hackett needs to figure out better play calls, and letting Russell Wilson cook will lead to greater success, which can all but help in the loaded AFC West. B-
  • Raiders: The Raiders improved this offseason, the main move of which was trading for Davante Adams. However, the Raiders started 1-4. The year is not over, but recovering will be difficult. C-
  • Chargers: The Chargers are full of questions and completely without answers. They look like a bonafide contender some weeks, and look terrible in others. Justin Herbert remains a star, and the talent on both sides of the ball is evident. However, this has been the case in previous years, and those years have led to the team losing in the postseason or missing the playoffs entirely. B+