By: Tyrone Montgomery Jr.
For the first time in NFL History, we get an extra week of football. The NFL has agreed to extend to week 18 and the payoff has been a good turnout. More money has been made and earned, records have been broken, and fans at home get to see their team play one last time before their season ends if they didn’t make the playoffs. Here is a grade for every team in how they played this season and what they need in order to get a higher grade next season.
Arizona Cardinals – A
This season went exactly how they wanted it to go. They just need to stay healthy.
Atlanta Falcons – C+
The Falcons exceeded expectations even while sticking with Matt Ryan. They will continue to grow along with Pro Bowler TE Kyle Pitts, but they must grab a QB in this upcoming NFL Draft.
Baltimore Ravens – A-
Considering the circumstances, this team had a heck of a season. The injuries just became too much to bear towards the end of the season. Get Lamar Jackson another weapon on the outside, preferably a slot reciever.
Buffalo Bills – B-
The Bills took a step back this season. High expectations have been testing them. They may need a new OC because this team went away from the run and that has hurt them more then they know.
Carolina Panthers – C-
This team gets in its own way seems like. They have to address that offense. It is extremely conservative and they dont know who their QB is going to be in the longterm. The elephant in the room is Christian McCaffrey. His days are numbered as they should be.
Chicago Bears – F
Horrible play calling, horrible coaching, poor protection for whoever is playing QB, poor QB play, poor weapons. The list goes on. This team needs a lot of work. Step 1 has been done. Matt Nagy has been fired. Hopefully everything else will be addressed as well.
Cincinnati Bengals – A+
They had one of the best seasons than any team in the league. Their story is still being told. Continue to protect your MVP, QB Joe Burrow and grow defensively. That should be the focus every offseason.
Cleveland Browns – C
This team has gotten comfirmation that Baker Mayfield isn’t the guy. To do list: Get Aaron Rodgers
Dallas Cowboys – B+
The Cowboys got off to a fantastic start. But when Dak came back from injury, things became a bit rocky. This team has to continue to gel offensively. Chemistry has to continue to grow. The real question in Dallas is what to do at RB?
Denver Broncos – C+
When you think of turmoil, the Broncos come to mind. They added a good quality depth all around the QB. The question is who will succeed at the QB position. Look for this team to add more defensively and grab their QB of the future in this draft.
Detroit Lions – F
The Lions and their fans know this was a year of tanking. Not sure what direction they’re going in or what they’re trying to do. They have to address needs on both sides of the ball.
Green Bay Packers – A
Keep Aaron Rodgers by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Give him whatever he wants too!
Houston Texans – F
This team has a looming issue hanging over their head and they haven’t even attempted to address it either. What to do with Deshaun Watson? Coaching has been bad there as well as management. This team will need a couple years to figure everything out.
Indianapolis Colts – C+
So close, but not close enough. The Colts haven’t figured everything out ever since Andrew Luck has retired. They need more weapons for one thing. Jonathan Taylor will run his career away and get burned out in this system. But they have to ask themselves is Carson Wentz “The Guy?”
Jacksonville Jaguars – F
Anytime you have to fire your coach midseason screams red flag as this is quite the challenge. They drafted their QB last season but they have to figure things out defensively. With the number 1 pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars will definitely get a defensive playmaker.
Kansas City Chiefs – A
This was a fun year for the Chiefs because they experienced a challenge. Many were concerned about them but they weathered the storm and got back on track. This team prides itself on their offense. Defense is always a need in Kansas City but another weapon for Patrick Mahomes won’t hurt either.
Vegas Raiders – B+
The Raiders got off to a hot start. However, they had some drama come midseason with their HC and had to let him go. They ran into a brick wall but were still able to compete and end up in the playoffs. And for that, they get a B+. This team is good now, but still has a long ways to go. Carr seems like the guy they trust in Vegas. Give him more weapons. And get a really good pass rusher too.
LA Chargers – B+
The Chargers had some remarkable wins early in the season. They also had a lot of games where they competed and played hard but loss in a very close and tight game. The offense is fine. It is one of the most explosive ones in the league actually. They need to add a really good Safety or DB to take this team to the next level.
LA Rams – B
They say its not how you start but how you finish. The Rams starting off looking like the team to beat. And that was the problem. They put a target on their back and its safe to say they peaked a bit too early. Covid and injuries hurt them ALOT. Losing Robert Woods was a real bummer for this team. They will need to improve defensively this offseason.
Miami Dolphins – B+
Getting a weapon in Jalen Waddle has paid off for the young Tua. Tua showed a lot of improvement this season. He will make even more improvements once he gets a legit running game. This team needs a RB bad!
Minnesota Vikings – C
The time has come for a new QB. Kirk Cousins is decent, but he isn’t the guy you want to depend on to lead you to the playoffs.
New England Patriots – A+
We believe in Mac Jones. He should win Rookie of the Year. They have a Tom Brady vibe with this Patriots team. Defense along with a good running game and passing when needed. If they add more to their tough defense, this team will continue to improve.
New Orleans Saints – D+
After losing Drew Brees to retirement, they turned to Jameis Winston. They then turned to
New York Giants – D+
Injuries played a big part in how the season played out for the New York Giants. Give this team a full season of Health, then they will be something to talk about!
New York Jets – C-
Zach Wilson was okay this season as a rookie. He had some good, he had some bad, but he had some ugly too. They did him justice by adding Elijah Moore and Michael Carter. A really good TE will help this team out a lot, especially Zach Wilson.
Philadelphia Eagles – B
No one expected this team to make the playoffs. But yet, here they are in the playoffs. Jalen Hurts proved he can be a starting QB in the NFL without having many weapons at his disposal. This team needs a really good, talented, but physical WR to compliment Devanta Smith.
Pittsburgh Steelers – B-
The Steelers made the playoffs! What a great way to end Big Ben’s career in Pittsburgh. They got their RB of the future in Najee Harris in last year’s draft. This year, they will need to get their QB of the future.
San Francisco 49ers – A-
Despite drafting QB Trey Lance so early, this team decided not to turn to him and they still managed to make the playoffs. Whoever the QB will be in the foreseeable future, they need to protect him. They need to add more beef up front on that O-Line this offseason. Everything else is take care of in San Fran.
Seattle Seahawks – D-
The Seahawks that we have been accustomed to seeing over the years are officially over. All good stories have their end and this is theirs. First things first, get as much as you can for Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf. Lastly, replace Pete Carroll.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – A
The defending champions look to be in bad shape due to injuries. They may be a bit sluggish or tired from everything. They’re aging fast too. It’s time for the Bucs to just add depth within the draft, maybe even at QB.
Tennessee Titans – A+
After losing RB Derrick Henry for most of the year, we all thought this was the beginning of the end for the Titans. They need to focus on adding more weapons next to AJ Brown. The offense really struggled without him this season.
Washington Football Team – C
Just a year removed from winning the NFC East, Washington has a ton of holes to fill. Defensively, they took a step back. There are decisions to be made at QB. That can actually wait. Taylor Heinicke is solid. This team needs more weapons.