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Atlanta Falcons: A+
It's hard to argue against perfection. The Atlanta Falcons are 4-0 and look like a team of destiny. Matt Ryan is playing his best football under new coordinator Dirk Koetter, and Mike Nolan's defense is playing very well despite losing its best player in Brent Grimes. Perfect record, perfect grade.
Carolina Panthers: D+
You can't blame the Panthers' 1-3 start all on Cam Newton, but many will try. The truth is, the entire team hasn't played well. The run game has been nonexistent at times, the defense is struggling to tackle, and the rest of the league is keying on Newton. The Panthers are well below expectations, but the blame has to be shared.
New Orleans Saints: F-
If you had the Saints starting 0-4, I'd like to buy you a trip to Las Vegas. No one saw this coming, even with the warning signs in place. No Sean Payton, no Joe Vitt, a holdout by Drew Brees. This shouldn't be a surprise, but it is because of the talent on the roster. The Saints' 0-4 start has to go down as the most disappointing storyline from the first quarter of games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C-
What did we expect here? The Buccaneers are a very young team, especially on defense, and that generally leads to frustrating losses and inspiring wins. The team is still making too many mistakes on offense, especially Josh Freeman, but they aren't far from where we all expected them to be.