NFL Report Cards: Team-by-Team Grades for Week 5

Mike Tanier@@miketanierNFL National Lead WriterOctober 13, 2015

NFL Report Cards: Team-by-Team Grades for Week 5

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    Tim Sharp/Associated Press

    The photo above just begs for captioning. Just what are Tom Brady and Julian Edelman pointing at and laughing about? 

    "Look at the replay of all the Cowboys defenders missing you on that last touchdown, Julian!"

    "Check out the scoreboard: Peyton just threw another interception!"

    "Ha-ha, we told Gronk we were setting him up with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, but we didn't tell him they were the ones from the 1979 movie! Oh snap...he doesn't care."

    "Lol, the Bengals just...wait a minute."

    Maybe Brady and Edelman just saw the Patriots' grades for this week's report card. Or they are laughing at some of the shocking surprises. Great grades for the Buccaneers offense? The Bears defense? The Eagles coaches? Is this some kind of gag?

    Nope: It's Week 5, when the unpredictable just kept on happening.

    Reminder: These are the weekly report cards, not the power rankings. Every week is a clean slate. The season-long report card is in the final slide.

New England Patriots: A

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Patriots 30, Cowboys 6

    Offense: The pass protection was a little shaky early. The Patriots then realized Greg Hardy was the only guy they needed to block—hey, Bill Belichick tells them to tune the media out!—and Tom Brady had time to set up his signature pick-and-wheel passes, seamers to Rob Gronkowski and quick sideline routes to the running backs. 

    Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount are a credible thunder-and-lightning backfield that would be collecting paychecks and sleepwalking through practices for 75 percent of the franchises in the NFL. A-minus

    Defense: Picked up what little slack there was and kept the Cowboys from doing anything funny, like trying to complete a pass downfield. A

    Special Teams/Coaching: Stephen Gostkowski provided a 57-yard field goal when the Patriots still needed points and six touchbacks against an opponent that wasn't about to drive 80 yards under any circumstances. As usual, the Patriots executed a handful of concepts perfectly (once they blocked Hardy) instead of trying to execute dozens of concepts haphazardly. A

    Looking Ahead: Bring on the next discombobulated foe! The Colts? Splendid!

Cincinnati Bengals: A

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    Gary Landers/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Bengals 27, Seahawks 24

    Offense: Andy Dalton may have had the most impressive game of his career. Only 12 quarterbacks have produced efficiency ratings higher than 90.0 against the Seahawks defense since 2012. Dalton has only thrown for more than the 331 yards he produced against the Seahawks eight times; three of those high-yardage games were three-interception stinkers. (Research via Pro Football Reference.)

    Tyler Eifert (two touchdowns), A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones all produced big plays against a defense that often goes weeks without allowing any big plays. A

    Defense: Sloppy at times but tight when it mattered. The Seahawks generated some rare big plays from their conventional offense to complement Russell Wilson's usual Tecmo Super Bowl scrambles. By the fourth quarter, however, the Bengals defensive line cracked the code for corralling Wilson. B-minus

    Special Teams/Coaching: Fabulous, from the execution by the field-goal unit to Kevin Huber's punt-and-pins at the 2-yard line to an offensive game plan that mixed kitchen-sink weirdness (a read-option with only three linemen in front of Dalton) to old-fashioned "pick on Cary Williams" tactics. A-plus

    Looking Ahead: A short shuffle up to Buffalo to face the unpredictable Bills.

Arizona Cardinals: A

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Cardinals 42, Lions 17

    Offense: Sluggish early and not as dominant as the final score suggests: The Cardinals were 1-of-8 on third-down conversions and enjoyed touchdown drives of four and 22 yards. Still, Carson Palmer is displaying deadly accuracy on deep passes, Chris Johnson is running harder than he has in five years, and Bruce Arians keeps varying formations and personnel packages to prevent opponents from guessing when the delay handoff or tunnel screen is coming. A-minus

    Defense: Rashad Johnson (two interceptions, one fumble recovery) was this week's star, but the whole Cardinals defense contributed turnovers, pressure, downfield coverage or quick tackles after the many Lions dump-offs. Much of what we perceive of the Cardinals offense is really their defense. A-plus

    Special Teams/Coaching: The Cardinals have a kickoff-coverage problem; the Lions ripped off a few long returns and had a 62-yarder negated by a penalty. For now, that's a nitpick: Arians and his staff called another gem. A-minus

    Looking Ahead: Arians returns to the old stomping grounds to face the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger will be there to greet him, but that is probably all he will be there to do.

Philadelphia Eagles: B+

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Eagles 39, Saints 17

    Offense: The Eagles marched up and down the field all afternoon, but a pair of red-zone interceptions made it look like the team was once again in self-destruct mode. Sam Bradford (333 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions) settled down with the help of 183 yards from DeMarco Murray and the running game, fine line play and a rollout pass play that surprised the Saints every single time the Eagles ran it. B-plus

    Defense: Very sloppy early, when the Eagles couldn't figure out who was supposed to cover Benjamin Watson near the goal line. Fletcher Cox (three sacks and two forced fumbles) then took over the interior of the line, the secondary made adjustments and the Saints began coughing up turnovers. A-minus

    Special Teams/Coaching: Caleb Sturgis rebounded from an ugly debut with four field goals and only one missed extra point. (This is the new kicker reality, folks.) Special teams ace Chris Maragos made a pair of tackles, one of them a tone-setter on a Saints punt return when the Eagles were flailing. Chip Kelly and his staff made the kind of adjustments after a disastrous first quarter that keep a team from slipping into golf-bag mode. B-plus

    Looking Ahead: The Giants drive down the turnpike for a Monday nighter. Is the NFC East really at stake? You bet it is!

Green Bay Packers: B+

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Packers 24, Rams 10

    Offense: The Packers could not run the ball against the Rams defense: Eddie Lacy and James Starks combined for just 44 yards. Interior pressure and a lack of weapons resulted in Aaron Rodgers committing this month's turnover quota of turnovers. But Rodgers' lasers not only reached James Jones and Ty Montgomery in tight spots but also actually propelled them in the direction of the end zone, and two big plays were all the Packers really needed. C-plus

    Defense: Four interceptions, three sacks, 12 hits on Nick Foles. The two Rams big plays (Todd Gurley's 55-yard run and Stedman Bailey's 68-yard catch) came in the fourth quarter while the Packers held a two-score lead. A-minus

    Special Teams/Coaching: The defensive game plan was great. The offense may have looked a little conservative, but emphasizing Rodgers' protection against the Rams defense was a prudent choice. B-plus

    Looking Ahead: A rare visit from the Chargers.

Cleveland Browns: B+

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    Gail Burton/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Browns 33, Ravens 30

    Offense: If you never thought a team could generate 457 passing yards out of screens, including throws to 30-year-old journeyman tight ends, Josh McCown has some game film that will make a believer out of you. The late-game explosion of catch-and-run plays and Gary Barnidge miracles obscured the fact the Browns offense accomplished very little despite good field position in the first half. B

    Defense: Porous early and late, stout in the middle. It's hard to sensibly grade much of this game because it felt like about three games. B

    Special Teams/Coaching: The smoke-and-mirrors offensive game plan paid ever-increasing dividends. The Browns played their third straight long, confusing, headache-generating game with multiple momentum reversals and baffling plays. The coaches did a fine job eliminating some of the errors that doomed them in the last two. B-plus

    Looking Ahead: Josh McCown-Peyton Manning shootout! And there is honestly no way to predict how it will turn out.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+

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    Cliff McBride/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Buccaneers 38, Jaguars 31

    Offense: Doug Martin threw his hat into the Comeback Player of the Year ring with 158 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. Jameis Winston made some smart reads and smooth throws on the run; he also got away with an ugly fumble when the referees ruled that his knee was down before he flung the ball backward. The Buccaneers controlled the line of scrimmage against an opponent that played defense like it had just been recruited from a playground pickup game. A

    Defense: Soft for much of the game, though not nearly as soft as the throw-pillow Jaguars. Six sacks, an interception and a strip-six touchdown of an undrafted rookie running back offset lots of easy completions for Blake Bortles. C-plus

    Special Teams/Coaching: Connor Barth rewarded the Buccaneers for following his Twitter account with three field goals. Bobby Rainey's long punt return set up a short touchdown. This was a middle school flag football game, but it counts in the standings and can only help Winston's development. A

    Looking Ahead: The Bucs will keep busy during their bye week. Idle hands are Jameis Winston's lunch truck (sorry).

New York Giants: B

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Giants 30, 49ers 27

    Offense: Odell Beckham Jr. (7-121-1) provided the big plays, while Shane Vereen, Dwayne Harris, Larry Donnell, Rashad Jennings and others took their turns finding the many soft spots in the 49ers defense. The Giants went uptempo early and often. Eli Manning was never sacked. This is how the Giants offense is supposed to look. B-plus

    Defense: The Giants defense isn't exactly overflowing with talent, and there were times when the 49ers appeared to have a size-speed advantage. But Damontre Moore (two sacks), Kerry Wynn, Uani' Unga and others made enough plays behind the line of scrimmage to force the 49ers into the 3rd-and-long situations that might as well be automatic punts for them. C-minus

    Special Teams/Coaching: Ben McAdoo's game plans look better every week. Manning nearly coughed the game up with a late miscommunication interception, but the 49ers defender dropped the ball, and Manning rebounded with some smart plays. The Giants are doing a good job burying the narrative from their first two losses. B-plus

    Looking Ahead: The Monday night matchup in Philly suddenly looks like an old fashioned can't-miss NFC East game.

Atlanta Falcons: B

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Falcons 25, Redskins 19

    Offense: Matt Ryan played his worst game of the year: two interceptions, a red-zone fumble and several passes that either missed wide-open receivers or looked like he was trying to throw a five-pound sack of potatoes down the field. Devonta Freeman (27-153-1) and the line were excellent as usual. It's funny how quickly the words "as usual" attach themselves to strange statements like: Devonta Freeman and the Falcons' offensive line were excellent. B-minus

    Defense: Held the Redskins to seven points through three quarters and kept the running game in check all afternoon. The Falcons aren't the surest open-field tacklers in the NFL, and their pass rush reminds no one of Buddy Ryan's Eagles, but they prevented the Redskins from making big plays and then made one of their own in overtime. B

    Special Teams/Coaching: Matt Bryant was uncharacteristically erratic. The Falcons made some daring fourth-down gambles, which paid off: With Bryant off target and the Redskins secondary understaffed, a 4th-and-6 conversion attempt starts to look like a good idea.

    The offensive game plan was well-designed for Julio Jones' slight injury, with lots of play-action passes to Jacob Tamme and others. If Ryan and Bryant were in character, this game would have never reached overtime. B

    Looking Ahead: A showdown in the Big Easy. The Saints might even show up.

Chicago Bears: B

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Bears 18, Chiefs 17

    Offense: The Bears had no healthy wide receivers and pressed rookie center Hroniss Grasu into service. The early results were predictable: The middle of the line collapsed on a strip-sack touchdown, and Jay Cutler barely looked downfield on 3rd-and-long.

    Given new late-game life, however, Cutler spread the ball around to guys who should be playing the third quarters of preseason games. As usual, Matt Forte (109 scrimmage yards, one touchdown) kept everything looking professional, looking less like trade bait than the best hope for stabilizing a rebuilding program. C-plus

    Defense: Solid early and dominant once Jamaal Charles' injury turned Kansas City into a windswept wasteland of utter despair. A-minus

    Special Teams/Coaching: A blocked field goal after the Charles injury changed the tone of the game. Make no mistake: The Bears looked ready to hit the showers up until the moment Charles got hurt. The fact they turned things around shows they are more motivated now than they were last year or even at the start of last month. A-minus

    Looking Ahead: The Lions are having the season we all anticipated for the Bears.

Pittsburgh Steelers: B

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Steelers 24, Chargers 20

    Offense: Watching the Steelers run the Wildcat in the first half was like watching the grandparents dance the Electric Slide at a wedding. Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams sometimes bonked each other in the face during the handoff exchange, just like grandparents dancing the Electric Slide at a wedding!

    When not Wildcatting, Todd Haley squeezed three tight ends along the line of scrimmage and ordered Michael Vick to give the ball to Bell whenever possible. It was an impressive three-quarter long con to set up Markus Wheaton's 72-yard touchdown bomb. A final Wildcat touchdown proved that Haley is the NFL's reigning lunatic genius, so long as 17 offensive points are enough for a win. B

    Defense: Took away the deep pass, applied consistent pressure and generated a pick-six and then wore down in the fourth quarter on a humid night. B

    Special Teams/Coaching: Special teams penalties negated several long Antonio Brown punt returns. Going for a touchdown in the waning seconds was a bold call—Bell could have accidentally chewed up the clock while fighting for those final inches—but it was the right one after an exhausting game, when the Steelers defense probably didn't have any stops left. Those of us who work late into the night on draft grades also appreciate the reprieve from overtime. B-minus

    Looking Ahead: A trip home to face old buddy Bruce Arians and the Cardinals.

Denver Broncos: B

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Broncos 16, Raiders 10

    Offense: The season-opening Ravens game all over again: interceptions, a stagnant running game, short drives for long field goals and questions about when Peyton Manning will cross the helping-harming tipping point. D

    Defense: The season-opening Ravens game all over again: interception-return touchdowns, sacks and a reminder that the Broncos reached the playoffs with comical quarterbacking before Manning arrived. A

    Special Teams/Coaching: Manning owes Brandon McManus a lifetime supply of chain-store pizza, chicken parm sandwiches and affordable homeowner's insurance. The Broncos also blocked their second field goal of the season; the same players who make their defense special are applying pressure up the middle and off the edge. B-plus

    Looking Ahead: Trips to Cleveland used to be gimmies for Peyton Manning. Nothing is a gimmie anymore.

Buffalo Bills: C+

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    Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Bills 14, Titans 13

    Offense: Generic off-brand Seahawks. Tyrod Taylor completed one bomb and did the rest of his damage by scrambling. Taylor ran himself into almost as much danger as he ran away from, Daniel Herron offered little as a running back of last resort, and Percy Harvin (no catches on four targets; a loss of one on a messy reverse) has no clear role and little chemistry with his quarterback. D-plus

    Defense: Bent but didn't break all afternoon. This wasn't a typical big-play Rex Ryan effort, but on an afternoon when the offense was shorthanded and the opponent hoped to win with screens and short passes, it made sense to play things safe. B-plus

    Special Teams/Coaching: An incredibly dumb offsides penalty on the opening kickoff negated a big play. A ticky-tack roughness call on the Titans' final drive almost led to catastrophe. In between, the Bills did not kill themselves with penalties. Denarius Moore fumbled away a long punt return, but that sort of thing happens when you are down to your fourth or fifth choice of return men. C-plus

    Looking Ahead: The Bills need to beat a bona fide Super Bowl contender to be taken seriously. The Bengals will do.

Indianapolis Colts: C+

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Colts 27, Texans 20

    Offense: Less was more Thursday night. Matt Hasselbeck executed lots of short sprint-out passes. Frank Gore ran behind pulling offensive linemen. Andre Johnson did heady "old guy" things on short routes and in the back of the end zone. It wasn't the kind of thing you want to try for 16 weeks, but the scaled-back, horizontal offense was a wise survival strategy. B

    Defense: You probably saw the highlights of Colts defensive backs alternately covering nobody or each other. You probably did not see any highlights of Texans quarterbacks getting sacked, chased or harried in any way. The Colts have no pass rush at all, but the awful secondary play absorbs the criticism for them. D

    Special Teams/Coaching: Adam Vinatieri is a treasure in these troubled place-kicking times. Pep Hamilton's offensive game plan was great: Sprint-out passes shortened throws, simplified reads and kept J.J. Watt as far as possible from 40-year-old quarterbacks. Chuck Pagano and Greg Manusky kept looking at each other on the sideline and saying, "I thought you installed a blitz package this week." C-plus

    Looking Ahead: The Patriots are coming. Try to look like you know what you are doing, guys.

Seattle Seahawks: C

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    Gary Landers/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Bengals 27, Seahawks 24

    Offense: Thomas Rawls scored a 69-yard touchdown from an I formation off-tackle run. Russell Wilson stood in a secure pocket and lofted a touchdown to Jermaine Kearse. Who says the Seahawks don't have a real offense? Anyone who watched the whole game and saw Wilson scramble so many figure-eights that he started tripping over his own feet. B-minus

    Defense: Cary Williams gave up several easy catches. There were uncharacteristic lapses in the secondary, like Kam Chancellor allowing Tyler Eifert to drift behind him for a touchdown. The pass rush produced four sacks, while Michael Bennett and Bobby Wagner collaborated on a strip-six touchdown on a Rex Burkhead reverse, but the Seahawks defense looked more like the above-average unit of Weeks 1 and 2 than the historic unit of Weeks 3-4 and 2013-2014. C-plus

    Special Teams/Coaching: The Seahawks need to take a long look at how they finish close games: They are a Calvin Johnson fumble or an accurate back-of-the-end zone call from 1-4 right now. They should also revisit the "Sherman on the left, Other Guy on the right" wisdom. That was fine when Brandon Browner or Byron Maxwell was the other guy. Opponents are going to line up their go-to receivers against Williams all the time if the Seahawks draw an easy map for them. C

    Looking Ahead: The Panthers are the team the Seahawks hoped to be this year.

Washington Redskins: C

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Falcons 25, Redskins 19

    Offense: Pointing out that Kirk Cousins throws two interceptions every other week like clockwork is a little mean-spirited. One of this week's interceptions was a tipped ball, and the receiver slipped on his overtime pick-six.

    Cousins still scattered too many passes high or behind his targets, with much of his production coming on screens to Jamison Crowder (8-87-0) that the Redskins couldn't keep concealing for four-plus quarters. The Redskins' running game accomplished little; the late drives were mostly built from great field position and pass-interference penalties. D-plus

    Defense: The pass defense was solid considering who was healthy for the Redskins and who they were facing. Ryan Kerrigan (two sacks) helped provide steady pressure; Bashaud Breeland (one interception, four passes defensed) was in the crosshairs against Julio Jones all afternoon but handled it very well. But the Falcons rushed for 176 yards and 5.5 yards per carry and were confident running draw plays near the end zone late in the game. C

    Special Teams/Coaching: There's not much to lay at the feet of the coaches: The Redskins were undermanned but forced overtime against a surging opponent. If they are convinced Cousins is their best quarterback, there are going to be weeks like this. The only missed Dustin Hopkins field goal was a 53-yarder. B-plus

    Looking Ahead: Cousins versus the Jets secondary. Look for that every-other-week multi-interception pattern to hiccup.

Tennessee Titans: C

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Bills 14, Titans 13

    Offense: The Titans balanced runs, screens, short passes and the occasional read-option to great effect for much of the game. But with no big-play capability, their drives kept ending short of the goal line. When they needed their short game late in fourth quarter, the Bills had it all figured out. C-minus

    Defense: The defense held the Bills without a first down until midway through the second quarter and took everything away but the Tyrod Taylor scramble game. That should usually result in a win, but Taylor is really, really fast. B

    Special Teams/Coaching: The Titans dominated the first half on the stat sheet but only led 3-0. The Titans have lost two straight "moral victory"-type losses, but you only get one moral victory per season. Ken Whisenhunt needs to open up Marcus Mariota's deep game if he hopes to turn these close calls into wins. C

    Looking Ahead: The Dolphins may be the first team in history that will play to get an interim coach fired.

San Diego Chargers: C

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    Denis Poroy/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Steelers 24, Chargers 20

    Offense: Antonio Gates caught the 100th touchdown pass of his career on an impressive first drive. The Chargers offense took the next two-and-a-half quarters off to celebrate before driving for a similar-looking 101st Gates touchdown. In between the touchdowns were lots and lots of dump-offs to Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon, plus some costly turnovers. C

    Defense: The unit played very well against an arch-conservative game plan for three quarters, allowing just three offensive points. Then it allowed Michael Vick to unleash the one deep throw and one vintage scramble per week he still has left in his body. B

    Special Teams/Coaching: Josh Lambo drilled a 54-yard field goal to give the Chargers a fourth-quarter lead. Philip Rivers impersonated mid-career Peyton Manning in the second half, running the no-huddle and barking adjustments at the line of scrimmage. The Chargers' lack of big-play capability on both sides of the ball is a familiar problem. C.

    Looking Ahead: Nothing makes a sweaty late-game collapse at home on Monday night worse than a short week and a trip to Lambeau.

San Francisco 49ers: C

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Giants 30, 49ers 27

    Offense: For the first time all season, the 49ers threw downfield without looking embarrassed and sheepish about it. Colin Kaepernick (262 passing yards, two touchdowns, 23 rushing yards) looked like his old self. Carlos Hyde (21-93-1) and Anquan Boldin (8-107-1) had productive evenings. This is probably what the 49ers want their offense to look like for the rest of the season, though it still took a half to get going. C-plus

    Defense: NaVorro Bowman and Michael Wilhoite combined for a whopping 24 solo tackles and eight assists. The totals look impressive, but the game tape shows the Giants completing pass after pass in the middle of the field, with Bowman, Wilhoite and others giving chase. The 49ers have a Little Dutch Boy defense; Bowman spends too much time patching leaks. C-minus

    Special Teams/Coaching: Offensive coordinator Geep Chryst said he tweaked some issues on offense, and the adjustments paid off. The 49ers fought hard and came back late. B-plus

    Looking Ahead: Super Bowl rematch! 49ers vs. Ravens! Both teams stink!

Oakland Raiders: C-

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Broncos 16, Raiders 10

    Offense: Trouble in triplet territory! Amari Cooper was held to just four catches. Latavius Murray was ineffective before leaving the game with a minor injury that may not have passed the Jack Del Rio tough-guy test (he was neither comatose nor engulfed in flames). Derek Carr endured four sacks, threw a pick-six and fumbled. It's never a sign of progress when Marcel Reece (seven catches, 49 yards, one touchdown) is the most prominent offensive performer. D-plus

    Defense: Charles Woodson provided the capstone to his Hall of Fame highlight reel with a pair of interceptions. The Raiders' front seven played its best game of the year, clamping down on not just the run (easy to do against the Broncos) but on short passes over the middle of the field (a Raiders sore spot and a Peyton Manning specialty). B

    Special Teams/Coaching: Sebastian Janikowski caught the "Dutch elm kicker" disease with a miss and a block. The offensive game plan made sense: The Raiders emphasized max protection (they used lots of six-lineman formations) and took downfield shots to unexpected targets like rookie tight end Clive Walford. But you can't expect to win when your offense scores 10 points and gives seven back. C

    Looking Ahead: Bye week. After two losses by eight combined points, this is a good time to give Del Rio a little space so he can trash his office in peace.

Kansas City Chiefs: D+

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Bears 18, Chiefs 17

    Offense: Nothing that happened before the Jamaal Charles injury matters. Nothing that happens from now on matters. All hope is lost. Woe, WOE to the Chiefs. D.

    Defense: Played a great game until it became clear the offense plans to spend the rest of the season writing sad poetry in a darkened bedroom and then collapsed under the weight of the organizational ennui. B-minus

    Special Teams/Coaching: That 66-yard field-goal attempt at the end tells you all you need to know about the Chiefs' offensive plans for the rest of the season. The Chiefs may now have the worst offense in the NFL, and their stubborn refusal to develop secondary weapons is the primary reason. D-minus

    Looking Ahead: Sadness, bitterness, lamentations, hopelessness and the Vikings.

Baltimore Ravens: D+

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Browns 33, Ravens 30

    Offense: Justin Forsett (21-121-1, 49 receiving yards) provided the only consistent production. Joe Flacco scored a pair of rushing touchdowns (mind blown) and did what he could to spread the ball around to receivers he just met like Jeremy Ross.

    But Flacco also made a few bad situational decisions: running backward for a 12-yard sack (those rushing touchdowns can go to your head) and throwing away a two-point conversion pass instead of rifling the ball into a tight spot. C

    Defense: The pass rush evaporated after the first half. Underneath coverage was miserable. Open-field tackling was poor. Josh McCown put up Tom Brady statistics. These are not your traditional Ravens. D

    Special Teams/Coaching: The Ravens committed 12 penalties and gave the Browns excellent field position after a shanked punt and a missed field goal in the first half, allowing a pair of field goals that mattered down the line. A 21-9 lead against a quarterback named McCown should be safe, no matter how many wide receivers you had to pull from your practice squad. D

    Looking Ahead: The 49ers can't get much this year, but they may be able to get some Super Bowl payback.

St. Louis Rams: D+

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Packers 24, Rams 10

    Offense: Todd Gurley I formation handoffs are great. Tavon Austin jet sweeps and short "waggle" passes are fun until the 10th or 11th time you run them in a month: The Packers figured out when and how Austin gets the ball by the end of the game. Downfield passing remains one long misadventure. Nick Foles is about two turnovers away from inheriting the mantle of Rex Grossman. D

    Defense: It limited Aaron Rodgers to a handful of big plays and forced two interceptions while stuffing the run. Cut and paste this from the last two seasons: The Rams defense played well; the offense let them down. B

    Special Teams/Coaching: Greg Zuerlein missed three field goals, though all were from 50 yards out. Let's lay his problems at the feet of a coaching staff that kept asking their kicker to make 50-yard field goals on a windy day on the road. D

    Looking Ahead: Even Foles can't commit a turnover on a bye week.

Houston Texans: D

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Colts 27, Texans 20

    Offense: DeAndre Hopkins was exceptional. Jaelen Strong finishes more Hail Marys than a pilgrim at Lourdes. Ryan Mallett is Jay Cutler with half the talent and most of the charm. Brian Hoyer is effective when there is no pass rush and defenders either ignore receivers or cover each other. D-plus

    Defense: Who knows? The broadcasters thought that all we wanted to see were montages of J.J. Watt getting blocked on routine plays. Come to think of it, that probably is all we wanted to see. D

    Special Teams/Coaching: The Mallett offense consisted mostly of power runs inside and short-angle routes to Arian Foster. There was no good reason for him to retain his starting job, and Bill O'Brien makes Jay Gruden look a little more logical and decisive about his quarterbacks every week. D

    Looking Ahead: A trip to Jacksonville. Has the AFC South been declared a mid-major conference yet?

Jacksonville Jaguars: D

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    Cliff McBride/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Buccaneers 38, Jaguars 31

    Offense: Blake Bortles threw for 303 yards and four touchdowns but also absorbed six sacks and threw an interception. The Jaguars had T.J. Yeldon, Bernard Pierce and Toby Gerhart available but felt the need to give meaningful touches near their own goal line to undrafted rookie Corey Grant, who was stripped for a Buccaneers touchdown. C

    Defense: Imagine a pile of infant's receiving blankets, covered in lamb's wool and cotton balls, with a litter of kittens on top of it. Now imagine something softer. The Jaguars were a little softer than the second thing you imagined. F

    Special Teams/Coaching: The Jaguars committed only three penalties, so there's that. This was one of those silly arcade-style football games that sometimes breaks out when terrible teams meet. The Jaguars, in year three of their system with a second-year quarterback facing a turnover-prone rookie, have to be able to win these kinds of games if they ever hope to move on to non-silly games, or if they ever want to reach the fourth year of their system. C-minus

    Looking Ahead: Jaguars-Texans. Cue the Monty Python army officer: Silly, silly, silly. This has all gotten far too silly.

New Orleans Saints: D

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    This Week’s Result: Eagles 39, Saints 17

    Offense: A reshuffled offensive line missing Jahri Evans and Terron Armstead could not protect Drew Brees (five sacks). Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks were able to gash the Eagles for big plays, but turnovers—including a signature Saints after-catch fumble by newcomer Michael Hoomanawanui (he's trying to fit in)— allowed the Eagles to pull away from what was a close game at halftime. D-plus

    Defense: The Eagles had great field position, thanks to turnovers for most of the game, and Brandon Browner and Delvin Breaux each picked off a pass in the end zone. But the Saints committed their usual collection of dumb defensive penalties and looked completely unprepared to face the no-huddle offense all afternoon. D

    Special Teams/Coaching: Sam Bradford faked a handoff, rolled right and found an open receiver for productive yardage on play after play. Or Bradford lined up under center for a quick inside running play, and the Saints couldn't figure out the Eagles never pass—heck, they never even run outside—when Bradford takes a traditional snap.

    The lack of defensive readiness would be shocking if we hadn't been watching it for two years. Also, new punter Brandon Fields was the mayor of "Shank City," but you cannot expect a team to find a replacement punter when no one can even find a kicker. D

    Looking Ahead: The Saints host the Falcons. Break out the U2 and Green Day: The Saints need all the help they can get.

Dallas Cowboys: D-

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    Tim Sharp/Associated Press

    This Week's Result: Patriots 30, Cowboys 6

    Offense: Brandon Weeden brought his usual extra-strength "meaningless completion percentage" game. He averaged 7.2 yards per completion, with a long pass play of just 21 yards. D-minus

    Defense: Greg Hardy recorded two sacks and five hits on Tom Brady. Everybody else played like they game-planned for some other team and didn't really pay attention to that game plan. D

    Special Teams/Coaching: "Jason, let's get the ball to that strapping young Razorback."

    "But Jerry, Darren McFadden is not really a third-down back."

    "That Arkansas fella is bound to break one."

    "Jerry, maybe we should try to sign or develop a vertical threat to keep us competitive until Dez can…"

    "WOOO! PIG SOOOEEYYYY! Look at him catch them six-yard passes!"

    "Sigh. We're down 20-3. Let's kick a field goal." D-minus

    Looking Ahead: The Cowboys have problems that a bye week won't solve.

Detroit Lions: D-

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    This Week's Result: Cardinals 42, Lions 17

    Offense: The problem with a dink-and-dunk Lions attack is that it just creates more opportunities for Matthew Stafford to do something dumb with the ball, Calvin Johnson to run the wrong route or a rookie running back to fumble while trying to make a play. At least the old Bombs Away to Megatron offense had a high impact-to-blunder ratio. F

    Defense: The Lions applied pressure to Carson Palmer and stuffed the run early. The defense then played its part in the self-destruction by giving up several easy Chris Johnson runs off tackle, a bomb from the Cardinals' 1-yard line and other avoidable big plays. C-minus

    Special Teams/Coaching: Hey, the Lions benefited from an "illegal bat out of bounds" penalty! It's a shame the makeup call occurred in this blowout disaster! Benching Matthew Stafford midway through the third quarter sent the wrong message.

    His final interception came on a fourth-down conversion where Johnson appeared to run the wrong route; if Stafford needed a "statement" benching, what about Golden Tate and Ameer Abdullah, who also contributed to the turnover circus? (And if Stafford was benched for his protection, why keep Tate and Johnson in the game?) F

    Looking Ahead: Not only are the Bears ahead of the Lions in the standings, but they are also actually playing smarter, more spirited football.

Year-to-Date GPAs

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Here are the year-to-date GPAs for all 32 teams.

    Please take note that the grades are weighted: Performances from the last three weeks count for more than Week 2 performances, and Week 1 performances only get a little weight. Remember how tough and organized the Dolphins looked after their Week 1 win? You don't? That's why the grades are weighted.

    1. New England Patriots: 3.73

    2. Cincinnati Bengals: 3.45

    3. Green Bay Packers: 3.23

    4. Atlanta Falcons: 3.15

    5. Arizona Cardinals: 3.15

    6. Denver Broncos: 2.96

    7. Carolina Panthers: 2.95

    8. New York Giants: 2.77

    9. Minnesota Vikings: 2.67

    10. New York Jets: 2.41

    11. Buffalo Bills: 2.41

    12. Pittsburgh Steelers: 2.34

    13. Seattle Seahawks: 2.19

    14. Cleveland Browns: 2.11

    15. Washington Redskins: 2.09

    16. Oakland Raiders: 2.09

    17. Chicago Bears: 2.08

    18. Tennessee Titans: 2.05

    19. Philadelphia Eagles: 2.01

    20. San Diego Chargers: 1.99

    21. Baltimore Ravens: 1.91

    22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1.86

    23. St. Louis Rams: 1.82

    24. Indianapolis Colts: 1.79

    25. New Orleans Saints: 1.71

    26. Kansas City Chiefs: 1.58

    27. Dallas Cowboys: 1.50

    28. Detroit Lions: 1.39

    29. San Francisco 49ers: 1.30

    30. Jacksonville Jaguars: 1.21

    31. Houston Texans: 1.11

    32. Miami Dolphins: 0.54