Mid-Season Report Cards for the AFC

November 12, 2018

Week 10 of the NFL Season is in the books and while it is a little past halfway through the season, its a good time to take a look at how each team has performed thusfar. We take a look at the AFC first and how each team has done at a whole and how they have done versus how they were expected to do so far. 

 

AFC East

 

Patriots: B+ (7-3)

The Patriots are 7-3 and should be on pace to win the AFC East once again. The Patriots have had a few ups and downs but overall have played well. The Patriots would probably be an A or A- going into this week but their performance against an average Titans team raises some concerns. Sitting at just 2-3 on the road including 2 losses to 3-6 teams the Pats have some flaws but with some big wins as well they are still very good and have time to figure it out.

 

Dolphins: B (5-5)

The Dolphins are at 5-5 with Brock Osweiler starting half of the season so far, most Dolphins fans probably wouldn't complain with that. The Dolphins got off to a 3-0 start with Tannehill in and have shown flashes of being a good team. They have talent and they could be a team that sneaks into a wildcard spot escpecially with a generous schedule that features 4/6 games against sub .500 teams.

 

Bills: C+ (3-7)

You may think a C+ is high but many people questioned if the Bills would even get 3 wins all year myself included. There have been some really bad games but the Bills have come to play and if they get Josh Allen back healthy and playing well they could get 5-6 wins if enough things go right

 

Jets: C- (3-7)

The Jets, like the Bills had little hope for this season and while Sam Darnold has shown flashes of what the Jets hope he can be he still has been a rookie and made mistakes and inconsistent. Darnold is in a similar spot as Trubiskey a year ago and if they can get him a few more pieces and in the right system he could really be something special.

 

AFC North

 

Steelers: A- (6-2-1)

The Steelers got off to a slow start but have been on a roll including this past week in which they stomped a good Carolina team at home. James Conner has been one of the biggest stories of the year and Roethlisberger is really starting to hit his groove. The Defense still has some questions but if they can fix that up they could make another deep playoff run.

 

Bengals: B+ (5-4)

The Bengals are one of the teams that has surprised people in a good way. Sitting at 5-4 they are right in the middle of the wild card race and the way that Andy Dalton has played this year he could lead them back. AJ Green has been banged up and the defense has struggled against elite offenses but that's something they will have time to fix.

 

Ravens: B- (4-5)

It's hard to get a read on the Ravens. They have a good team but are up and down each week. Consistency the last few weeks will be the key if they want to sneak into the playoffs. The Ravens don't have an explosive offense but the Defense has been very good which has kept them in the hunt. If the offense can get going they could be a dangerous team.

 

Browns: B (3-6-1)

A lot of people were talking about the Browns winning 8-9 games this year which was redicuous. They are on pace for 5 and I think that would be a good number for this team to reach. Baker Mayfield has started to really get things going and with the departure of Hugh Jackson the team seems to have a new mindset and looked really good this week in the win vs Atlanta.

 

AFC South

 

Texans: B+ (6-3)

The Texans have won 6 in a row after an 0-3 start and are looking really good. DeShaun Watson is picking back up where he left off last year and it looks like the Texans are the team to beat in the AFC South. The 0-3 start gave them little room for error but a weak division once again could make it an easy path to the playoffs if they can outlast the Titans.

 

Titans: B (5-4)

The Titans have really been one of the most up and down teams this year, the highs include back to back wins over Dallas and New England but the lows include back to back losses to the Bills and Ravens in which they scored a combined 12 points. Luckily they are only a game back in the division so if they can keep up what they did the past two weeks they may be able to sneak in the playoffs once again.

 

Colts: B (4-5)

The Colts had a lot of questions heading into the year and while it took a few weeks to get going the Colts have won 3 in a row thanks largely in part to the play of Andrew Luck. Despite having little offensive firepower outside of TY Hilton, Luck has had an incredible year and has the Colts rolling right now. A playoff birth may be a stretch but Indy could get to 7-8 wins if they can keep up what they have done the past 3 weeks.

 

Jaguars: C- (3-6)

The Jags have been one of the biggest disappointments this year. A great start to the season had the Jags as a favorite to win the AFC but 5 straight losses has the Jags heading in the wrong direction and likely outside of the playoffs unless a miracle can happen. The Defense which was one of the best in the league last year has been a very inconsistent unit which has been the biggest key to the struggles.

 

AFC West

 

Chiefs: A (9-1)

The highest grade in the AFC and its because the Chiefs are the best team in the AFC in my opinion. Their lone loss was a close one on the road in New England which is a tough place to play. Patrick Mahomes has been the MVP so far and no one can stop the Chiefs offense. The defense is overshadowed by the offenses success but the KC defense has been very good so far and sitting at 9-1 the Chiefs are probably the favorite to win the AFC especially if they can avoid having to go to New England in the playoffs

 

Chargers: B+ (7-2)

The Chargers probably wont catch the Chiefs but they are in a good spot to grab the top wild card spot thanks to Philip Rivers and the play of this Chargers offense. The Chargers still have to play Pittsburgh, Cincy, and KC but they have Denver twice, Arizona and Baltimore ahead which should get them to 10-11 wins if they can play the way they have so far.

 

Broncos: C (3-6)

The Broncos are just about what I thought they were going to be. On pace for 5-6 wins is what most people expect thanks to a below average offense and a good defense but a defense that isn't as elite as it was a few years ago. Case Keenum has been average and I don't know if he is the long term solution if Denver wants to turn it around. It will be interested to see what they do in the off season with the offense that has little going for them now.

 

Raiders: D- (1-8)

I didn't want to give the Raiders an F because they did manage to get a few first round picks in some big trades and have 1 win but little is going well for the Raiders. Arguably the worst team in the league a lot of people are questioning the direction that the franchise is heading.

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