There is 1 more game in the 2018 NFL season and that will be taking place in Atlanta in a little less than 2 weeks from now when the Patriots take on the Rams for the Super Bowl for the second time. The Pats and Rams both had close overtime wins this past week that both came with some controversy no doubt. That being said, the season is over for 30 of the 32 teams and for most have been over for a few weeks so let's go ahead and take a look back at how each team did this season starting with the NFC. These grades are going to be based on how they performed and also what they were expected to do!
Overall it was a pretty good season for the Cowboys, things got started slow but Dallas was able to get hot midway through the season and ride that to a playoff win over Seattle. The start to the season is the only thing keeping them from getting a higher score but I think overall most Cowboys fans would be happy with this season and the direction the team is going especially after firing Scott Linehan.
It was a rough year for the defending Superbowl champions. With high expectations the Eagles barely snuck into the playoffs following a week 17 win and a loss from the Vikings. That being said, Philly did manage to take down a very good Chicago team and play New Orleans down to the wire. The biggest question this off season will be what the Eagles do with their QB situation.
It was looking like the Redskins were the team to beat in the NFC East midway through the season but some key injuries including Alex Smith had the Redskins fall quickly as the second half of the season was a huge struggle. The reason I give them a B- compared to a lower score is because of how they performed at full health the first half of the year.
The Giants had low expectations heading into the season and probably performed about to the level that people expected. First round pick, Saquon Barkley seems to be the real deal but besides that the G Men have a lot of work. New York started the season 1-7 but managed to finish 4-4 in the second half giving Giants fans some hope heading into next year!
The Saints honestly probably should be in the SuperBowl right now but that is another discussion. New Orleans managed to put together one of the best seasons in franchise history on the way to a 13-3 record and a 2nd place finish in the NFC. The Saints were nearly unstoppable on offense and the defense was much improved. If Drew Brees can have another MVP caliber year the Saints will be one of the favorites to win it all again next season.
It was a disappointing year for the Panthers. Carolina was one of the favorites in the NFC once again but fell short of the playoffs by a few games. Cam Newton battled injuries again and the defense was short of good this year. With the uncertainty of Cam's health it could be a long year in 2019 in Carolina
The Falcons are in the same boat as the Panthers. High expectations with a disappointing season. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and a few other members on the offense had career years but the Falcons defense was noticeably worse largely due to some injuries as well as other factors. Atlanta still has a lot of young talent and shouldn't be far off from getting back into the playoffs next season.
The Bucs got off to a red hot start to this season with impressive wins over New Orleans and Philly but after that Tampa couldn't decide on a QB they wanted to play and finished the rest of the season winning just 3 of their remaining 14 games. Tampa was expected to take a step forward this year but that looks like it may not be happening anytime soon
Almost everyone you asked prior to the season had the Bears as the 3rd or 4th best team in the division but the Bears surprised everyone this season with the best defense in the league and a very capable offense with some weapons that came out of nowhere. Matt Nagy is one of the best young coaches in the league and with a lot of their key pieces coming back next year and playoff experience now, the Bears will likely be the heavy favorites in the division next season.
It wasn't a terrible season for the Vikings finishing over .500 but after signing Kirk Cousins and the season they had in 2017 a lot of people expected Minnesota do do big things this season. The Defense took a step back and Kirk Cousins continues to prove he can't win big games and until one or both of those things change it will be hard for Minnesota to get back to the top.
It was not a good season for Green Bay. With a team that has seen a lot of success over the past 20 years and one of the best QB's in the league the Packers did not look like the Packers this year. Coach Mike McCarthey eventually got let go and Aaron Rodgers struggled without some of his favorite weapons from the past few years. A lot of talent is still on this team but a tough division will make it hard to get back on top quickly without some big changes or additions.
The Lions finished at 6-10 this year which probably isn't too far off from where most people had them under first year head coach, Matt Patricia. The Lions did manage some big wins and showed promise from some young players but like I said for Green Bay, this is one of the toughest divisions in the league and won't be easy to move up quickly.
The Rams were one of the best teams from start to finish this year finishing at 13-3 with all three losses coming to playoff teams, two of which were on the road. I don't think anyone is too surprised that the Rams are going to be playing in the Super Bowl especially after how they played for a majority of the season.
A lot of people had written off the Seahawks, especially after an 0-2 start but Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll got he Seahawks back in the playoffs once again. Being in a division with 2 teams towards the bottom of the league helped but Seattle really had things rolling towards the end of the season.
A disappointing season for the 49ers after high hopes coming into the year. Losing your quarterback in the first game of the year never helps especially when you don't really have a good second option. If Jimmy G can come back healthy in 2019 the 49ers could be a team to watch out for as they do have a lot of talent in other spots of the roster.
You know it's bad when you fire a coach after 1 season only to hire a guy who was just fired from Texas Tech this year. I'm not sure which direction the Cardinals are heading but I don't think it's in a good one. Who knows though, maybe Kingsbury will come in and be the next Sean McVay or Matt Nagy and lead the Cardinals into the playoffs this season but only time will tell.