2020 NFL Midseason Grades
(Editor's note: Reed Garrison has been doing previews of Tennessee Titans' games for the Warren County Sports Authority all season. He decided to take a look at the entire NFL this weekend, offering up Midseason Grades. His writing was completed before Sunday's games, so injuries and outcomes from Week 10 contests are not included unless added with additional editor's notes. Records are accurate as of Nov. 16 before Monday Night Football)
(6-3) Tennessee Titans: B+
The Titans have a great duo in Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. Their success from last year has carried over into this year. Sitting tied atop of the AFC South, the Titans will look to continue their run with a dynamic offense. Their defense has slipped a little, which is a bit of concern. With the addition of cornerback Desmond King and the return of Adoree Jackson, they could return to form.
(6-3) Indianapolis Colts: B-
Led behind linebackers Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke, the Colts are 6-3 and have one of the top defenses in the NFL. The Colt offense needs to take a step up if they want to make a push for a playoff spot. Rivers needs find some rhythm with his receivers and backs to get some wins.
(2-7) Houston Texans: D The Houston Texans have had a world wind of a season thus far. After starting the season 0-4, they fired head coach and GM Bill O’Brian. The defense struggles to get off the field. Quarterback Deshaun Watson remains an elite quarterback even with limited time to work with.
(1-8) Jacksonville Jaguars: D- The Jaguars have had a disappointing season as they sit at 1-8. The offense has struggled to put up points with Gardener Minshew at the helm. After switching to Jake Luton last week, it could be a turning point for the offense. The defense does continue to struggle also as they have given up 24+ points in 6 straight games.
(9-0) Pittsburgh Steelers: A- The Steelers sit atop of the NFL and remain undefeated. The Steelers have the best defense in football, led behind T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Big Ben looks like he has also return to his regular form.
(6-3) Baltimore Ravens: B The Ravens defense remains one of the best in the league after an impressive performance last week against the Colts. One area that is concerning is the offense. Lamar Jackson and the passing offense has regressed a bit. Jackson still is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league even with the passing game issues.
(6-3) Cleveland Browns: C The Browns are 6-3 at the halfway point. Mayfield and the offense have struggled to find their rhythm. Odell Beckham torn his ACL and is out for the season after trying to tackle a defender after Mayfield threw an interception. Once the Browns get a bit healthier, they will still be in good shape to make a run to the playoffs.
(2-6-1) Cincinnati Bengals: C- Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins have been two of the most impressive rookies so far this season. Burrow looks like he will be an elite franchise quarterback for years to come. The Bengals do struggle protecting Burrow with their offensive line. They will need to improve their offense line and defense to take the next step.
(8-1) Kansas City Chiefs: A Andy Reid and the Chiefs offense still looks like something out of the Madden video games. Mahomes continues to prove why he is the best quarterback in the league. With so many weapons to their advantage on offense, they should be the Super Bowl favorite again.
(6-3) Las Vegas Raiders: B- Derek Carr and the Raiders offense has been one of the most exciting so far this season. With running back Josh Jacobs gashing defenses, it has allowed the passing game to open for Carr. The Raiders defense will need to improve greatly if they want to take the next step.
(3-6) Denver Broncos: C- Drew Locke and the Broncos are in third place in the AFC West and are currently 3-6. The Broncos have also been bit with the injury bug and they have had to miss out on one of their best defensive players in Von Miller all season. The offense looks to be starting to click as they have weapons in Jerry Juedy, Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay and Noah Fant.
(2-7) Los Angeles Chargers: C- Justin Herbert has made himself a force to be reckon with. The rookie quarterback has showed that he could have his name in the same conversation as the other quarterbacks taken in the first round of last year’s draft. The Chargers as a team still struggle to find ways to win games.
(7-3) Buffalo Bills: B+ Josh Allen and the Bills offense are atop of the AFC East. Allen continues to improve and looks like he could be an elite player as he continues to grow his game. With the addition of Stefon Diggs, the Bills offense is one of the best.
(6-3) Miami Dolphins: B+ Tua Tagovailoa took over for the Dolphins last week at quarterback and is now 3-0 after beating the Chargers. The Dolphins look like they will be a real playoff contender in the AFC. Coach Brian Flores could be in the conversation for Coach of the Year for the job he has done.
(4-5) New England Patriots: C-After Signing Cam Newton to take over for Tom Brady, the Patriots have seen a bit of drop off in their offense. The Patriots have struggled with injuries and having weapons available for Newton. The Patriots defense has also regressed from last year due to injuries and opt outs due to Covid-19.
(0-9) New York Jets: D- The Jets are the only team that has not won a game thus far. Coach Adam Gase and quarterback Sam Darnold have had a tough year. It seems that they are in the clear sight of being the winner of the “Tank for Trevor Lawrence” train.
(3-5-1) Philadelphia Eagles: C The past couple of years it seems like Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense are always injured. After many injuries to the Eagles receivers, it finally seems that they are getting healthy. Wentz and the Eagles could make run if they can get healthy and find their rhythm.
(3-7) New York Giants: C- With star running back, Saqauon Barkley tearing his ACL and being out for the year, the Giants offense has still been pretty good. Daniel Jones, though he is turnover prone, looks to have some potential. The Giants defense has been surprisingly well so far. CB, James Bradberry has established himself as an elite cornerback.
(2-7) Washington Football Team: D+ The Washington Football Team has had a turning stall in the QB room. After starting with Dwayne Haskins, then going to Kyle Allen, and now having to go to Alex Smith after Allen got injured last week. The WFT has some nice weapons on the offensive side of the ball in Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson. The defense has also greatly improved with the addition of Chase Young and company.
(2-7) Dallas Cowboys: D- After Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury, the Cowboys chances for a playoff run seemed to come to an end. The Cowboys defense has given up the most points in the NFL. It could be a long second half of the season for cowboy fans.
(7-2) Green Bay Packers: A- Aaron Rodgers continues to make his haters eat their words. He is having an MVP caliber season and continues to lead the Packers to wins. The Packers defense has also stepped up led behind Jaire Alexander and ZaDarius Smith. The Packers also have arguably the best receiver in football - Devante Adams.
(5-4) Chicago Bears: B- The Bears defense has remained one of the best in the NFL. They have shut down most teams that they have played thus far. The offense still is a bit shaky, led by QB Nick Foles after Mitch Trubisky lost his job. The Bears sit in second place at 5-4.
(3-5) Minnesota Vikings: C- After getting off to a rough start in the 2019 season, it seems like Kirk Cousins and the Vikings finally have rounded the curb. Rookie Justin Jefferson has been one of the stories of the season as he could be a rookie of the year candidate. They also have one of the best running backs in the NFL with Dalvin Cook.
(4-5) Detroit Lions: D- Coach Matt Patricia and the Lions have had a tough year on both sides of the ball. Matthew Stafford and the offense have been dealing with multiple injuries on that side of the ball. The Lions defense has given up 240 totals point this year which is the 5th most in the entire NFL.
(7-2) New Orleans Saints: B+ Drew Bree’s and the Saints look to be a Superbowl favorite. Both the offense and the defense look great. The offense finally got start reviver Michael Thomas back in an eye-popping win last Sunday night against the Buccaneers. (editor’s note: Brees suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung over the weekend and could miss 2-3 weeks).
(7-3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C+ The Buccaneers have had a rollercoaster of a first half of the season. With Tom Brady under command they currently sit at 7-3. The offense still has some kinks to work out but with the addition of Antonio Brown they should be fine. The defense continues to be one of the best in the league led behind Devin White.
(3-7) Carolina Panthers: C- The Panthers have been one of the most surprising stories of the season. Most thought that they would be in the discussion for Trevor Lawrence in next season’s NFL Draft. Teddy Bridgewater looks to be in full command of the Panthers offence and coach Matt Rhule has done an excellent job with the Panthers. (editor’s note: Bridgewater could miss some time after suffering a knee injury last in Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers).
(3-6) Atlanta Falcons: D+ After starting the season 0-5 the Falcons fired head coach Dan Quinn. Since then the Falcons have gone 3-1. Matt Ryan and the offense seem to be getting back in rhythm. The Falcons defense is still needing some improvement.
(6-3) Seattle Seahawks: B+ Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have one of the most powerful and efficient offenses. D.K. Metcalf has also shown that he is one of the best wide receivers in the league. The Seahawks defense has been a bit disappointing as they have been getting gashed.
(6-3) Arizona Cardinals: B+ Kyler Murray, an MVP candidate, is one of the most exciting and best young players in the league. With the addition of Deandre Hopkins, the Cardinals are putting up lots of points. Murray looks like he will be an elite quarterback for a long time in the NFL. Murray has put the Cardinals in Super Bowl contention.
(6-3) Los Angeles Rams: C+ Sean McVay and the Rams have gotten off to a good start in the 2019 season. Aaron Donald and the Rams defense are one of the hardest to face. Jared Goff and the Rams offense has had some hiccups but under McVay they should be fine for a playoff push.
(4-6) San Francisco 49ers: C- The 49ers have been bitten by the injury bug all season. The Niners currently sit at 4-6. Jimmy Garoppolo, Greg Kittle and Raheem Mostert all are currently on IR. The Niners will need to get some key players back to have a chance to make a playoff push.