NFL Team Report Cards through Week 9

November 11th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)

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The 2010 NFL betting season is at its halfway point, as virtually every team in the NFL has played exactly eight games, while only a handful that are on bye this weekend have played nine. Here at Bankroll Sports, we are grading how the teams have done in the first half of the season, as well as providing the most up to date Super Bowl Odds for each team as we head closer to the start of the second half of the campaign.

Atlanta Falcons (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS , 9 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
QB Matt Ryan has been fantastic this year, and though both RB Michael Turner and WR Roddy White are headed to seasons of over 1,000 yards at their respective trades, there is a still a big elephant in the room… The Falcons still have no secondary to speak of whatsoever, and until this unit shapes up, Atlanta really isn’t going to compete for a Super Bowl title. Still, due to the fact that the men in black and red are in first place in a suddenly tough division, we have to give them a fairly solid grade. Final Grade: B+

Arizona Cardinals (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS , 400 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
About the only nice thing to say this year about the Cardinals is that they have played relatively well at home, and have a victory over the defending Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints. The defense has been scoring touchdowns, but has given up a whopping 225 points so far this year, second to worst in the conference. Is it going to be QB Max Hall or QB Derek Anderson calling the shots for the rest of the year? We tend to believe that it doesn’t matter. Final Grade: C

Baltimore Ravens (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS , 7.5 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
One of Baltimore’s two losses this year was inexcusable, a bad defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. Aside from that though, there has really been very little to complain about. The Ravens have survived their toughest stretches of the schedule, and they are in first place in the AFC North tied with the best record in the AFC North. We know that these guys are slacking from what they’re capable of, and we’re bringing down their final grade for it. Final Grade: B

Buffalo Bills (0-8 SU, 3-4-1 ATS , 500 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
At the beginning of the season, we said that the Bills had the worst team in the NFL. Though they are 0-8 and the only winless team in the league, they’re not the worst squad that it has to offer, either. Buffalo has been playing hard in recent weeks and very well could be a three win teams right now. It’s unfortunately how things have worked about. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick gets an A for effort, but the rest of this team… not so much… Final Grade: D

Carolina Panthers (1-7 SU, 2-6 ATS , 500 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
Is there a team that is just waiting to play out the rest of the season like the Panthers are? We already know that HC John Fox is a lame duck just waiting to either get fired or not get his contract renewed at the end of the season, and he doesn’t seem to care who is playing quarterback either. QB Tony Pike might be getting his chance soon. Only scoring 88 points in eight games is a huge no-no in the NFL, and unlike Buffalo, which shows some promise, the Panthers have shown us absolutely nothing. Final Grade: F

Chicago Bears (5-3 SU, 3-4-1 ATS , 50 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
We aren’t totally dismissing the Bears as potential Super Bowl contenders this year, but we just aren’t crazy about teams with quarterbacks that are INT prone and running backs that average less than four yards per carry. We’re looking at you, QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte… HC Lovie Smith had better hope that his men start to play more consistent ball offensively, because the defense isn’t holding out for this long. Final Grade: C

Cincinnati Bengals (2-6 SU, 2-6 ATS , 400 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Bengals have had chance after chance to get back in the race in the AFC North this year, and you know that the two men you can’t blame are QB Carson Palmer and WR Terrell Owens. These two have made for a fantastic duo, and TO’s emergence has really gotten everyone in the “Jungle” to forget about what happened to the suddenly having disappeared, WR Chad Ochocinco. This team is second to last in the NFL in sacks this year as well. Final Grade: D+

Cleveland Browns (3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS , 250 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
Was the trade of the season when the Browns shipped QB Brady Quinn off to the Denver Broncos in exchange for RB Peyton Hillis? All of a sudden, Hillis looks like a Pro Bowler, while Quinn is just nowhere to be found. This is a spunky little Cleveland team that has the ability to sneak up on some teams. Will the Browns make the playoffs? Of course not. But are they worth of a strong grade for their first half of the season? You betcha. Final Grade: B

Dallas Cowboys (1-7 SU, 1-7 ATS , 500 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
And then there are the Cowboys, who would get an O for outrageous if we could give them that type of a grade. Nothing has gone right this year. The running game has floundered, the passing game is missing QB Tony Romo, and the defense has been giving up huge game after huge game. It’s not just that this team stinks either. The fact that there is no heart on the field is we are emphatically giving Dallas the worst grade of the 32 teams in the NFL. Final Grade: F

Denver Broncos (2-6 SU, 2-6 ATS , 400 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
There aren’t many teams in the NFL that we are giving worse grades to than the Broncos. They just haven’t seemed to be able to put together too many complete games this season, and the end result has been a dreadful 2-6 record. That now leaves Denver at just 4-14 in its L/18 games overall. QB Kyle Orton might be one of the top passers in the league and WR Brandon Lloyd might be leading the world in receiving, but this team is a wreck. Final Grade: D+

Detroit Lions (2-6 SU, 7-1 ATS , 300 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
No team has fought as hard this year as the Lions have, and it is showing on the cover sheet this year. Detroit has stuck inside the NFL betting lines a season best seven times already in the first half of the season. The sin is that QB Matt Stafford just can’t find a way to stay healthy, which is brutally costing both he and his team. Detroit is showing signs of improvement though, and we have to give it a halfway decent grade from what we expected at the outset of the season. Final Grade: C-

Green Bay Packers (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS , 8 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Packers have had all sorts of injury worries for the first half of the season, as they have lost TE Jermichael Finley and RB Ryan Grant for the season. However, in spite of the fact that there is no running game to speak of, QB Aaron Rodgers keeps finding a way to hold everything together. Parlay that with the probable Defensive Player of the Year, LB Clay Matthews, and his band of green clad men, and the Packers have had a great first half of the season. Final Grade: B

Houston Texans (4-4 SU, 3-5 ATS , 65 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Texans came out of the chute on fire this year, knocking off the Indianapolis Colts for just the second time in franchise history. However, since that point, this is a club that has largely looked like a .500 team once again. Another year of 8-8 seems to be on the way, and this average club deserves a very average grade for the way it has played in the first half of the campaign. Final Grade: C

Indianapolis Colts (5-3 SU, 5-2-1 ATS , 10 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
There are no teams that have been riddled with as many injuries this season as the Colts. Just on offense on the year, RB Joseph Addai, RB Mike Hart, RB Donald Brown, WR Austin Collie, WR Pierre Garcon, WR Anthony Gonzalez, and TE Dallas Clark have all missed time. Though QB Peyton Manning continues making this team run, we have to wonder just how much he has left in the tank, especially without all that much talent around him. Final Grade: C+

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS , 250 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
Record wise, it looks like HC Jack Del Rio and company have done a decent job, particularly in the AFC South, and especially considering the fact that fourth string QB Todd Bouman had to start a game for the Jags. Jacksonville is in hot water though, and its defense has allowed 226 points on the year. This just isn’t deserving of a great grade. Final Grade: C+

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS , 40 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
We have no choice but to issue the Chiefs a pretty darn good grade this year for their body of work in the first part of the season because they are on pace for ten wins and would win the AFC West if the season ended today. KC has the best running game in the league, but it is the defense that has really surprised us. We don’t think the Chiefs are hanging on, but for now, they’re still a nice story. Final Grade: B

Miami Dolphins (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS , 80 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Dolphins have won four games this year on the road, but how can we say much else good about a team that hasn’t won a home game this season and has benched its starting quarterback in relief of journeyman backup QB Chad Pennington? It feels like HC Tony Sparano is pushing the panic button, and that means that he isn’t giving his team a great grade for the first half of the season either. Final Grade: B-

Minnesota Vikings (3-5 SU, 2-6 ATS , 40 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Love Boat is sinking and sinking in a hurry in Minnesota. A 3-5 record on the field is bad enough, but to parlay that with the fact that seemingly everyone on the team wants both QB Brett Favre and HC Brad Childress gone, this isn’t going to be one of the prettiest grades in the bunch. Final Grade: D-

New England Patriots (6-2 SU, 4-3-1 ATS , 10 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
Considering the fact that WR Randy Moss was traded for a third round draft pick, and just four weeks later only had one team claim him on waivers, we know that this season has set up well for the future of the Pats. We know that six wins and the best record in the NFL is solid as well. However, there’s something about this defense that is just rubbing us the wrong way, and we have to knock New England down a letter grade for it. Final Grade: B+

New Orleans Saints (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS , 12 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Saints might ultimately have the best team in the NFC this year, but they just haven’t played like it. Part of the problem has been the absence of both RB Reggie Bush and RB Pierre Thomas. Unfortunately though, this is a case where you have to play with the guys that you have on the field, and we only think that New Orleans has been slight above average from our expectations this year. Final Grade: B

New York Giants (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS , 7.5 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Giants looked like a disaster at the start of the season, but my, have they turned it around! New York has won five straight games and looks like the best club in the NFC East and in the entire conference. We know that there are still some problems with both discipline and consistency on defense, but we also know that we wouldn’t want to run up against this defensive line either. Final Grade: A-

New York Jets (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS , 8 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Jets have had themselves some fantastic games this year, and a few duds sprinkled in as well. The defense has been a tad disappointing, but the offense has shined with QB Mark Sanchez proving that he can legitimately be a star in this league. There’s still some work to be done for HC Rex Ryan’s club, but New York is clearly heading in the right direction. Final Grade: B+

Oakland Raiders (5-4 SU, 6-3 ATS , 50 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
Many thought that this was the season in which the Raiders were really going to bust out, and they were right. Oakland has won three straight games and is just a half game back in the AFC West. QB Jason Campbell was benched early, but he most certainly came on wickedly strong in the last month or so since getting his starting job back. This team has overachieved like none other in the NFL this year. Final Grade: A

Philadelphia Eagles (5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS , 18 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
Thumbs are going way up to QB Michael Vick this year, who personally gets an A+ for his performance in the first half of the season. A big, fat F gets slapped onto the forehead of HC Andy Reid though, as he really screwed up by seemingly committing the team to QB Kevin Kolb. The Iggles are in decent shape, but not grade shape at 5-3, and we will grade them accordingly. Final Grade: B

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS , 7.5 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
Say what you want about HC Mike Tomlin, but in our eyes this year, he is the Coach of the Year. Any time you lose your starting quarterback for four games and then turn around and get your backup hurt in the preseason and your third stringer knocked out in the second game of the year and you still find ways to win games, you’re doing something special. With SS Troy Polamalu healthy and ready to go for the second half, Pittsburgh is getting a great grade. Final Grade: A

San Diego Chargers (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS , 14 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Chargers would have been a dead set F with a ton of exclamation points before this recent two game winning streak that has seemed to jumpstart the season. This is what San Diego has done in seasons past after slow starts, and that might be what is happening again. We still aren’t issuing a good grade as of yet even though QB Philip Rivers is on pace to break the single season passing record. Final Grade: C-

San Francisco 49ers (2-6 SU, 3-5 ATS , 80 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
This trendy Super Bowl pick has really been a bit of a bust this year. QB Alex Smith is hurt and was likely to get benched anyway, and backup QB David Carr was surpassed two weeks ago in England in favor of QB Troy Smith, who now has as many wins as the other two do for the Niners during the rest of the season. Still, the fact that San Fran ranks dead last in the NFC West overall, this is going to be an awful grade. Final Grade: D-

Seattle Seahawks (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS , 150 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Seaturkies really aren’t in that great of shape, but they aren’t in that great of a division either. HC Pete Carroll should be commended for having his boys competing for a playoff spot, though when push has really come to shove against teams that are fellow playoff contenders, things aren’t going all that well. Final Grade: B-

St. Louis Rams (4-4 SU, 6-2 ATS , 100 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Rams are the only .500 teams in the book that we are issuing an ‘A’ to. QB Sam Bradford has come into town and not only brought a great arm, but a great, winning mentality as well. Suddenly, St. Louis can’t be beaten at home, and the winning mojo is starting to get contagious. To think that these guys can go from 1-15 to the postseason in just one season’s time is remarkable. Final Grade: A

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS , 150 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
No one is believing that the Bucs are Super Bowl contenders this year, but at 5-3, they have clearly done more than their fair share of work in the first half of the season. Tampa Bay knows that the schedule is getting tougher from here, though. For now, this has been an awesome squad, and we think that it is embarrassing that it is 150 to 1 to win the Super Bowl. Final Grade: A-

Tennessee Titans (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS , 18 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
The Titans aren’t quite getting the same type of year as they did last year from RB Chris Johnson, but in fairness, the team didn’t come out of the blocks at 0-6 either. HC Jeff Fisher has the Titans playing well on defense, particularly on the line, where they have one of the best units in the NFL. However, something is just rubbing us slightly the wrong way about this Tennessee team… Final Grade: B

Washington Redskins (4-4 SU, 4-3-1 ATS , 100 to 1 to win Super Bowl XLV @ BetUS Sportsbook)
For our money, this is the worst 4-4 team in the NFL. There just isn’t that much of a running game with RB Clinton Portis out of the fold, and the passing attack was probably made significantly worse than Bonehead of the Season, HC Mike Shanahan elected to bench QB Donovan McNabb for a two minute drill two weeks ago in the team’s most recent game. Whoops. QB Rex Grossman fumbled on the first snap, and the ball was promptly returned for a TD. McNabb hasn’t been so sharp either, as he hasn’t had a multi-TD game through the air this season. This has been a very, very iffy team. Final Grade: C-


Posted in NFL Football on Thursday, November 11th, 2010 at 1:27 am (EST)
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