AFC Team Grades after Four Games


  NFL-Betting’s first quarter AFC report card With every team but Green Bay and Carolina having four games under their belts, it’s time to issue grades for the first the season’s first quarter. Some teams like Denver are already exceeding pretty lofty expectations. Jacksonville is making a case to possibly surpass the 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the worst team in NFL history. Is New England doing it with smoke and mirrors ??? The AFC North is a train wreck. The AFC West is arguably the second best division in football. Here is our take at the quarter pole with the NFC analyzed on Thursday. AFC EAST New England  (4-0): A They say that you are what your record says you are. The Pats are 4-0 after an off-season of turmoil, numerous injuries and a Tom Brady that is definitely not clicking on all cylinders. The loss of Vince Wilfork in the niddle of the defense is huge but Gronk’s return is imminent and New England has to be considered a threat to capture the NFL title. Miami (3-1): B The Dolphins did some nice things in the first three weeks but their metrics were not good and that was exposed by the Saints on Monday night. Still, Tannehill is getting better every start and figures to stop turning the ball over. The defense has been solid but the offensive line will have to find a way to keep their second year gunslinger out of A&M off his back. NY Jets (2-2):  B- The good news and the bad news for the Jets is that the team will go as Geno Smith goes. If the good Geno shows up, Gang Green will be competitive. If the bad Geno shows up, the Flyboys will get hammered like they were Sunday in Tennessee. The defense was playing great and allowing the least amount of yardage per play for Sunday’s beatdown at Nashville. Buffalo (2-2) : C+ EJ Manuel has played pretty well considering that he’s been hampered with a skittish knee. The Florida State rookie has shown poise beyond his experience and to this point has justified his surprise pick in last spring’s draft. The defense has played well featuring a rejuvenated Mario Williams. The problem is that this team still does not have much depth and injuries are starting to mount. AFC NORTH Baltimore (2-2): C The Super Bowl champion Ravens lost a lot of personnel during the off season and figured to come back to the pack somewhat. Flacco has been mediocre after getting his big money deal and the new younger, quicker and faster defense is still a work in progress. The forecast for this team will be much clearer after we see how consistent the Black Birds are in the next four games. Cincinnati (2-2): C- Baltimore has opened the door for the Bengals and Cincinnati refuses to kick it in. The Nati could easily be 0-4 and have to consider themselves lucky to have not played themselves out of the playoff picture. Andy Dalton deserves a personal grade of “D” and will have to really step up if this team is going to step up and possibly make some noise in the playoffs. A talented team that has regressed. Cleveland (2-2): C+ The Brownie front office has come out smelling like a rose after dealing Trench Richardson and benching Weeden in favor of Hoyer. We always knew the Browns had a defense and the stop unit has lived up to expectations. At this point, it’s wait and see on the Browns offense and whether or not Hoyer can continue his fairy tale start. Pittsburgh (0-4): F Wow !!! This team is bad …. very bad. The team has had offensive line problems since their Super Bowl loss to Green Bay and has never really addressed them. This year, that deficiency has beeb painfully obvious and Big Ben has been a tackling dummy for opposing defensive lines. Throw in an aging  defense that can’t stop anyone and you have a team that needs to be completely blown up and rebuilt from scratch. AFC SOUTH Indianapolis (3-1): B+ Last year’s Colts were dubbed the worst 11-5 team in NFL history. That might very well be but the team always seems to have scoreboard and figures to keep getting better with it’s core nucleus of Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson. This team is an offensive lineman and three defensive players from contending for a Super Bowl. Tennessee (3-1): B The Titans have played great and should be unbeaten. Jake Locker was making strides and his loss for the next 4-6 weeks could ultimately cost Music City a playoff spot as we are not sold on backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. The defense has been good and should keep Tennessee in most games and giving the Titans a chance to win. Houston (2-2): D+ The Texans are lucky to be 2-2 and the loss to Seattle was the final straw for most people that thought that Houston could win a Super Bowl with Matt Schaub. The Texans have some extremely talented individual players in Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, JJ Watt and Brian Cushing but until something is done about Schaub and Kubiak, Houston is basically a one-and-done playoff team. Jacksonville (0-4): D- The Jags are horrific and have played like it getting outscored by a whopping 98 points through four games. The only reason this team doesn’t rate a F grade is that they do play hard and do try. That said, trying hard doesn’t pay the bills and this team is almost devoid of talent. The Jags get last year’s top choice Blackmon back from suspension but he’s little more than a finger in the dike. The Jags play Denver in two weeks and Vegas (LVH) has made Denver a 29-point favorite. AFC WEST Denver (4-0): A+ The Broncos have been nearly perfect to this point and Peyton Manning is on pace to break every passing record on the books. That said, the Broncos have been hit hard by injuries, especially to offensive line and the next man up theory will only take you so far. The Broncos have not had their best defensive players to this point either. This team is reminiscent of the 2007 Patriots. Kansas City (4-0): A The Chiefs are doing everything right. Last year, this was a 2-14 team with six pro-bowlers and a -24 turnover problem. Andy Reid has righted the ship and Alex Smith has been the perfect game manager who will make an occasional play. Are the Chiefs for real ??? At this point we have to think they are. This team plays great defense. San Diego (2-2): B The Chargers should be 4-0 and have shown nothing but “buy” signs.Philip Rivers has a new lease on life with McCoy and has had a great first quarter. The Bolts have been hurt by injuries but have the talent to succeed while flying under the radar. Oakland (1-3): B- IOHP, the surprise of the season so far. This team could easily be 2-2 or 3-1 and figures to improve if Pryor can overcome his rung bell. The defense has played well and the points theu’ve given up other than against Denver were basically the result of being put in a bad spot by the offense. McFadden is hurt again. If the Raiders can find a decent back to carry the rock, they could finish with 6-8 wins. Buy up to five points and tease up to 21 at Wager Web New accounts at Top Bet get automatic 50% bumps Get up to $900 in Free Play at Bet Online Claim your $100 Free bet today at Bovada Earn Bet Points with EVERY wager at Bookmaker