NFL Nation reporters grade the common seasons for each team out of the operating for Tremendous Bowl LIII and look forward to looming offseason questions. Click on the hyperlinks after every team to view the full posts.
The Browns’ robust end generates lots of pleasure for the longer term and that begins and ends with the quarterback. Common supervisor John Dorsey nailed it when he made Baker Mayfield the primary general choose of the 2018 draft. Mayfield performed with much more savvy than many veterans and revived the Browns’ offense. Learn extra.
The Titans overcame early struggles on offense and accidents to make a late push for the playoffs. Final 12 months’s team went to the second spherical, however Tennessee made strides on protection beneath first-12 months head coach Mike Vrabel and defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Learn extra.
An enchancment over their 6-10 report in 2017 is noteworthy and coaches doubtless will use that as an indication of progress. However because the Dolphins head into 2019, it’s onerous to say we all know extra in regards to the lengthy-time period future than we did six months in the past. That makes it considerably of a misplaced season. Learn extra.
The Tremendous Bowl-or-bust expectation was set the second quarterback Kirk Cousins signed his three-12 months, $84 million contract in free company. A dedication of that magnitude put strain on a team coming off a deep postseason run in 2017. The Vikings struggled in opposition to superior opponents and weren’t in a position to pull the whole lot collectively till late within the season. Learn extra.
The Redskins’ 6-three begin allowed them to keep in playoff competition till late within the season. They may have helped themselves by being much more disciplined; the Redskins dedicated extra penalties on offense than some other team — and lacked the firepower to overcome the fixed lack of yards. Learn extra.
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The Falcons have been picked as Tremendous Bowl contenders getting into the season but completed with their first shedding season in 4 years beneath coach Dan Quinn. The Falcons could not work out how to shut video games early within the season. A loss at Cleveland was the start of a 5-sport skid that knocked the Falcons out of playoff competition. Learn extra.
The Payments have been ranked among the many league’s worst groups in offensive and particular-groups effectivity. Nonetheless, Buffalo was anticipated to win about solely 5 video games and they did lay a basis for rookie quarterback Josh Allen. Learn extra.
Quarterback Cam Newton was enjoying, in his personal phrases, the very best soccer of his profession 10 video games into the season. He had adjusted easily to offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s system. He regarded like an MVP candidate and the Panthers have been in a robust place to make the playoffs. Then Newton’s proper shoulder turned a problem. Learn extra.
The Bengals began the season four-1 and appeared ready to make a playoff run. Nonetheless, they got here out of their bye week with 5 straight losses and acquired blown out by a number of groups. They’ll miss the playoffs for the third straight 12 months. Learn extra.
The Broncos had a pile of accidents, with seven starters and 11 gamers general on injured reserve. In addition they traded large receiver Demaryius Thomas, had a propensity for penalties and a schedule that included 9 video games in opposition to playoff groups. Add all of it up and issues merely didn’t end up because the Broncos had hoped. Learn extra.
The season started with playoff aspirations in coach Matt Patricia’s first 12 months. It ended with the team’s worst report since 2012. Detroit, a 12 months after firing Jim Caldwell after back-to-back 9-7 seasons, feels a lot nearer to a rebuilding team than a contender. Learn extra.
Something lower than a playoff berth when Aaron Rodgers begins 16 video games is disastrous. A part of that’s on Rodgers for not enjoying at his normal MVP stage, which might have lined up for myriad different points. A part of it’s on a roster that wasn’t almost as gifted or deep because it ought to have been thanks to some subpar drafts in Ted Thompson’s last years as normal supervisor. A part of it’s on teaching, which is why the Packers have a head-teaching search on their palms. Learn extra.
It is onerous to imagine the Jaguars have been 10 minutes away from the Tremendous Bowl final season. Nineteen starters returned and but the Jaguars completed with a shedding report — and double-digit losses — for the seventh time up to now eight seasons. Learn extra.
The Giants missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years after shedding seven of their first eight video games. They need to have not less than been aggressive, particularly when including Saquon Barkley within the draft and getting Odell Beckham Jr. again from damage. Learn extra.
Nobody anticipated a playoff berth, however this was a complete failure — from the entrance workplace to the teaching employees to the gamers. The mandate from possession was to present progress, however the Jets really went backward. They have been 1-5 in video games determined by eight or fewer factors. Learn extra.
Coach Jon Gruden, in his first 12 months again with the Raiders, went about rebuilding the roster with proprietor Mark Davis’ blessing, and normal supervisor Reggie McKenzie paid for it together with his job. Coming into Recreation 15, seven of McKenzie’s 50 pre-Gruden draft picks have been on the 53-man roster, and 39 present gamers had not spent a day on the 53-man roster a 12 months in the past. Learn extra.
The Steelers averaged greater than 11 wins per season from 2014 to 2017 however made 2018 harder with a 3-sport shedding streak over a stretch of AFC West matchups in November and December. Defeating New England for the primary time since 2011 was a breakthrough, however in a season when a playoff bye was attainable with extra constant play, the Steelers’ many lapses let the Ravens preserve tempo within the AFC North. Learn extra.
The Niners hopes for playoff competition this 12 months centered on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo didn’t actually get the chance, struggling a torn ACL in Week three in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. Shedding Garoppolo was the one hit the Niners couldn’t afford, not with the remainder of their roster rebuild nonetheless beneath building. Learn extra.
The 2018 season couldn’t have been extra of a curler-coaster experience in Tampa: an electrifying 2-zero begin beneath backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick; the benching and reinsertion of starter Jameis Winston; the firing of defensive coordinator Mike Smith; a disgruntled DeSean Jackson requesting (and being denied) a commerce; and one more kicking change. Learn extra.