Believe it or not, we have now reached Week 9 of the NFL season, the defacto half-way point of the new 17-game (18 week) NFL campaign.

As per usual, we have had our fill of spills, thrills and so much more over these opening eight weeks of action. So now seems an opportune time to take a look back over the first few weeks of the campaign for all 32 teams.

In this first of a two-part series, we will focus on the 16 teams that make up the National Football Conference (NFC).

We’re going to review several aspects of the team, which player has performed the best for them this season, who has been disappointing, how the head coach has performed, the biggest positive and negative aspects of the season and also a comment on their performances so far.

Ratings will be given as a school report rating from A+ down to F.

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So let’s get started with a look at how things in the NFC North.The position indicator after the current record shows their position in the division (1st to 4th).


NFC North

Chicago Bears – E-

  • Current Record – 2-6 (4th)
  • Biggest Positive – RB D’Onta Foreman’s form since replacing the injured RB Khalil Herbert
  • Biggest Negative – Offensive Line has allowed 27 sacks in 8 games.
  • Best Player (Rating) – WR DJ Moore (B+)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – QB Justin Fields (D)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Matt Eberflus (E-)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 500/1
  • Comments – The defense is awful, the offense not much better, Justin Fields underperformed and was then injured, and they’ve had 70 points put on them this season in one game. Yeah, it’s been a start to forget for the Bears apart from those two wins.

Detroit Lions – B+

  • Current Record – 5-2 (1st)
  • Biggest Positive – Dan Campbell’s team is continuing to develop in all areas.
  • Biggest Negative – A little inconsistent at times, losing a couple of winnable games.
  • Best Player (Rating) – DE Aidan Hutchison (A-)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – WR Jameson Williams (E-)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Dan Campbell (A-)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 16/1
  • Comments – The Lions were many people’s pick not just to win the NFC North but to go far in the post season. They’ve had a couple of slips, but in a relatively poor quality division, they should be confident of heading to the post-season where they could beat anybody.

Green Bay Packers – D+

  • Current Record – 2-5 (3)
  • Biggest Positive – The best second half team in terms of points scored in the NFL.
  • Biggest Negative – The worst first half team in terms of points scored in the NFL.
  • Best Player (Rating) – CB Jaire Alexander (B+)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – QB Jordan Love (C-)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Matt LeFleur (D-)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 150/1
  • Comments – The post-Aaron Rodgers era was always going to be tough for the Packers and so it has proved. Love has shown his talent in flashes, but the consistency is not there. The lack of first half performance is also a big concern moving forward.

Minnesota Vikings – C+

  • Current Record – 4-4 (2nd)
  • Biggest Positive – Found their form after a very slow start with some big wins of late.
  • Biggest Negative – QB Kirk Cousins & WR Justin Jefferson’s injuries.
  • Best Player (Rating) – WR Jordan Addison (A-)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – RB Cam Akers (C-)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Kevin O’Connell (C)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 60/1
  • Comments – With Jefferson already injured, the Vikings season was dealt a huge blow with Cousin’s going down this week. Without those two, this promises to be a long season for the Vikings and it is unlikely to get better.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys – B+

  • Current Record – 5-2 (2nd)
  • Biggest Positive – The defense is arguably the best in the NFL right now.
  • Biggest Negative – The Cowboys still tend to fall short in the key games.
  • Best Player (Rating) – Micah Parsons (A)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – None
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Mike McCarthy (A-)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 10/1
  • Comments – The Cowboys have lost two games but in some of the others they have looked sensational, especially on defense. No player has really had a poor campaign so far but CB Trevon Diggs loss through injury will hurt the secondary. They should be playoff bound.

New York Giants – D-

  • Current Record – 2-6 (4th)
  • Biggest Positive – The defense can keep them in most games.
  • Biggest Negative – The offense cannot put anywhere near enough points on the scoreboard.
  • Best Player (Rating) – OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (B+)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – QB Daniel Jones (D-)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Brian Daboll (D+)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 500/1
  • Comments – Last season’s playoff spot looks a distant memory now. Daniel Jones injury now folloed by Tyrod Taylor’s, gives them a huge issue at QB on an offense that was sputtering with its first choice QB. This doesn’t bode well for the Giants for the second half of the season.

Philadelphia Eagles – A-

  • Current Record – 7-1 (1st)
  • Biggest Positive – Even when they don’t play well, the Eagles are good enough to win.
  • Biggest Negative – Despite winning, the Eagles just have not been playing that great.
  • Best Player (Rating) – WR AJ Brown (A)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – WR Olamide Zacchaeus (C-)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Nick Sirianni (A-)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 5/1 Co-favourites
  • Comments – It’s a sign of a great team when they play below their usual standard and still win seven of eight games. That’s the Eagles at the moment. They are so hard to beat but need to improve a good deal more if they are to reach the Super Bowl again.

Washington Commanders – D

  • Current Record – 3-5 (3rd)
  • Biggest Positive – New owners mean new optimism at the Commanders this season.
  • Biggest Negative – Despite that, the Commanders are still losing games they should win.
  • Best Player (Rating) – QB Sam Howell (B+)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – RB Antonio Gibson (C)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Ron Rivera (C-)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 200/1
  • Comments – It may be a new era in Washington, but it is the same old Commanders. Good enough to stay in most games, but not good enough to win the majority. A lack of quality in key areas, notably QB and in the secondary, hurts the team.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons – C+

  • Current Record – 4-4 (1st)
  • Biggest Positive – The speed at which Bijan Robinson is adapting to the NFL.
  • Biggest Negative – Outside of Drake London and Kyle Pitts, the receiving corps is poor.
  • Best Player (Rating) – G Chris Lindstrom (A-)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – WR Van Jefferson (D)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Arthur Smith (B)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 66/1
  • Comments – Arthur Smith’s Falcons have has an inconsistent season so far, but they are showing signs of being a very decent team, though they look a year or two away from being the finished article just yet. However a playoff place beckons from this open division.

Carolina Panthers – D-

  • Current Record – 1-6 (4th)
  • Biggest Positive – Top draft pick Bryce Young is showing he is an NFL Calibre QB
  • Biggest Negative – RB Miles Sanders has been unproductive since arriving at the club.
  • Best Player (Rating) – ILB Frankie Luvu (B+)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – OLB Brian Burns (D)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Frank Reich (E)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 500/1
  • Comments – The Panthers traded for the first pick last year in the draft, they may get it automatically this year. The fault doesn’t lie with QB Bryce Young, but in a team devoid of talent around him and with too many qualify players, like Burns, out of form.

New Orleans Saints – C+

  • Current Record – 4-4 (2nd)
  • Biggest Positive – WR Michael Thomas has stayed healthy the whole season so far.
  • Biggest Negative – The Saints are losing too many close call games.
  • Best Player (Rating) – CB Marshon Lattimore (B+)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – RB Jamaal Williams (D)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Dennis Allen (C)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 66/1
  • Comments – The Saints are 4-4 the same as the Falcons, but at the moment it seems more like good luck, rather than good play that has got them there. A team still flecked with great individuals but perhaps lacking depth to earn a playoff spot.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – C

  • Current Record – 3-4 (3rd)
  • Biggest Positive – WR duo Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are a massive 1-2 combo.
  • Biggest Negative – Losing Ryan Jensen at centre is a big blow to the Bucs offensive line.
  • Best Player (Rating) – NT Vita Vea (B+)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – RB Rachaad White (E+)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Todd Bowles (C+)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 150/1
  • Comments – Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are the keys to this offense and if they can continue to work well with Baker Mayfield, the Bucs could spring a surprise in this division.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals – D-

  • Current Record – 1-7 (4th)
  • Biggest Positive – The Cardinals have won a game and are surprisingly competitive.
  • Biggest Negative – Injuries gave decimated the team once again with key men injured.
  • Best Player (Rating) – S Budda Baker (A-)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – WR Marquise Brown (D+)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Jonathan Gannon (D)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 750/1
  • Comments – On paper, this Cardinals team looked one of the weakest in the NFL and their 1-7 record suggests that was right. Injuries have played havoc with an already weak squad and the Cardinals could be looking at pick number 1 or 2 in the draft next summer.

Los Angeles Rams -C-

  • Current Record – 3-5 (3rd)
  • Biggest Positive – The emergence of rookie WR Puka Nacua over the early weeks.
  • Biggest Negative – The defense is starting to look its age against the best teams.
  • Best Player (Rating) – WR Puka Nacua (A+)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – TE Tyler Higbee (D)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Sean McVay (C)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 125/1
  • Comments – Cooper Kupp’s return from injury will help out the Rams and the emergence of Puka Nacua has been a huge bonus for them, but this is an ageing team and one that doesn’t look set to feature in a very tough division.

San Francisco 49ers – B+

  • Current Record – 5-3 (2nd)
  • Biggest Positive – Arguably the most talented roster of NFL players in the game.
  • Biggest Negative – A worrying loss of form, losing three straight games.
  • Best Player (Rating) – RB Christian McCaffrey (A)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – Deebo Samuel (C-)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Kyle Shanahan (B-)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 13/2
  • Comments – After a 5-0 start, the 49ers looked every bit the future Super Bowl Champions, but three defeats in a row has seen them fall behind the Seahawks in the West and the pressure is on for them to put that right as quickly as possible. I am confident they will.

Seattle Seahawks – A-

  • Current Record – 5-2 (1st)
  • Biggest Positive – A very deep corp of talented wide receivers gives Geno Smith options.
  • Biggest Negative – Perhaps over reliant on Geno Smith and that o-line is not the best.
  • Best Player (Rating) – QB Geno Smith (A)
  • Most Disappointing Player (Rating) – OLB Frank Clark (C-)
  • Head Coach (Rating) – Pete Carroll (A-)
  • Current Super Bowl Winner Odds – 30/1
  • Comments – Everybody expected the 49ers to run away with this division but Pete Carroll once again has his Seahawks eager and ready for the challenge and they look a good bet for the playoffs and could even win this division.

Join me next week when we check out Part Two of this article, looking at the teams in the AFC.