Report card grades for every NFL team after Week 2


The value of the backup quarterback became apparent in Week 2 of the 2014 NFL season.

The Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams all won with backup signal callers. The Redskins and Cardinals woke up Sunday morning not knowing they would have to call on Kirk Cousins and Drew Stanton.

In Week 2, we learned no lead is safe, the Seahawks aren't invincible and the Cowboys defense might not be the worst ever.

Speaking of the worst, you won't be surprised at the two teams in the back of the class as the Week 2 NFL report card arrives.

NFL week 2 report card
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Report card grades for every NFL team after Week 2

New York Jets (L, at GB, 31-24)

The Jets jumped out to a 21-3 lead after 20 minutes. Then came a meltdown both on and off the field. They were in Packers territory and poised to add to a 21-9 lead when Geno Smith threw a wounded duck into the hands the Packers’ Tramon Williams. Key defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson was ejected for fighting when the Packers made a two-point conversion to go up 24-21. Smith threw what would have been a game-tying, 37-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Kerley with 3:37 left, but the Jets sideline called a timeout.

Grade: C (1-1)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

New York Giants (L, ARI, 25-14)

It must have been hard for Giants fans not to think of Joe Pisarcik. The Giants led 14-13 with less than 11 minutes remaining. Then, in a span of 1:21, Victor Cruz dropped a third-down pass, Ted Ginn returned the ensuing punt 71 yards for a touchdown, Quintin Demps fumbled the kickoff and Chandler Catanzaro kicked a field goal to give the Cardinals a 22-14 lead. The next Giants possession ended with a fumble in the red zone.

Grade: C (0-2)

(Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)

Detroit Lions (L, at CAR, 24-7)

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi both are descendants of the “Air Coryell” offense. The scheme’s namesake, former Chargers coach Don Coryell, probably facepalmed himself up there in the clouds watching the Lions score their fewest points since Week 7 of the 2012 season, when they went 4-12. Air Coryell couldn’t fly the Chargers to the Super Bowl, and if the Lions can’t put up enough points to win against a stout defense like the one in Carolina, they can forget about the playoffs.

Grade: C (1-1)

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Atlanta Falcons (L, at CIN, 24-10)

The Falcons will need to score a lot of points to win games this season, and they didn’t do that on Sunday. They trailed 24-3 before Julio Jones’ touchdown in the fourth quarter. After losing A.J. Green in the first quarter, the Bengals still racked up 472 yards of offense on the Falcons. Atlanta linebacker Paul Worrilow leads the NFL with 29 tackles, including 14 Sunday. So there’s that.

Grade: C (1-1)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks (L, at SD, 30-21)

If Richard Sherman is going to put on a show for the media when he breaks up a pass to clinch the NFC championship game, he’d better face the music and give reporters something to put in their notebooks when he gets burned. But he didn’t speak to the media Sunday, according to Pro Football Talk, after Keenan Allen showed he’s not a “sorry” receiver by catching five passes for 55 yards on him.

Grade: C+ (1-1)

(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

New Orleans Saints (L, 26-24, at CLE)

The Saints lost a lead in the final seconds for the second week in a row. This time, Billy Cundiff’s 29-yard field goal with three seconds left capped the Browns’ 14-play, 85-yard drive. The Saints trailed 16-3 and took a 17-16 lead, then fell behind again before regaining the lead. Saints receiver Marques Colston wasn’t targeted Sunday after fumbling the ball away in overtime in Week 1.

Grade: C+ (0-2)

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (L, STL, 19-17)

The Buccaneers fell victim to rotten luck when Josh McCown threw a 29-yard pass to Mike Evans at the Rams’ 32-yad line in the final seconds. Evans was hurt on the play and the Bucs were out of timeouts, and the 10-second runoff ended the game before Tampa Bay could attempt a field goal. The Bucs had a punt and a field goal blocked in the game. Bobby Rainey was a bright spot. He replaced an injured Doug Martin and ran 22 times for 144 yards.

Grade: C+ (0-2)

(Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)

Kansas City Chiefs (L, at DEN, 24-17)

The Chiefs somehow stayed with the Broncos and had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds despite losing star running back Jamaal Charles to a sprained ankle after just two carries. Knile Davis took over and ran 22 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Smith completed 26 of 42 passes and threw for 18 first downs. The Chiefs moved the chains on 11 of their 16 third downs.

Grade: B- (0-2)

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Indianapolis Colts (L, PHI, 30-27)

Trent Richardson (21 carries, 79 yards) and Ahmad Bradshaw (13 carries, 70 yards) are teaming up to provide the Colts with a formidable ground attack. But Richardson fumbled twice, including a third-quarter drop that led to the Eagles’ game-tying touchdown. Andrew Luck threw a fourth-quarter interception from the Eagles’ 22-yard line with the Colts leading 27-20. Now the Colts, who led 20-6 in the third quarter, are 0-2 for the first time since 2011, otherwise known as the year of purgatory post-Manning and pre-Luck.

Grade: B- (0-2)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Carolina Panthers (W, DET, 24-7)

The Panthers sent the message that if certain NFL players don’t treat women better, their team can win without them. The Panthers sacked Matthew Stafford four times without the services of Greg Hardy and converted two fourth-quarter takeaways into points to put the game away. In his first game back from a rib injury, Cam Newton completed 22 of 34 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown despite being sacked four times.

Grade: B (2-0)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

St. Louis Rams (W, at TB, 19-17)

History is on Austin Davis’ side. It’s worked out pretty well for the franchise in the past when an unknown quarterback is thrust into the starting role because of an injury. Davis, who led the game-winning field goal drive Sunday starting from the Rams’ 9-yard line, played at Southern Mississippi, the same school that produced Brett Favre. For the second straight week, third-year receiver Brian Quick has led the Rams with seven receptions. He didn’t catch more than three in any game before this season.

Grade: B (1-1)

(Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)

New England Patriots (W, at MIN, 30-7)

It’s hard to tell what was worse for the Minnesota Vikings, not having Adrian Peterson or drawing the Patriots after a loss. The Patriots haven’t lost two in a row since weeks 2 and 3 of the 2012 season, and they didn’t lose their second in a row Sunday despite committing 15 penalties for 163 yards. It helped that they intercepted their old buddy Matt Cassel four times.

Grade: B (1-1)

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles (W, at IND, 30-27)

It’s one thing to come back from a 17-0 halftime deficit at home against Jacksonville. It’s quite another to rally back from being down 20-6 in the third quarter on the road against a team that’s made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. Now if the Eagles can find a way to put two decent halves of football together, they could go a long way this season.

Grade: B (2-0)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Houston Texans (W, OAK, 30-14)

The Texans must be doing something right if Ryan Fitzpatrick can throw his way to a 129.1 passer rating, even if his numbers (14 of 19, 139 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions) won’t exactly have fantasy football owners clamoring for him on the waiver wire. One of Fitzpatrick’s TD passes was thrown to J.J. Watt, giving the Texans a 7-0 lead. Next week, maybe Watt will try kicking and punting.

Grade: B (2-0)

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos (W, KC, 24-17)

The Broncos aren’t blowing opponents away, but they’re 2-0. Peyton Manning completed 21 of 26 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Only twice last season did Manning throw for less than 242 yards. One of those games was the playoff win over San Diego that made “Omaha” famous. Speaking of items that might be on the menu of Omaha Steakhouse, Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton batted away Alex Smith’s fourth-down pass to secure the victory with 18 seconds left.

Grade: B (2-0)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Cleveland Browns (W, NO, 26-24)

What a huge day it was in Cleveland. Johnny Manziel threw his first NFL pass. Oh yeah, there was also this thing where Brian Hoyer led the Browns on a 14-play, 85-yard drive starting from the Browns’ 4-yard line to set up Billy Cundiff’s game-winning, 29-yard field goal with three seconds left. Hoyer better hurry up and trademark the name “Brian Football.”

Grade: B+ (1-1)

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Buffalo Bills (W, MIA, 29-10)

There was no stopping the Bills on an emotional day in Buffalo. The Bills honored late owner Ralph Wilson days after it became apparent that the franchise was staying in Buffalo. After nothing but field goals, C.J. Spiller’s 102-yard kickoff return broke the game open and gave the Bills a 16-3 lead in the third quarter. Buffalo sits alone atop the AFC East.

Grade: B+ (2-0)

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals (W, at NYG, 25-14)

Carson Palmer was a late scratch with a shoulder injury, and the Cards weren’t rattled. Drew Stanton completed only 14 of 29 passes and was sacked four times, but the Cardinals didn’t turn the ball over and took advantage of four Giants turnovers. The Cardinals are a trendy pick living up to their preseason hype. We’ll see if the preseason pundits really knew what they were talking about after the Cardinals host San Francisco next week and go to Denver after their bye.

Grade: B+ (2-0)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers (W, NYJ, 31-24)

The Packers rallied from a 21-3 deficit in the second quarter, and they almost had the comeback completed before halftime. They chipped away with two Mason Crosby field goals and turned a Tramon Williams interception into a touchdown to close to within 21-16 at the half. Jordy Nelson caught nine passes for a career-high 209 yards and an 80-yard touchdown that proved to be the game-winner late in the third quarter.

Grade: B+ (1-1)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Chicago Bears (W, at SF, 28-20)

Jay Cutler completed 13 of 14 passes in the second half for 119 yards and three touchdowns. All three TDs came in the fourth quarter as the Bears overcame deficits of 17-0 in the first half and 20-7 in the third quarter. All this against the backdrop of the 49ers’ debut at their new Levi’s Stadium in prime time. Cutler threw four touchdown passes with no interceptions in the game.

Grade: B+ (1-1)

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Bengals (W, ATL, 24-10)

The Bengals overcame the loss of A.J. Green to a foot injury in the first quarter. Andy Dalton completed 15 of 23 passes for 252 yards, a touchdown and a 116.6 passer rating. He has not been sacked this season, and according to Pro Football Focus, he’s been hit once and hurried once in each of the first two games. The Bengals intercepted Matt Ryan three times, including two by safety George Illoka. Cincinnati also broke up 12 passes, according to

Grade: A (2-0)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Baltimore Ravens (W, PIT, 26-6)

Is there such a thing as a must-win game in Week 2? Well, for the Ravens, Thursday’s game was just that. Because had they lost, they’d have been 0-2 in the AFC North and two games behind the Steelers. No team has lost its first two games at home in its division and made the playoffs. Amid the Ray Rice distraction, the Ravens saved their season.

Grade: A (1-1)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

San Diego Chargers (W, SEA, 30-21)

Philip Rivers said he wasn’t afraid to throw the ball Richard Sherman’s way (, and that’s what he did. Rivers threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns, all to Antonio Gates. The Chargers converted 10 of their 17 third downs and kept the Seahawks’ feared defense on the field for 42 minutes, 15 seconds. Although Percy Harvin ran for a 51-yard touchdown, he was held to one reception for five yards.

Grade: A (1-1)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Washington Redskins (W, JAX, 41-10)

Jay Gruden can thank the previous regime for drafting Kirk Cousins in the fourth round of the same draft where they took Robert Griffin III. The pick seemed like a head-scratcher at the time, but it looks like a brilliant move now. RG3 hurt his ankle five minutes into Sunday’s game, and Cousins came in and completed his first 12 passes, finishing 22-of-33 for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Led by Ryan Kerrigan with four, the Redskins sacked Chad Henne 10 times.

Grade: A (1-1)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys (W, at TEN, 26-10)

The Cowboys improved their defensive showing by keeping the unit off the field as the Titans possessed the ball for only 18:49. When the Cowboys had the ball, RB DeMarco Murray trampled the Titans defense for 167 yards and a touchdown. Dez Bryant caught 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown to help the Cowboys get to a familiar place: .500.

Grade: A (1-1)

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)


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