Each week, Senior Reporter and sports guru Carlos Allen ranks the NFC teams and elaborates on their successes and downfalls. (Photo illustration created by Wildcat Chronicle Staff in Canva)
Each week, Senior Reporter and sports guru Carlos Allen ranks the NFC teams and elaborates on their successes and downfalls. (Photo illustration created by Wildcat Chronicle Staff in Canva)

NFC teams: week 1 grades

After a long offseason where a lot of teams gained and lost key players the NFL season kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 7 when the Detroit Lions traveled to Kansas City to face the reigning Super Bowl champs the Kansas City Chiefs. Here are the grades for each team based on their first week performance and why.


Detroit Lions. B

The Detroit Lions started hot after an offseason in which a lot of people thought they were not going to be the same old Lions. Dan Campbell kicked off the new season with a few ballsy play calls, like a fake punt on the Lions own 15-yard line 5 minutes into the game. The Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown connection is still there from last year, when they connected for 6 receptions for 71 yards and 1 touchdown. The defense was solid versus Patrick Mahomes when they had 1 interception in the game.

Won 21-20


Green Bay Packers. A-

The Green Bay Packers still own the Bears even without Aaron Rodgers, and despite the fact a lot of people thought first-year starter Jordan Love could not keep the tradition of beating the Bears alive. The Packers started the season with an opening-drive 8-yard touchdown pass to Romeo Doubs and did not stop there: Love and Romeo Doubs connected on another ball in the endzone later in the game. The Packers showed the Chicago team what a good defense looks like: they had 4 sacks, and 1 pick 6 by linebacker Quay Walker. The star of the show on offense was RB Aaron Jones who went for 127 total yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Packers look like they can really do something in a division that is wide-open.

Won 38-20

Chicago Bears. D-

Bears fans, skip this part if you do not want your day ruined. A true reporter cannot lie, and so, from the play calling to the play execution, there has been nothing to see on the field that would place the Bears above a D-. While the team is just one week in, and things can turn around, that first week’s performance did not look promising.

The Bears’ offensive play caller Luke Getsy made some very questionable calls this week, like screenplays on third down. Justin Fields had a below-average performance. Even though he had a high completion percentage at 64%, he only threw the ball past 20 yards twice. He also had an abysmal 26.2 QBR.

It is not looking good for the Bears for the rest of the season.

Lost 38-20

Minnesota Vikings. C-

Even though the Minnesota Vikings fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, they showed some hope and fight late in the game. The Vikings’ defense was really underwhelming during week one: they let Baker Mayfield throw for 2 touchdowns and did not get one takeaway on the 11th. Justin Jefferson did not slow down from last year, putting up 150 yards off of 9 receptions in week one. Rookie Alexander Mattison started off the season slow by only getting 34 yards on 11 carries. Not a great start but the NFC North is up for grabs, so if the Vikings can get hot like last season, anything can happen.

Lost 20-17


Atlanta Falcons. C+

In the offseason, the Falcons drafted Bijan Robinson, RB from Texas University. There was a lot of hype around this player coming into the league, and that may be because the Falcons were a mystery coming into the season with a new QB in Desmond Ridder, whom they drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft to back-up starting QB Marcus Mariota. Even though Ridder threw for 115 yards, he completed 83% of his passes and threw one touchdown to Robinson, keeping the ball out of the hands of the defense. It was a really quiet day for WR1 Drake London and TE1 Kyle Pitts since the offensive scheme is not around them, but rather the rushing attack. The defense performed well, but it was against a rookie QB in Bryce Young and a team that is not going to make a lot of noise this season.

Won 28-10

New Orleans Saints. C+

The Saints got away with a win in week one versus the Tennessee Titans. New QB Derek Carr, who came from Las Vegas, had a few bright spots in the game. WR Chris Olave is in his sophomore campaign and balled out in week one by recording 112 yards off of 8 receptions and helping his team sneak away with the W. Ryan Tannehill gifted the Saint defense with 3 interceptions in the week one win, and if the defense did not get those 3 takeaways, the Saints would have (probably) lost. RB Jamal Williams was in the backfield all day for the Saints, and his performance was mediocre at best: he just could not find an opening.

Won 16-15

Tampa Bay Buccaneers. B

The Bucs looked good in the first week. Since new QB Mayfield has declined in production level in the past years, football fans assumed the team would start off badly, but that was not the case. Mayfield had 2 touchdown passes: one to Mike Evans and one to Trey Palmer. Evans has had a 1000-yard receiving record in every single season of his career, and even though he has a new QB under center, he will reach the record once again. The Bucs’ defense was loud versus Minnesota when they made the Vikings turn the ball over 3 times in the game with 1 int and 2 fumble recoveries. Week 2 should be no different when they face the Chicago Bears.

Won 20-17

Carolina Panthers. D+

With a Rookie QB in Young, and a fairly young team around him, plus a new head coach, it could have gone worse for Carolina in week one.

The Panthers traveled to Atlanta for the season opener and were putting up a fight in the first two quarters: then everything went downhill. Young had 1 touchdown to TE Hayden Hurst, but 2 interceptions.

The Panthers have a lot of work to do in the season on both sides of the ball, but the season is 18 weeks long, so anything could happen.

Lost 10-24


New York Giants. F-

The grade F- is the only grade possible for what was a truly abysmal Sunday night performance by the Giants. The first 7 minutes of the game was the only good part of the Giants’ offense – until their field goal try got blocked by the Cowboys and returned for a touchdown. After that, the game tanked, and everything from the Giants’ offensive line to their defensive secondary was bad. The Giants o-line let the Cowboys d-line sack Daniel Jones 7 times. Jones threw 2 interceptions, lost a fumble, and had a horrible 10.2 QBR.

Luckily for the Giants, they can only go up after that week one blunder.

Lost 40-0

Dallas Cowboys. A

The performance by the Cowboys was definitely a testimony to their defense, and they most definitely let the rest of the league know they are a formidable force this season. The defense had 2 touchdowns in a pick 6, and a blocked kick for a touchdown. Not to mention their 7 sacks and 1 fumble recovery. On the offensive side, Tony Pollard was the only player who put up big numbers, going for 70 yards on 14 carries and 2 touchdowns. It was a one-sided game, but Dallas looks to keep the ball rolling vs. the New York Jets.

Won 40-0

Washington Commanders. C

Overall, it was a good start for the Commanders, but nothing special came out of them this week. Theirs was a low-scoring, poor QB gameplay versus a mediocre-at-best team as in the Arizona Cardinals. Those who watched the whole game were either diehard Commanders or Cardinals fans, or had nothing better to do at 12 o’clock on a Sunday.

Nonetheless, it was the first game under the new owner Josh Harris, and a sold-out venue in Washington D.C. This is going to be a below-average to average team during the season since they got a rookie starting QB in Sam Howell, and not a lot of talent around him.

Won 20-16

Philidelphia Eagles B-

The Eagles looked a little sluggish in week one but still came out with the win versus the New England Patriots. Jalen Hurts had a slow day, only throwing for 170 yards and 1 touchdown. The Eagles’ defense lost a key part of their secondary over the offseason when C.J Gardner-Johnson parted ways with the team to go the Detroit Lions, but still had 2 takeaways when Darius Slay took an interception back the other way for a house call, and when Zach Cunningham recorded a fumble from Ezekiel Elliott. The Eagles looked fine as a team, but there were a few knots in their game. It is only week one, however, and they are still Super Bowl contenders in a lot of people’s eyes.


Seattle Seahawks. D-

The Seahawks started the season with a really underperforming loss to the L.A Rams. QB Geno Smith came off a career year for the Seahawks last season, which built up a lot of hype around him and the team this fall – but he could not get the job done in week one. Smith threw for an underwhelming 112 yards and 1 touchdown to D.K Metcalf. The run game was nonexistent for the Seahawks where RB Kenneth Walker III rushed for only 62 yards on 12 carries. Seattle’s defense held the Rams at 7 points until the second half when the Seattle defense let the Rams score 26 points in the second half alone.

Lost 30-13

San Francisco 49ers. A

The 49ers traveled to the Steel City and dominated the Steelers all game long on defense and offense.

The star of the show was WR Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk caught 8 balls for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns, and even though Aiyuk is technically the WR2 behind Deebo Samuel, he is still a trustworthy guy to whom QB Brock Purdy can throw.

Last year, the 49ers had some quarterback trouble after their third overall pick, Trey Lance, fractured his fibula and had ligament damage early in the season – an injury that took him out for the year. Also, the 49ers back-up, Jimmy Garoppolo, broke his foot in early December, which led them to put in Purdy, who they picked with the last pick of the 2022 NFL draft. Purdy has been amazing for the team so far.

San Franciso’s defense was lights out from start to finish when the team got 2 interceptions by Charvarius Ward and Talanoa Hufanga, only letting up 7 points all game.

Won 30-7

Los Angeles Rams. B

Even without star WR Cooper Kupp, who has a hamstring injury that he suffered in the offseason, the Rams offense did not skip a beat. Led by veteran QB Matthew Stafford – who threw for a staggering 334 yards but without any touchdowns – the team put up a decent game. The running game for the Rams was solid because Stafford set the RBs up at the goal line for easy scores. With Kyren Williams leading the way with 2 touchdowns and 54 yards, the offense was impressive, but it must be said the defense was a little shaky in the first half when the Rams went into halftime down by 6. Los Angeles turned it around by not letting Seattle get a single point in the third or fourth quarter.

Won 30-13

Arizona Cardinals D+

The Cardinals and their fans are in for a long 18 weeks ahead. Arizona has nothing going for them this year: their QB, Kyler Murray, did poorly last season before tearing his UCL in week 14. Now, the team lacks a top 20 wide receiver, so they have to settle with Marquise Brown as their WR1.

Week one suggests that this team might not get over 4 wins this year. QB Joshua Dobbs threw for an underwhelming 132 yards and no touchdowns. In fact, the only touchdown of the day for the Cardinals was a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Cameron Thomas. Ultimately, it was a close game against the Washington Commanders, but they are projected to be just as bad or worse than the Cardinals.

Lost 20-16

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