After four games, who has made their marks and who is in over their heads? Our NFL professor Alex Marvez doles out his quarter-pole marks.
Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesJeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Jacksonville (0-4): F
While there’s hope for the future in rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, the present stinks with the Jaguars being outscored by an average of 23.5 points in their first four games.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY SportRobert Hanashiro
Oakland (0-4): F
The Raiders have scored the NFL’s fewest points (51) while heading toward a 12th consecutive season without a winning record.
Getty ImagesRichard Heathcote
St. Louis (1-2): D
The offense has an excuse for its difficulties with quarterback Sam Bradford (knee) out for the season; an underachieving defense has none.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY SportsJeff Curry
Tampa Bay (1-3): D
Whether it’s Mike Glennon or Josh McCown under center, the Buccaneers won’t win many more games if opponents continue to complete 75.8 percent of their passes.
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY SportsJason Bridge
Washington (1-3): D
A long respite after last Thursday’s embarrassing home loss to the New York Giants gives first-year head coach Jay Gruden some time to regroup after a rough start.
Getty ImagesPatrick Smith
Tennessee (1-3): D
First-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt was right when recently admitting he may have overestimated how good the Titans would be in 2014.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsAaron Doster
New Orleans (1-3): D
Not only have the Saints have tumbled down the NFL’s defensive rankings after a 2013 resurgence, a normally potent offense isn’t firing on all cylinders either.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
New York Jets (1-3): D+
It’s the same-old, same-old for Rex Ryan’s club with offensive problems, especially at quarterback, ruining a strong defensive effort.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY SportsNoah K. Murray
New England (2-2): C-
Although history shows the Patriots usually get their act together after slow starts, New England hasn’t displayed the earmarks of a playoff team thus far.
Carolina (2-2): C-
Running back injuries and pass-rush issues in light of the indefinite absence of defensive end Greg Hardy (domestic violence conviction) have the Panthers reeling after a 2-0 start.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsBob Donnan
Buffalo (2-2): C-
Desperation has already set in with second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel being benched in favor of journeyman Kyle Orton.
Getty ImagesTom Szczerbowski
Cleveland (1-2): C-
Two losses by a combined five points and a Week 2 victory over New Orleans is proof of the progress head coach Mike Pettine has made in his first season on the job.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SportsAndrew Weber
Kansas City (2-2): C
Back-to-back blowouts of Miami (34-15) and New England (41-14) are proof Kansas City is back on track after a disastrous Week 1 showing against Tennessee.
Atlanta (2-2): C
The Falcons remain a Jekyll-and-Hyde team when playing on the road and in the Georgia Dome.
Ann Heisenfelt/Associated PressAnn Heisenfelt
Minnesota (2-2): C
Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has breathed life into a franchise that lost its top player (running back Adrian Peterson) following his arrest on child-abuse charges.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY SportBrace Hemmelgarn
New York Giants (2-2): C
In shades of their Super Bowl-winning season of 2007, the Giants look like a completely different team in Weeks 3 and 4 after opening with double-digit losses to Detroit and Arizona.
Pittsburgh (2-2): C
The Steelers continue to reflect a ho-hum team that has gone 22-22 dating back to the 2011 season (including the playoffs).
Getty ImagesJustin K. Aller
Miami (2-2): C
The Dolphins have proven consistently inconsistent with 19-point losses to Buffalo and Kansas City sandwiched between double-digit wins over New England and Oakland.
Steve Flynn-USA TODAY SportsSteve Flynn
Chicago (2-2): C+
An overhauled defense still needs more improvement.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY SportsRobert Deutsch
Indianapolis (2-2): C+
The epitome of a .500 team: After losses to quality squads in Denver and Philadelphia, the Colts have gotten back on track with blowout victories over inferior AFC South foes Jacksonville and Tennessee.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Green Bay (2-2): C+
The Packers hope last Sunday’s 38-17 road blowout of Chicago is reflective of the future after a bumpy three-game stretch to the season.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY SporDennis Wierzbicki
San Francisco (2-2): C+
The 49ers are trying to weather the storm until two key defensive players return (linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick starts playing better.
Getty ImagesJeff Gross
Houston (3-1): B-
Although the Texans have the makings of a one-and-done playoff team if they do reach the postseason, give Houston credit for already posting more wins than last season’s dreadful 2-14 squad.
Detroit (3-1): B
The league’s top-ranked defense has led the Lions atop the NFC North.
Dallas (3-1): B
The defense isn’t nearly as bad as expected and running back DeMarco Murray is shining with the Cowboys consistently emphasizing their ground game.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
Philadelphia (3-1): B
It wasn’t pretty, but the Eagles have overcome offensive line injuries and a shaky defense with three big second-half comebacks.
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY SportsRobert Stanton
Baltimore (3-1): B
Wide receiver Steve Smith and new coordinator Gary Kubiak have provided a huge boost to a much better offense from 2013.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY SportsEvan Habeeb
San Diego (3-1): B+
The defense has improved and quarterback Philip Rivers is making a strong case for NFL Most Valuable Player honors.
Denver (2-1): B+
Going toe-to-toe with Seattle in Week 3 in overtime was big for a franchise that was blown out by the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Seattle (2-1): B+
The defending Super Bowl kingpins aren’t invincible but there are positive signs Seattle can make another strong championship push.
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY SportsSteven Bisig
Arizona (3-0): A
The defense hasn’t allowed a fourth-quarter point and backup quarterback Drew Stanton has led the Cardinals to two victories replacing the injured Carson Palmer (shoulder nerve).
Cincinnati (3-0): A
The offensive line hasn’t allowed a sack and Andy Dalton has consistently played like a franchise quarterback.