By Steve Silverman
What is wrong with the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles? After last year’s brilliant getaway that led to their wonderful season, they have looked like just a bunch of Joes through five games. After destroying the Minnesota Vikings in last year’s NFC title game, the Vikings came limping into Philly and took care of business, leaving the Eagles at 2-3.
Doug Pederson better figure it out in a hurry, or his genius title will be summarily removed.
Patriots 38, Colts 24
New England Patriots: B+. The offense is starting to take shape, and after their indifferent start, the Patriots are starting to look dangerous. Tom Brady and Josh Gordon might be a thing, but it seems like it is harder for Rob Gronkowski to get open.
Indianapolis Colts: C. Andrew Luck had some excellent moments, and his teammates are glad to see him back and healthy. But the Colts make too many mistakes to win big games against good opponents.
Bills 13, Titans 12
Buffalo Bills: B. Give credit to the Bills for figuring out how to win a game. Victories won’t come often for them this season, but they got the job done in the final minutes and Steven Hauschka kicked the game-winning field goal.
Tennessee Titans: C-. After beating the Eagles in Week 4, the Titans couldn’t beat the Buffalo Bills. That is life in the NFL. But the Titans needed a sharper effort and should have imposed their will against an under-talented opponent.
Steelers 41, Falcons 17
Pittsburgh Steelers: B+. The Steelers are going to have good games here and there, and it figured that they could exploit the Atlanta defense. The problem for Mike Tomlin is consistency, and whether the Steelers can find the right combination each week. Come home, Le’Veon Bell.
Atlanta Falcons: D. The Falcons are having the kind of year that just may get head coach Dan Quinn fired. The defense has been abominable, and they helped the Steelers get well.
Jets 34, Broncos 16
New York Jets: A. We are not going to downgrade the Jets because the Broncos were awful. The Jets were dominant with huge plays on the ground. Was that Isaiah Crowell running with the ball, or was it Emmitt Smith? A 219-yard effort proves that truth is stranger than fiction.
Denver Broncos: D. It’s much tougher to win or remain competitive on the road, and that’s why we aren’t giving Broncos an F. They made the Jets offense look like a powerhouse, and that’s not easy.
Chiefs 30, Jaguars 14
Kansas City Chiefs: B+. Another solid win for the undefeated Chiefs, but Kansas City fans have seen good starts dissolve into ordinary finishes. The Chiefs still in prove-it mode, although the offense has been brilliant.
Jacksonville Jaguars: C-. Great defense usually has the advantage over great offense, but that was not the case here. Blake Bortles tried to battle Patrick Mahomes, and his four interceptions cost Jacksonville badly.
Lions 31, Packers 23
Detroit Lions: B. The offense may be starting to come around, with solid contributions from Kerryon Johnson and Kenny Golladay, but the defense is still searching. If not for Crosby, the Lions would have suffered a painful defeat.
Green Bay Packers: C-. The Packers got off to a slow start against the Lions, and while they mounted a strong comeback, they couldn’t get the job done. Mason Crosby has to wonder what he did to deserve a game where he missed four FG attempts and an extra point. That makes it difficult to hold on to one’s job.
Browns 12, Ravens 9
Cleveland Browns: B. They didn’t get much offense, but the defense kept Joe Flacco from throwing a TD pass, and young Baker Mayfield came through in the final seconds of OT. Any win is worth celebrating for the Browns.
Baltimore Ravens: D. The Ravens did not take advantage of an opportunity to put another win on the board, even though the defense was impressive. They nearly escaped with a tie, but couldn’t contain Browns in OT… a very sad statement.
Panthers 33, Giants 31
Carolina Panthers: C+. Graham Gano kicked a 63-yard FG at the gun to get the Panthers a home win against a below-average Giants team. That tells you that Ron Rivera and Cam Newton are very lucky.
New York Giants: C. The Giants showed plenty of fortitude, particularly rookie Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. While they were done in by 63-yard field goal and can curse their bad luck, the Giants are losing nearly every game. They can’t ignore the Eli problem any longer.
Bengals 27, Dolphins 17
Cincinnati Bengals: A-. Pay attention to what is going on in Cincinnati. Not only are the Bengals winning consistently, they are doing it like a championship team, with comeback efforts, strong second-half performances and clutch throws by Andy Dalton.
Miami Dolphins: C-. After a brilliant first half, the Dolphins gave it up in the second half. Adam Gase will likely make things quite miserable for his players this week in practice.
Chargers 26, Raiders 10
Los Angeles Chargers: B+. After a halting start, the Chargers are starting to look like a very good team. Philip Rivers to Keenan Allen is one of the best combinations in the game, and if the defense can improve a bit, this team can be dangerous.
Oakland Raiders: C-. It takes quite a bit for the Raiders to win a game, and when they are on the road against a motivated opponent, they really don’t have a chance. Jon Gruden does not have any answers at this point.
Cardinals 28, 49ers 18
Arizona Cardinals: B+. Josh Rosen and the Arizona defense make the plays, and the Cardinals get their first win of the season. There won’t be many more.
San Francisco 49ers: C-. The season that had so much promise is going up in smoke. C.J. Beathard plays with heart, but his late fumble turned into a touchdown that clinched the game for the Cardinals. Not good.
Vikings 23, Eagles 21
Minnesota Vikings: A-. After a couple of brutal games, the Vikings turned it around nicely with an impressive effort to win at Philadelphia. Wideout Adam Thielen refused to let the Vikings give in. The defense was strong in the first half, but somewhat shaky in the second.
Philadelphia Eagles: C. While there is still time to turn the season around, the Eagles are finding ways to lose when they should be winning. Head coach Doug Pederson had it all figured out last year, but the Eagles can’t find the answers this year.
Rams 33, Seahawks 31
Los Angeles Rams: B+. This grade may be a little high because the Rams won by two points against an opponent they should have handled. However, a win on the road against a feisty divisional opponent is always a good thing, and the Rams remain undefeated.
Seattle Seahawks: B. The Seahawks may have been underrated, as they nearly found a way to upset the Rams. Russell Wilson is dangerous, and the offense is coming to life with Chris Carson running the ball and Tyler Lockett making big plays as a receiver.
Texans 19, Cowboys 16
Houston Texans: A-. After a slow start, the Texans are starting to find their way with back-to-back overtime wins. Houston showed its toughness in battling the Cowboys punch for punch and coming out on top. Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins are a formidable duo who are just getting started.
Dallas Cowboys: B+. It may be cold comfort to Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas defense, but the Cowboys played better than any other team that lost in Week 5. They pushed the Texans to the limit before getting their hearts broken in overtime.
Saints 43, Redskins 19
New Orleans Saints: A. Drew Brees remains at the top of his game, surpassing Peyton Manning with a 62-yard TD to rookie Tre’Quan Smith to set the all-time record for passing yards. His team followed in his footsteps, obliterating the Redskins at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Washington Redskins: D-: There is a requirement in the NFL to bring your defense along when a team plays a road game. The Redskins refused to follow those instructions and were rolled over by a Saints team that has been getting better each week.
Bye week: Bears, Buccaneers