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Grading Every NFL Team After Week 3 (2020)

| September 29, 2020 10:56 am PDT
NFL Week 3 Grades 2020

The 2020 NFL regular season seems to be flying by. In a time of COVID-19, that’s pretty incredible to realize.

It’s still weird, as most games have little to no fans in attendance, and a lot of teams aren’t where we thought they’d be. The very best teams in the NFL appear to have very much shown themselves, though, and when it’s all said and done, that’s what matters most.

Some teams did it better (and worse) than others, though. Let’s see who stood out the most with a look at the best and worst team performances via our NFL week 3 grades.

Best NFL Teams in Week 3

Week three in the NFL was pretty explosive. Eight games totaled at least 50 points, eight more were decided by one score, and one even resulted in a tie.

Yuck to that last part, but you get the idea.

It was a fun week for pro football fans, and some of the top performances made it all the more enjoyable. Here are the best week three NFL performances that stood out the most.

Kansas City Chiefs (A+)

The defending champs stomped the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, and the 34-20 score made it look closer than it actually was.

Patrick Mahomes accounted for all five of his team’s scores, but as amazing as he looked, it was actually the Chiefs’ defense that was most impressive here. Just one of Baltimore’s two touchdowns came from the offense, as KC held Lamar Jackson to just 97 passing yards and allowed nothing easy throughout.

As complete, dynamic, and explosive as ever, the Chiefs pushed forth the argument that they’re the best team in football even further.

San Francisco 49ers (A+)

The Niners haven’t really beaten anyone of merit, but hats off to them for completely destroying teams they arguably should.

Oh, and they’re doing it with their roster totally demolished.

In week three, they did something perhaps more impressive than anything anyone did, as they mowed down the Jets with their top quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, cornerback, and pass rusher all sidelined.

That is simply insane. The Niners were mere 4-point favorites and could have had every reason to allow the game to get away from them, or at least allow the Giants to keep it close.

Instead, San Francisco dominated on the ground, and Nick Mullens carved New York up for 300+ passing yards.

Green Bay Packers (A)

Just below the Chiefs and 49ers in week three were the Packers, who solidified their standing as one of the best teams in the NFL by getting to 3-0.

They did it in historic fashion, too, as they became the first team ever to open a season with 35+ points and zero turnovers through their first three games.

Aaron Rodgers was utterly flawless in the face of a semi-desperate Saints team, dropping bombs to backup wide receivers as top target Davante Adams watched from the sidelines.

Green Bay could have been a bit better defensively. I mean, they let Alvin Kamara do this.

But Rodgers and co. kept it together, clicked offensively, and got an otherwise improbable road win to stay undefeated. That deserves high honors.

Worst NFL Teams in Week 3

While it’s fun to highlight the best week three NFL performances, it pains me to bring up the worst performances of the week.

Some were ghastly, and others were just gut-wrenching. Without further haste, here’s a look at the teams with the worst week three NFL grades.

Atlanta Falcons (D)

Atlanta is once again in the mix for the worst week three NFL grade, as they collapsed for the second straight week.

Falcons fans probably thought simply getting smoked by the Seahawks in week one was devastating, but Atlanta has held huge leads in consecutive games, only to lose both times.

In week three, the Falcons were crushing the Bears, only to see Nick Foles come on in relief of Mitch Trubisky and lead a ferocious comeback.

If Dan Quinn isn’t fired by the time I finish the sentence, I don’t know what the Falcons are doing.

New York Jets (F)

As impossible as it may seem, the Falcons can be beat when it comes to the worst performances in the NFL in week three.

The Jets will raise their hands here, as Adam Gase’s crew got completely outclassed in every way in an embarrassing 36-7 beatdown by the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.

Sam Darnold flashed his upside with an early score, but tossed two back-breaking pick-sixes and struggled to generate sustainable offense. New York’s defense wasn’t as bad as the offense but still didn’t do enough to keep them in this game.

Adam Gase is rumored to be very much on the hot seat, and it’s possible he’s the first NFL head coach fired in 2020.

New York Giants (F)

It’s painful to be a fan of New York football teams in 2020, it seems. The Giants were just as bad, if not worse, in week three.

New York’s opponent wasn’t necessarily tougher on paper, either, as the aforementioned 49ers had a rash of key injuries on their roster. In theory, this was a smash spot for the Giants to land a fatal blow and stage a huge upset.

It wasn’t to be, however, as nobody stepped up to replace an injured Saquon Barkley, with New York’s backfield totaling 17 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Oof. Daniel Jones wasn’t much better through the air, as he helped the G-Men to three field goals on a day where he turned the ball over twice and finished with a 56.6 quarterback rating.

All Other NFL Grades for Week 3

Indianapolis Colts (A)

Philip Rivers played mistake-free football again in week three, as the Colts limited his opportunities, played efficient football, and allowed the Jets to sabotage themselves in an easy win.

Seattle Seahawks (A-)

Russell Wilson is straight fire. He tossed five more touchdowns, as he became the first player ever to throw at least four scores in the first three games of the year. Seattle’s ground game and defense need work, but Wilson is campaigning for league MVP.

New England Patriots (A-)

Rex Burkhead stepped up and scored three touchdowns in lieu of James White sitting out a second straight game. New England’s defense did the rest, as Bill Belichick out-coached Jon Gruden in an easy 36-20 win.

Carolina Panthers (B+)

Life without Christian McCaffrey isn’t easy, but the Panthers banded together for a clutch 21-16 win over the Chargers. Teddy Bridgwater managed the game well, and Carolina’s defense delivered with four forced turnovers and two sacks.

Cleveland Browns (B+)

It’s becoming quite clear that if Cleveland can get their ground game going, they will be a problem. Nick Chubb dominated with 108 yards and two scores, while Baker Mayfield was efficient for the second week in a row as the Browns moved to 2-1.

Detroit Lions (B+)

The Lions needed a win, and they went into Arizona and got one. Detroit’s defense made things happen, forcing three Kyler Murray interceptions en route to a crucial 26-23 win.

Buffalo Bills (B)

Josh Allen continues his NFL MVP tour, as he poured it on thick with four touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 15 seconds left. Buffalo dominated early, but blowing a 28-3 lead hurt their overall grade.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (B)

Tom Brady seems to be clicking with his new teammates. The aged veteran tossed three touchdowns, while the Tampa Bay defense dominated in an easy 28-10 victory.

Miami Dolphins (B)

It isn’t Tua Tagovailoa time just yet. Ryan Fitzpatrick staved off a quarterback change with a throwback performance, accounting for three scores in a surprisingly easy 31-13 win over the Jags on Thursday Night Football.

Dallas Cowboys (B-)

Dak Prescott and company have been playing the role of the comeback kids all year long. So far, it’s got them to a 1-2 start and a plethora of “could have beens”. The offense has insane potential and losing to Russell Wilson doesn’t bring shame. But this defense is flat out bad.

Los Angeles Rams (B-)

Jared Goff and co. get credit for bouncing back in week three. The Rams were getting destroyed against the Bills, but came back from a 28-3 hole and almost won. It was an uneven performance, but the Rams are still 2-1 and did a lot of good in a tough road defeat.

Tennessee Titans (B-)

The Titans are a somewhat surprising 3-0 team to get 2020 going. Ryan Tannehill and co. needed a late Stephen Gostkowski field goal to seal the deal in Minnesota, but the offense ultimately delivered. It’s the suddenly shaky defense that is concerning, though.

Pittsburgh Steelers (B-)

Ben Roethlisberger has been rock solid through three weeks, and he delivered again with 237 yards and two scores in week three. The Steelers also rode James Conner (109 rushing yards), as he provided the winning score. Pittsburgh’s defense was also key here, as they sacked Deshaun Watson five times on the day.

Minnesota Vikings (C+)

Kirk Cousins finally looked competent, but it was too little, too late, as the Vikings fell into an ugly 0-3 hole. Minnesota fought hard and displayed their balanced offense in this one, while unearthing first-round rookie Justin Jefferson (175 yards). Unfortunately, their defense failed them yet again.

Cincinnati Bengals (C+)

Joe Burrow took a vicious hit and kept on trucking along, as he put up 312 passing yards and two touchdowns in a 23-23 tie with the Eagles. I almost want to give Cincy an incomplete grade here, but this was an overall solid performance on the road.

Chicago Bears (C+)

The Bears got off to a woeful start and probably should have lost. They get brownie points, both for an insane comeback for the second time in three weeks, as well as for finally benching Mitch Trubisky.

New Orleans Saints (C+)

Drew Brees looks legitimately washed. He completed a ton of underneath passes and padded his stats against a suspect Green Bay defense, but he didn’t do enough to win a big home game. The Saints also didn’t get it done defensively, allowing 37 points to Aaron Rodgers.

Los Angeles Chargers (C)

Justin Herbert dropped 330 yards and a touchdown on the Panthers, but turned the ball over twice and couldn’t rally the troops late. He’s going through some growing pains, but he’s looked the part of a franchise quarterback, and has kept the Bolts competitive.

Houston Texans (C)

Deshaun Watson had a solid outing, but took too many sacks and couldn’t tie the game late in a 28-21 loss to the Steelers. Houston’s ground game also never got going, contributing to a tough road loss and a dispiriting 0-3 start.

Baltimore Ravens (C-)

The Ravens could easily get a much harsher grade here, but getting slapped around by the Chiefs by default isn’t that shocking. Lamar Jackson passed for just 97 yards and looked quite bad in this one, while that previously stingy Ravens defense looked lost against Patrick Mahomes.

Arizona Cardinals (C-)

The Cardinals played a solid game, but ran into a desperate Lions team. That, and Kyler Murray couldn’t take care of the football. The stats were there, but Arizona’s mistakes prevented them from a 3-0 start.

Washington Football Team (C-)

Dwayne Haskins and co. struck early for a 7-0 lead in week three, but it was mostly downhill from there. Washington’s defense couldn’t slow down Nick Chubb, and Haskins struggled with turnovers (4) and sacks (3).

Las Vegas Raiders (C-)

Jon Gruden had the Raiders believing after a nice 2-0 start, but the organization got a rough dose of reality in a bruising 36-20 loss to the Patriots. Las Vegas wasn’t as effective as they needed to be on offense, while a supposedly improved defense had zero answer for New England’s rushing attack.

Jacksonville Jaguars (D)

Gardner Minshew II remained efficient, but took too many sacks and couldn’t generate enough scoring in a 31-13 thumping by the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. After a nice week one win, Jacksonville is suddenly fading fast with back-to-back defeats.

Denver Broncos (D)

No Drew Lock, big problem. The Broncos looked totally inept with Jeff Driskel under center, while their once-proud defense couldn’t slow down Tom Brady inside the red-zone. Denver is hurting due to injuries, and the calvary can’t come fast enough.

Philadelphia Eagles (D)

Lastly, we have the Eagles, who continue to drown in a sea of Carson Wentz turnovers. Philly had a chance to win in overtime, but opted to punt for the tie. No, you read that right, and that’s all that needs to be said here.

Summary

These weekly NFL grades almost work as a bit of an “on the fly” rankings of sorts. The best teams have really shown themselves, and the worst teams seem to be coming up with the same problems.

For some, it’s simply not taking care of the football or finishing games. For others, it’s a terrible defense, inefficiency, or an inability to consistently generate big plays.

A lot of these teams can blame some of their woes on a rash of injuries, too.

Everyone has a reason to cave these days, but the best teams push on and show us on a regular basis that they just might be worth betting on to go the distance.

After week three, we can probably all agree that the likes of the Packers, Chiefs, and 49ers have proven who they are. Some like the Saints and Ravens have at least raised some concerns.

And then there’s the Eagles, Falcons, and Vikings, who can’t seem to get out of their own way.

It’s just one more week in the madness that is the 2020 NFL season, but it does help to bring us closer to deciding how this whole thing plays out. If you think it helps you formulate a bet, consider heading over to the top NFL betting sites to bet for (or against) one of the teams above.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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