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We’re one-quarter of the way through the NFL season, and it’s time to hand out some grades and rankings. I thought about players, or teams, or divisions. Then I stopped thinking and started scratching my temple.

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Sort of like the majority of the eight first-year coaches, who are 7-23-1 so far this season. After Cincinnati was thumped Monday night, 27-3 by Pittsburgh, five of the eight coaches remain winless.

So, in reverse order, with a grade, let’s take a look:

8. Vic Fangio, Broncos (0-4) — While the Dolphins may be the worst team, this is the most disappointing franchise in football. The only thing worse about this team is the man who hired Fangio – John Elway. GRADE: F

7. Zac Taylor, Bengals (0-4) — Taylor’s biggest worry right now is his offensive line. It isn’t protecting quarterback Andy Dalton, nor is it helping the rushing game. Not a good look for a former offensive coordinator, with the sixth-worst offense in football. GRADE: F

6. Adam Gase, Jets (0-3) — Since Le’Veon Bell’s nine-yard score against Buffalo in Week 1, the Jets haven’t scored another offensive touchdown. In fact, since their 16-0 lead vs. Buffalo, the Jets have been outscored 70-17. The offense has one TD, the defense has three. GRADE: F

5. Brian Flores, Dolphins (0-4) — The Dolphins have been outscored 163-23, while the rest of the AFC East has allowed 160 points. So how in the world is Flores at the bottom. Well, if the Fish are truly tanking, how much of this is Flores’ fault? GRADE: D-

4. Kliff Kingsbury, Cardinals (0-3-1) — Once Kingsbury figures out there is more to football than offense the Cardinals will be fine. The key for this team is consistency on both sides of the ball. If his young guns can feed off the veterans who are doing their jobs, he’ll start seeing wins. GRADE: D

3. Freddie Kitchens, Browns (2-2) — Cleveland is atop the AFC North, where everyone thought it’d be. We finally saw the offense we expected all along against Ravens in Baltimore. The offense is in rhythm, and once the defense catches up, watch out. GRADE: C+

2. Matt LaFleur, Packers (3-1) — I’m not convinced the Packers are as good as their record. They could just as easily be 1-3. The win over the Vikings in Week 2 was the only significant one. Now it’s off to Dallas to face an angry Cowboys team. GRADE: B+

1. Bruce Arians, Buccaneers (2-2) — The 66-year-old, 44-year coaching veteran has resurrected Jameis Winston’s play and has his quarterback looking better than a plate full of crab legs. Without a second-half collapse against the Giants, the Bucs are 3-1. GRADE: A-

Speaking of grades, I give myself an F- after producing a 1-5 week. Let’s try to ace this week’s quiz with six winners:


Bears vs. Raiders +4.5 (at London): Not too long after the Raiders defeated the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday, they hopped the pond. By the time this article was printed, the Bears were still in Chicago, as they reportedly don’t depart until Friday. The offensively starved Bears face a fired-up Raiders team. RAIDERS

Vikings at Giants +5.5: I’m riding high with Daniel Jones, who continues to impress. As good as Minnesota’s defense may be, this won’t be an easy trip to the Meadowlands. Besides, Minnesota better hope it can protect Kirk Cousins. GIANTS

Patriots -15.5 at Redskins: At 0-4, and a point differential of -52, I don’t know how the Redskins will be able to diffuse a Patriots team that will be looking to flex its muscles after last week’s close call against the Bills. PATRIOTS

Falcons at Texans -5: I’m not giving up on Houston. I am giving up on the Falcons, though. How bad has this offense been? Houston’s defense may outscore Atlanta’s offense. TEXANS

Broncos at Chargers -6.5: Can I just put “See Vic Fangio” and you refer to my coaching grade? Los Angeles has its way against an AFC West-rival in blowout fashion. CHARGERS


Browns at 49ers -3.5: The problem for the Browns is San Francisco is getting it done on both sides of the ball. The 49ers rank third overall on defense, and fourth on offense. Balance wins for me every time. 49ERS

Last week: 1-5

Season: 11-12-1

About the Author

W.G. Ramirez

W.G. Ramirez is a 32-year veteran covering sports in Southern Nevada, and resident of 46 years. He is a freelance reporter in Las Vegas and the Southern Nevada correspondent for The Associated Press.

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