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    We’ve reached the end of the 2018 NFL regular season. While 12 teams are moving on to the playoffs and a shot at Super Bowl LIII, the other 20 are turning their focus to the offseason.

    We’ve watched Patrick Mahomes take the league by storm and seen Baker Mayfield go from being a backup to breaking the all-time rookie touchdown record. We’ve watched teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams carve up defenses, and we’ve seen teams like the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens win with theirs.

    All five rookie first-round quarterbacks finished the season as starters, and some head coaches didn’t even last the season.

    We’ve been grading teams on a weekly basis, and now it’s time to take one final look at how each club graded out for the season. We’ll be looking primarily at how teams performed both in general and in relation to preseason and in-season expectations.


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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    The Arizona Cardinals didn’t come into 2018 with lofty expectations. They were coming off an 8-8 season, had a first-time head coach in Steve Wilks and were depending on journeyman Sam Bradford to mentor rookie quarterback Josh Rosen.

    Somehow, Arizona still managed to disappoint.

    Bradford lasted all of three games before being pulled in favor of Rosen. The rookie from UCLA struggled mightily, though he didn’t have a ton of help. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was also fired in October.

    Wilks may be out as well, and Rosen said the following on that possibility, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN: “I have thoughts, but it’s not really my place to share it.”

    It wasn’t difficult to see Arizona taking a step back in 2018, but dipping to just three wins was still surprising. The good news is the Cardinals have secured the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.

    Final Season Grade: D-

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    Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

    Two years ago, the Atlanta Falcons were in the Super Bowl. While the offense took a step back under coordinator Steve Sarkisian last year, Atlanta still finished 10-6 and made it to the divisional round of the playoffs.

    This year, the offense looked better—rookie first-round pick Calvin Ridley helped—but still finished just 7-9. That’s not disastrous, but Atlanta is trending in the wrong direction.

    Injuries were a big part of the problem in 2018. The Falcons defense lost safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones early in the season (Jones did return). The offense lost running back Devonta Freeman in mid-October.

    The good news is that getting healthy should give Atlanta a chance to be more competitive in 2019. There are still issues, though, especially on defense—the team allowed 26.4 points per game. It took three consecutive wins to finish the season—over the Cardinals, Cam Newton-less Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—to get Atlanta to that 7-9 record.

    Final Season Grade: D+

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    Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

    The Baltimore Ravens are your 2018 AFC North champions. They narrowly survived the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 to steal the division out from under the Pittsburgh Steelers. A month-and-a-half ago, that would have seemed impossible.

    Baltimore was 4-5 going into the bye week. Starter Joe Flacco was out with a hip injury, and the Ravens were turning to rookie first-round pick Lamar Jackson. It seemed then that it may be time for Baltimore to play for the future. Instead, the Ravens revamped the offense to play to Jackson’s strengths, and they went on a 6-1 run to finish the season.

    The Ravens are going to be a tough out in the postseason. They have a run-oriented offense that is hard to contain and a defense that has allowed just 17.9 points per game. Their lone loss with Jackson as the starter came against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead in overtime.

    The season hasn’t been perfect, but the Ravens are back in the playoff for the first time since 2014, and they’re peaking at the right time.

    Final Season Grade: A-

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    A 6-10 record isn’t something Buffalo Bills fans should be excited about after ending their playoff drought in 2017. However, the raw potential of quarterback Josh Allen is.

    Allen still has work to do as a passer, and he’ll probably never be a high-percentage signal-caller. However, he’s a legitimate dual-threat, and he has the arm talent to make a defense pay if it allows a receiver to run open down the field.

    Buffalo’s defense improved as the season wore one, finishing second in yards allowed (294.1 yards per game). If Allen can develop, the Bills get him some pass-catching weapons and this defense continues to thrive, the Bills will have a bright future.

    The 42-17 beatdown the Bills put on the rival Miami Dolphins in the season finale gave fans a glimpse of what that future could be.

    Final Season Grade: C

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    Mike McCarn/Associated Press

    Like the Falcons, the Carolina Panthers went from being a playoff team in 2017 to being an also-ran in 2018. Unlike the Falcons, the Panthers looked like a possible contender early in the year. At one point, Carolina was 6-2 and entering a pivotal prime-time matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Panthers got blown out in that game 52-21 and never recovered.

    Cam Newton’s shoulder injury played a big role in Carolina’s collapse. As the season wore on, he found it more and more difficult to stretch the field and to fit the ball into tight windows. This led to stalled drives and turnovers and ultimately to Newton getting benched for the remainder of the year.

    However, this wasn’t the only problem the Panthers had. An inconsistent defense—ranked 19th, allowing 23.9 points per game—and a lack of consistent receiving options not named Christian McCaffrey didn’t help matters.

    McCaffrey, who finished with 1,098 yards rushing and 867 yards receiving, was a bright spot on a season that didn’t have many in the second half.

    Final Season Grade: D+

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    David Banks/Associated Press

    Any time a team goes from worst to first in its division, as the Chicago Bears did, it has to be considered a rousing success. After going just 5-11 in 2017, Chicago even had a chance at earning the No. 2 seed in the NFC and settled at 12-4 and the third seed.

    Still, the Bears are built to do damage in the postseason. They have a stifling defense that has allowed an NFL-low 17.7 points per game. That’s kept Chicago in most contests so far and will do the same in the postseason.

    Offensively, Matt Nagy’s system has opened up the running game and made life easier on second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. While Trubisky still needs to work on his consistency as a passer, he looked far better than he did as a rookie.

    Getting to this point has to feel good for Bears fans, as does knocking the Minnesota Vikings out in Week 17.

    Final Season Grade: A-

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    Gary Landers/Associated Press

    The Cincinnati Bengals’ season ended up being disappointing. Though the preseason expectations might not have been grand, a 4-1 start escalated them. However, Cincinnati won just one game in the second half of the season and sputtered to a 6-10 finish.

    Some of the blame has to be placed on head coach Marvin Lewis, who has long struggled to maintain discipline and to get his team to rise against adversity. Cincinnati has to think long and hard about making a coaching change.

    However, injuries were an even bigger culprit, which is why Lewis may well return and why we’re not giving the Bengals a firm “F” for their collapse. Standout players like A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert, Tyler Boyd and Dre Kirkpatrick all finished the season on injured reserve. That’s a mass of injuries that would be hard for any team to overcome.

    We’re not giving Cincinnati a clean pass, though, because the team regularly rolled over whenever things started going wrong down the stretch.

    *Update: Lewis informed the Bengals he had been let go on Monday, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.

    Final Season Grade: C-

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Browns. After going 0-16 last year, they were 2-5-1 with Hue Jackson as head coach and Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. Both were fired. Instead of just playing out the season and coasting to another rebuild, though, Mayfield and the Browns battled their way into relevance.

    With Gregg Williams as interim coach and Freddie Kitchens as interim offensive coordinator, Cleveland went on a 5-3 run to finish the season. All three of their losses in the second half of the season came against teams now in the playoffs.

    What’s more, Mayfield and rookie running back Nick Chubb took off under Kitchens’ guidance. Chubb didn’t start a game until Week 7 and still finished just a few yards shy of 1,000. As we mentioned in the opening, Mayfield now holds the rookie touchdown passing record with 27. He didn’t start until Week 4.

    The Browns should probably be in the playoffs, but the early-season struggles sabotaged that possibility. However, when you consider where Cleveland was in the preseason and at midseason, it’s hard not to consider 2018 a big success. The challenge now is finding the right coaching staff to build on it.

    Final Season Grade: B+

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    Early in the season, the Dallas Cowboys looked like another middling team destined for an 8-8 finish. The defense and running game were solid, but the offensive line wasn’t the major strength it was a couple of years ago, and Dak Prescott struggled to push the ball downfield.

    The line is still an occasional liability, but the defense has taken over as the team strength. It’s allowing just 20.2 points per game, sixth-fewest in the NFL. Meanwhile, the trade for wide receiver Amari Cooper just before the deadline allowed the downfield passing game to flourish.

    Dallas isn’t suddenly going to try winning shootouts in the postseason, but the Cowboys can pressure a secondary while also grinding out games with defense and the run.

    There have been stumbles along the way, but Dallas managed to get to 10-6, win the NFC East and host a playoff game.

    Final Season Grade: B+

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Finishing with a 6-10 record was regrettable for the Denver Broncos. How they got there was more so.

    Denver stayed in playoff contention up until Week 15, when the upstart Browns came into Denver and knocked them out. Denver lost its final four games of the season and after the Cleveland loss appeared to give up all sense of fight.

    The Broncos’ last two losses were by a combined score of 50-23.

    Now it looks like the Broncos will be parting with head coach Vance Joseph.

    “This is our first time having back-to-back losing seasons since the ’70s, right?” linebacker Brandon Marshall said, per Mike Klis of Denver 9 news. “That’s not going to fly around here.”

    Less than three years after Peyton Manning helped lead Denver to a Super Bowl, it may finally be time for a full rebuild and not just some patchwork.

    Final Season Grade: D-

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    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    The Detroit Lions may not have had the highest expectations coming into the season, but it’s been a frustrating year for fans. We’ve seen signs of promise, as Detroit throttled the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers (twice). We also saw Detroit blow winnable games against below-average teams like the Bills and San Francisco 49ers.

    New head coach Matt Patricia has seemed in over his head at times this season, but he cannot bear the blame for all the lows. Injuries to Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones hurt the offense, as did the trading of Golden Tate.

    We didn’t see quarterback Matthew Stafford carry the offense as we have in years past, but this may be a positive sign. Detroit was a much more balanced team overall, and if additional receiving options help Stafford bounce back in 2019, this could be a playoff team.

    Final Season Grade: C-

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    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Folks accustomed to seeing Aaron Rodgers regularly carry the team had high hopes for the Green Bay Packers in 2018. CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, for example, predicted the Packers would win the Super Bowl to cap the postseason.

    Green Bay isn’t even going to reach the postseason, however, for a couple of reasons. The biggest is that Rodgers didn’t play well enough to carry the team.

    There were other issues to be sure. The defense allowed an average of 25 points per game, the rushing attack was inconsistent, and the play-calling of head coach Mike McCarthy was questionable at best—and McCarthy was eventually fired for it.

    Rodgers wasn’t himself, though, and perhaps that early knee injury is to blame. He missed open receivers where he usually wouldn’t, and he was extra-quick to throw the ball away. With Rodgers not at his best, the Packers struggled to compete with even average opponents.

    For a team that some saw as a future champion, that’s a failure.

    Final Season Grade: F

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    There were expectations for the Houston Texans coming into the regular season, but they were tempered. A lot was always going to depend on how Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus fared coming back from season-ending injuries. After starting 0-3, it looked like Houston could be in for a long year.

    However, Watson, Watt and Co. eventually rounded into form.

    Watson? He passed for more than 4,100 yards and 26 touchdowns. Watt? He racked up 16.0 sacks. Mercilus finished with 39 tackles and 4.0 sacks of his own. It’s safe to say these injured players returned to make their mark, and the Texans became one of the more balanced teams in the league.

    Getting the division title wasn’t a cakewalk. The Texans ripped off nine wins in a row. They survived the losses of wide receivers Will Fuller and Demaryius Thomas. They survived challenges in the AFC South from the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. 

    A loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16 cost Houston a first-round playoff bye, but the Texans are in the postseason and moving on.

    Final Season Grade: A-

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    It was hard to tell what to expect from the Indianapolis Colts heading into 2018. There was no telling what kind of quarterback Andrew Luck would be after missing a season while recovering from shoulder surgery. In addition, the Colts were dealing with their second choice of head coach in Frank Reich and a revamped offensive line and defense.

    When Indianapolis started 1-5, it looked like it was going to be a long and underwhelming season.

    That feels like an eternity ago. When the Colts beat the Tennessee Titans 33-17, they capped a 9-1 run and earned themselves a trip to the postseason.

    Along the way, Reich balanced out the offense with a reliable running game. Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus forged the 10th-ranked defense (21.5 points per game allowed). Luck made a star out of tight end Eric Ebron (13 touchdowns).

    Yes, the Colts have a healthy Luck. They also have the most balanced team we’ve seen in Indianapolis in some time, and this is why they have a shot in the postseason.

    Final Season Grade: B+

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    A disappointment. That’s the only thing you can call the mess that was the Jaguars’ 2018 season.

    This was a team that went to the AFC title game last season and came just a few plays away from reaching the Super Bowl. Jacksonville gave quarterback Blake Bortles a three-year, $54 million deal in the offseason, and naturally, preseason expectations were high.

    Those expectations were shot by the halfway point. The Jaguars defense didn’t look like the same dominant unit of 2017. Bortles played poorly and was replaced for a stretch by backup Cody Kessler. Leonard Fournette struggled to stay healthy, and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was fired in late November.

    On Sunday, Jacksonville tried to limp out the season in a 20-3 loss to Houston.

    Jacksonville announced it will bring head coach Doug Marrone back for 2019, but make no mistake: some serious changes are in order if the Jaguars want to get back to the postseason. Fixing the quarterback position has to be at the top of the list.

    Final Season Grade: F

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    It’s hard not to like what the Kansas City Chiefs have accomplished in the regular season. They’ve turned Patrick Mahomes into an MVP-caliber quarterback, they’ve dumped running back Kareem Hunt and kept the ground game rolling, and they’ve started making strides on defense.

    While the Chiefs defense can still be a liability at times, key stops and takeaways have allowed Kansas City to outscore opponents more often than not. The Chiefs are allowing an average of 26.3 points per game. They’re scoring a league-high 35.3.

    The one cause for concern is the playoff field in the AFC. Kansas City has already lost to the Chargers and the New England Patriots. The team barely escaped the Ravens. Even at home, the Chiefs are not a lock to beat anyone in the postseason.

    Of course, the Chiefs will be at home. Sunday’s win over the Oakland Raiders secured the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the AFC.

    Final Season Grade: A

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Chargers are going to be a team to fear in the postseason. They’ve navigated adversity—like the absence of star pass-rusher Joey Bosa for much of the season and injuries at running back—and they’ve stayed on the heels of the Chiefs the entire way. They’ve won tough road games in playoff atmospheres.

    The fact that they should be relatively healthy and have the full roster available makes them dangerous. However, Los Angeles would obviously be in a much better position if it had earned a first-round bye.

    A slip-up against the rival Broncos cost the Chargers the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

    Denver is the only non-playoff team the Chargers lost to. Because L.A. finished as a wild-card team, it will face one of the other three teams it lost to, the Ravens, in the opening round.

    Final Season Grade: A-

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    Make no mistake: the Los Angeles Rams are a flawed football team. The offense looks tremendous when everything is going right, and it can look really off when quarterback Jared Goff is struggling. Todd Gurley can carry the offense when he’s healthy, but he hasn’t been that all season.

    The defense, which allowed 24.0 points per game, has a lot of playmaking ability but is still vulnerable.

    Yet it’s hard to argue with results. The Rams finished with a 13-3 record and a first-round bye. All three losses came against teams that are in the postseason—though the fact that two came within the final month is a little unsettling. It’s also unsettling that all three teams that beat L.A. are in the NFC playoffs.

    Rams fans had better hope their team plays more like it did at the beginning of the season when it seemed unstoppable.

    Final Season Grade: A-

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    Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

    The Dolphins’ season has to be considered a disappointment because of the general mediocrity of it. Yes, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed five games, but he missed the entire 2017 season too. If having him for 11 starts was only worth a one-win improvement, the Dolphins have to wonder if he’s their franchise quarterback.

    “I don’t know,” Tannehill said when asked if he had played well enough to keep the starting job in 2019, according to Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald.

    Miami also has to figure out if Adam Gase should remain head coach, and that’s a tough call. He had them in playoff contention until a final 2-5 stretch doomed the season. However, Gase has also gone 23-25 in his three seasons, with one playoff appearance and no postseason wins.

    *Update: Gase was fired on Monday morning, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

    Regular Season Grade: C-

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    This was supposed to be the Vikings’ year. After reaching the NFC title game with journeyman Case Keenum under center, expectations were high for Minnesota coming into the season. After all, inking Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal that was fully guaranteed was supposed to upgrade the position.

    Cousins was mostly a disappointment, as was the Vikings’ season overall. Minnesota fell a game short of the playoffs, and a lot can be attributed to the poor play of Cousins in key games.

    However, Cousins cannot shoulder all the blame. The Vikings got pushed around in the trenches far too often, and a lack of a quality running game (just 93.3 yards per game) often made the offense one-dimensional. Questionable play-calling from recently fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo didn’t help.

    Even if you didn’t view the Vikings as title contenders coming into the season, it was hard to envision them as a team that would miss the playoffs entirely.

    Final Season Grade: D

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Given that the New England Patriots only narrowly fell short in last year’s Super Bowl, their 11-5 record may have fallen short of some expectations. The Patriots still won the AFC East and ended up with a first-round bye.

    However, not everything went smoothly in 2018. Tom Brady seemed off far too often—though that may have as much to do with the pieces around him as his age. The defense has been a liability at times, and New England struggled on the road.

    If the Patriots get to the AFC championship game, there’s a good chance they’ll play on the road in Kansas City.

    Still, New England has Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. Those two make this a tough team to bet against in the postseason. So does the 38-3 shellacking the Patriots put on the New York Jets in the season finale. It gives the team momentum to carry into the playoffs.

    Final Season Grade: B

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    Bill Feig/Associated Press

    The New Orleans Saints dropped an ugly 33-14 contest to the Panthers in Week 17. Saints fans don’t need to panic, though, as backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater started the game, and few starters saw significant action.

    This was also just the Saints’ third loss of the season, and a meaningless one at that. New Orleans clinched the NFC’s No. 1 seed in Week 16.

    There’s little for Saints fans to complain about. The Saints dropped an ugly road game to the Cowboys, and that’s the only meaningful loss they’ve had since Week 1. New Orleans has shown it can win games with the run, with Drew Brees‘ arm and with defense. That’s going to make the Saints a tough out for any opponent in the postseason.

    Having a bye week and home-field advantage throughout certainly won’t hurt.

    Final Season Grade: A+

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    To Eli or not to Eli? This is the question the New York Giants have to ask in the offseason. Quarterback Eli Manning got off to a slow start this season, but he played well down the stretch, finishing with 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and a 92.4 passer rating.

    Do the Giants use their sixth overall draft pick to get a new quarterback, or do they use it to fix one of the holes surrounding Manning?

    New York had plenty of holes too. The offensive line, which allowed 47 sacks, was a liability, and the defense struggled to get timely stops and to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

    Rookie running back Saquon Barkley was not a weakness. He finished with over 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards and was as good as advertised.

    The Giants shouldn’t be that far away, and a 5-11 record with this roster is disappointing.

    Final Season Grade: C-

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    There was some good and some bad in the Jets’ 2018 season, but it was mostly bad.

    The Jets saw some glimpses of promise from rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, and that’s the biggest positive to take away. Darnold showed good mobility and plenty of arm talent through the season. His pocket presence also seemed to improve as the season went on. However, he struggled to sense pressure and had a propensity to make poor decisions.

    This led to 15 interceptions. With a running game that averaged just over 100 yards per contest and a defense that allowed 27.6 points per game (29th in the NFL), these mistakes were killers.

    The Jets didn’t have a ton of talent around Darnold, though, and he should take another step in 2019. He’ll do so for a new head coach, as this season was poor enough that Todd Bowles was fired after New York’s blowout loss to the Patriots in Week 17.

    Final Season Grade: D+

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    John Hefti/Associated Press

    The Oakland Raiders may not be playing in Oakland next season, but they’re well-positioned to build a strong foundation. They own the fourth overall pick in next year’s draft and will have first-round picks from Dallas and Chicago as well.

    Getting to this point hasn’t been pretty. New head coach Jon Gruden tore down the roster, traded away Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper and only guided his team to one win in the first 10 weeks of the season. However, things began to get better down the stretch.

    Quarterback Derek Carr finally appeared comfortable in Gruden’s offense in the final month. The defense, though still a liability, began to show promise late in the season too. December wins over the Steelers and Broncos give Oakland some momentum heading into 2019.

    Gruden’s long-term plan for a rebuild meant that this was never going to be a productive season. Fortunately, things weren’t as bad as the 0-16 gutting the Browns experienced in 2017.

    Final Season Grade: D+

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    Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Eagles did experience a bit of a Super Bowl hangover. Quarterback Carson Wentz didn’t play at the same level coming back from a torn ACL, the defense suffered multiple injuries in the secondary, and the Eagles started 4-6.

    However, the Eagles also clawed their way back into the playoff mix and rode Nick Foles to three wins to finish out the season. They’re in the playoffs as the No. 6 seed, and if they play like they have down the stretch, they could be dangerous.

    While Foles did exit the season finale against the Washington Redskins with a chest injury, he appears likely to be under center in the postseason.

    “My plan is to get ready to roll,” Foles said, per ESPN’s Michele Steele.

    Philadelphia fans would have preferred a more dominant season, but the Eagles avoided the full hangover experience, and they’ve kept their chances of repeating alive.

    Final Season Grade: B

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    At one point in the season, the Steelers sat at 7-2-1. They seemed like a near-lock to win the AFC North, or at the very least slide into the postseason. Neither happened, though, thanks to what was essentially the season equivalent of 28-3.

    Injuries did play a part, particularly the loss of running back James Conner. However, Jaylen Samuels filled in admirably when called upon. This collapse had more to do with defensive breakdowns and some questionable management by head coach Mike Tomlin—oh, and bad kicking.

    Would the Steelers still blow the game to the Raiders if Ben Roethlisberger returned earlier than he did? We can surmise that missed field goals cost Pittsburgh a win in Week 1 and a chance for overtime in Oakland.

    Overall, a 9-6-1 record isn’t disastrous, but the way Pittsburgh finished out the season after a hot start makes for one big disappointment.

    Final Season Grade: D+

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    We knew the 49ers season was going south when starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo—who signed a $137.5 million deal in the offseason—went down with a torn ACL in Week 3. San Francisco won just three games after Garoppolo was lost—four overall—but the season did bring some positives.

    San Francisco found itself a quality quarterback in Nick Mullens. His presence means there is no reason to rush Garoppolo back into action before he’s 100 percent ready. The 49ers also saw improvement in the trenches and in the secondary (just 233.2 yards passing per game allowed) and found a star in George Kittle.

    Kittle had one of the many records that were set in 2018: the most receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377.

    Even with these positives, the season was still a mild disappointment. There was a lot of hype surrounding the team following Garoppolo’s hot finish in 2017. Expectations changed when he went down, though, so it can’t be seen as a total failure.

    Final Season Grade: D+

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Seattle secured a playoff berth with a win over the Chiefs last week—and that win showed just how dangerous Seattle can be in the playoffs.

    Seattle has been largely overshadowed by the rival Rams this season, especially with Los Angeles clinching the NFC West back in Week 13. However, the Seahawks have looked like the better team down the stretch, and they’re built to win on the road in January.

    Seattle’s defense isn’t quite what it was during the Legion of Boom days, but it’s been solid and even dominant at times. The Seahawks have a resurgent running game led by Chris Carson, who topped the 1,000-yard mark.

    Of course, the Seahawks also have Russell Wilson, one of the most clutch leaders in the NFL. There are a lot of playoff teams that won’t want to see Seattle in the coming weeks.

    Final Season Grade: B+

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    Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

    The Buccaneers had one of the wackiest seasons in recent memory—at least at the quarterback position. It began with Jameis Winston on suspension and with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Briefly, we had the return of Fitzmagic. It seems so long ago now.

    Fitzpatrick and Winston traded off as the starter for most of the season, and while quarterback switches would often bring a temporary spark, the offense was unable to gather a real sense of chemistry. It didn’t help that the running game—and especially rookie second-round pick Ronald Jones—was underwhelming.

    The defense, which allowed just under 30 points per game, was also a big disappointment.

    The Buccaneers now have to figure out if Winston still is their quarterback of the future. The 2015 No. 1 pick is due to make $20.9 million next season, but that sum is guaranteed for injury only.

    They also need to figure out who will be the next head coach. The 5-11 season was poor enough for Tampa Bay to part with Dirk Koetter.

    Final Season Grade: D

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    Titans head coach Mike Vrabel deserves a ton of credit for fielding a team that has no quit in it. Tennessee fought down to the very end and nearly made it into the postseason.

    On one hand, this is a bit disappointing because Tennessee was a playoff team in 2017. On the other, this year’s incarnation often had to play without starting quarterback Marcus Mariota. This was the case in the finale against Indianapolis, and yet the Titans managed to keep things close until late.

    If Tennessee can keep Mariota on the field and give him a couple more weapons in the passing game, the Titans will be a force in the AFC South for the foreseeable future.

    The running game and the defense, which allowed just 18.9 points per game, are already playoff-caliber. The Titans fell short this year, but considering Blaine Gabbert played significant snaps in five different games, this was still an above-average season.

    Final Season Grade: C+

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    The Redskins rolled over in the season finale, losing 24-0. This isn’t a shock after injuries at the quarterback position doomed the season in mid-November.

    Starter Alex Smith, who was brought in on a four-year, $94 million deal, suffered a broken leg in Week 11. Backup Colt McCoy suffered his own broken leg two weeks later, and Washington butt-fumbled its way through a brief stint with Mark Sanchez under center.

    Josh Johnson provided a bit of a spark at quarterback, but the Redskins offense was never the same after Smith went down. They lost six of their final seven, and that’s disappointing because at 6-3 they once looked ready to win the NFC East.

    The resurgence of Adrian Peterson, who had another 1,000-yard season, was a nice story. However, Washington will likely turn to second-year back Derrius Guice in 2019. Depending on how Smith’s recovery goes this offseason, Washington may need to look at other quarterback options as well.

    Final Season Grade: C-

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