Midseason Grades for the New Faces in New Places 

Midseason Grades for the New Faces in New Places 

by October 30, 2020 2 comments

As the halfway point of the 2020 NFL season is quickly approaching, here’s a look at 10 old guys who now call new places and teams home. From Veterans who prior to this season spent their whole career in one place, as Philip Rivers and Tom Brady, to journeymen who have made a few different stops along the way, Like Jadeveon Clowney and Teddy Bridgewater.

Tom Brady 

Maybe the biggest and shocking name to change locations this past offseason. The 6-time Super Bowl Champion, without the benefit of a training camp, had some growing pains early on. As the weeks have passed, he has developed chemistry with his various flashy new toys in Tampa Bay. That will likely improve even more in the coming weeks with the Buccaneers debut of Antonio Brown on the horizon. Grade: A

Rob Gronkowski 

After a year away from football, Gronk decided to come out of retirement and join his old quarterback in Tampa Bay. It was thought that the duo who connected for so many clutch plays and touchdowns, would pick up right where they left off. But in his own words, the tight end said he was fine with being a blocking tight end. In recent weeks, the duo of old has begun to resurface. Grade: C+

Cam Newton 

The former MVP signed with the Patriots, which was strange in that he wasn’t a fit for Bill Belichek and Josh McDaniels’ offense. Through the first couple of games, he looked like the Cam from his Carolina Panthers days, making it seem like he was a steal signing. But after missing time on the Covid list he has struggled to put anything together. He was even benched after a sub-par performance against the 49ers. Three of the teams in the division are all within two games of each other and the top spot. Hopefully, Newton can get it together. Grade: C

Teddy Bridgewater 

After his resurgence last season filling in for Drew Brees in New Orleans, Bridgewater was one of the highly coveted free agents. He has had his share of ups and downs through this point in his Panthers career. The loss of Christian McCaffrey has altered opposing defenses gameplans, to key in on the quarterback. McCaffrey is about to come back and the team and Bridgewater will benefit greatly from it. Grade: B-

DeAndre Hopkins 

After a trade that was the beginning of the end of the Bill O’Brien era in Houston, Hopkins joined Kyler Murray in Arizona. All he has done since is lead the NFL in receiving yards and his team is just a half a game out of first place in the NFC West, while his former team has just one win and sit tied for last place in the AFC South. Grade: A+

Jadeveon Clowney

The biggest defensive name on the free-agent market waited until the 11th hour to decide where he was going to sign. After choosing to play for his former defensive coach Mike Vrabel and the Titans, it looked like they got their linchpin to advancing further than an AFC Championship Game loss. To this point, Clowney has not been much of a factor. But he has garnered double teams, allowing other defenders to make plays in the backfield. Heading into the second half of the season, the Titans will be looking for a bigger impact from Clowney. Grade: D

Nick Foles 

The journeyman quarterback took over the offense in Chicago after coach Matt Nagy benched an ineffective Mitch Trubisky. Foles led the Bears to a comeback victory in relief. Since then he has struggled to get on the same page with his receivers. The team’s lack of a running game since losing Tarik Cohen to injury hasn’t helped Foles’ cause. Grade: D

Stephen Gostkowski 

A rather under the radar signing in the offseason by the Titans, who had kicking woes last season. The former Patriots kicker was all but automatic. He has struggled from Week 1, where he left 10 points off of the scoreboard, in Denver. In Week 7 he missed a game-tying field goal to force overtime against the Steelers. If Gostkowski continues to struggle, coach Vrabel may opt to keep his offense out there on fourth downs more frequently. Grade: F

Philip Rivers 

The veteran signal-caller took his talents east to Indianapolis. The scenery has changed but Rivers is still the same player. He can lead his team back from a three-score deficit one week. And the next week he’ll throw an ill-advised interception ending a potential game-winning two-minute drill. But the Colts sit just one game behind the division-leading Titans. Grade: B 

Stefon Diggs

The Buffalo Bills offense and quarterback Josh Allen now boast one of the top playmaking number one receivers in the league. In true number one fashion, Diggs is among the top five receivers in yards heading into week 8. Prior to a two-game stretch where the offense struggled, the Allen-Diggs connection was the top in the AFC if not the NFL. Grade: A

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

Husband, father of 3 and an avid sports fan. Living out my childhood dream of writing about sports, now that I'm in my forties.

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