2023 NFL Season: Grades for teams coming off Week 5 bye

Oct 1, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws
Oct 1, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all sat out Week 5 and get back to the playing field on Sunday and, in the case of the Chargers, Monday night. All four teams got out of the gate with either a .500 mark or a 3-1 record. So, what kind of grade has each squad earned after four games?

NFL 2023: Grades for teams coming off Week 5 Bye

Cleveland Browns (2-2)

The hiring of Jim Schwartz and the additions of Za’Darius Smith, Dalvin Tomlinson and Shelby Harris have made the Browns very formidable on the defensive side of the ball. Entering Week 6, no team in the league had given up fewer total yards per game. Cleveland has allowed five offensive TDs in four games.

It’s been a different story on offense as quarterback Deshaun Watson has been turnover-prone. He’s out of action for now. The Browns lost running back Nick Chubb in Week 2. Can the defense carry the team?

Grade: B-

Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)

After narrow losses to the Dolphins and Titans by a combined five points, Brandon Staley’s team held on to win at Minnesota and knocked off the Raiders at SoFi Stadium. The Chargers have missed running back Austin Ekeler, who has been out of action the past three games, while Justin Herbert is off a great start.

No team in the league has allowed more passing yards per game. Khalil Mack (6) and Joey Bosa (3) have combined for nine of the team’s 16 sacks. All of Mack’s QB traps came in the win over the Raiders.

Grade: B

Seattle Seahawks (3-1)

The Seahawks’ 30-13 loss at home to the Rams in the season opener was one of the more mystifying results of Week 1. Pete Carroll’s club has looked anything but lifeless since and have scored a combined 98 points in its last three outings – all wins. Seattle has turned over the ball once in four games.

The defense has some issues, especially when it comes to stopping the pass. Carroll’s team has totaled 16 sacks, with 10 different players contributing to that total. The return of Bobby Wagner has been huge.

Grade: B+

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)

Off last season’s losing campaign (which still resulted in a division champion), the Buccaneers entered 2023 with more questions than answers, especially at quarterback. Well-traveled Baker Mayfield has thrown for seven scores and just two interceptions while connecting on 69.6 percent of his passes.

Mike Evans has three of those touchdowns and is averaging 16.9 yards per reception. The defense has been stellar, allowing only six offensive touchdowns. The Bucs have committed only two turnovers.

Grade: A-