Spoiler alert: When you win 89 percent of your games and finish the year with a championship, your grades for that season are going to be almost universally stellar.
But when it comes to the big picture with the 2016 Patriots, it's the road they traveled to achieve those marks that makes the As and the Bs all the more impressive.
Offensively they got by without Tom Brady for four games and without Rob Gronkowski for 11. They altered their style from week to week, employed first and second-year Patriots at center, guard, receiver and tight end, and still placed themselves among the most efficient offenses in the league when it was all said and done.
Defensively they weathered shakeup before the season in the form of the Chandler Jones trade, and during the season in the form of the Jamie Collins deal. The latter left players scratching their heads and wondering what their roles would be, but they settled in. The team welcomed new pieces at defensive end, corner and linebacker, and they still ended up as the No. 1 scoring defense in the league.
On special teams, Stephen Gostkowski missed 10 kicks, including five extra points, and rookie return man Cyrus Jones fumbled five times. But the Patriots still topped the league in terms of the average starting field position they gave opposing offenses, which was due in large part to their work in the kicking game.
The Patriots have set for themselves an impossibly lofty standard, the type of standard that leads to relatively subdued locker rooms following wins in the Divisional Round and the AFC Championship Game. But in 2016 they met and exceeded those standards while enduring the kind of turbulence that might have doomed lesser groups.
That's why the grades are where they are. Let's get to them.