Ranking the quarterbacks on the Vikings 2020 schedule
The Minnesota Vikings were able to get good quarterback play from Kirk Cousins in 2019 and unsurprisingly Minnesota went 10-6 and won a playoff game. They’ll need that level of play to continue in 2020 if the team wants to remain successful.
Minnesota will play plenty of talented quarterbacks this season, and while some are long in the tooth, there are hardly any “easy” quarterbacks on the Vikings schedule.
Here’s the how the Vikings quarterback opponents shake out in 2020:
- Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Unless Trubisky completely changes as a player in 2020 then he will remain the worst quarterback Minnesota has to play this upcoming season. We’ve seen enough and it seems unlikely that he will finish out the season as the starter with Nick Foles in the fold in Chicago. Either way, the Vikings will have the quarterback advantage in both matchups against the Bears.
- Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts
Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks of his generation, but his best days are behind him. He tossed 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2019 and at age 38 it is unlikely he will improve in a significant way during his first year with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts do have a solid infrastructure of players around him, so maybe they will be able to win some games with ball control and defense, but Rivers’ days as a Pro Bowl level NFL quarterback are gone.
- Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Many might think of Minshew as kind of a fun, exciting backup type that can win a few games, but there is a chance he emerges as a legitimate starter. In 12 starts last season, the Mississippi Mustache (hands down the best current NFL nickname) threw for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and six picks with a 91.2 passer rating. Not bad at all, but Minshew will have to prove it again in 2020. The Jacksonville Jaguars might be far removed from playoff contention when they come to U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 13, but Minshew’s elusiveness and accuracy could become issues for the Vikings.
- Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers
Bridgewater will make his return to Minnesota as a starting quarterback in Week 12. He signed with the Carolina Panthers to a three-year deal worth $63 million and will lead an offense that features explosive offensive weapons Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. Bridgewater is a smart and accurate signal caller and, along with the offensive skill talent, he will get to play under dynamic new head coach Matt Rhule and creative offensive coordinator Joe Brady, which could make the Panthers one of the surprises in the NFL this season.
- Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
If Tannehill plays like he did during the 2019 regular-season, then he might have the best game of any quarterback against Minnesota. If he reverts to the way he played with the Miami Dolphins, then the Vikings should be able to limit him when they play the Tennessee Titans in Week 3. Head coach Mike Zimmer will surely have his squad ready to slow down Derrick Henry, so Tannehill will likely be the X-factor in this matchup.
- Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions
Stafford missed half of Detroit’s games with a back injury in 2019 but should be good to go in 2020. He and the Lions have been fairly inconsistent since the team took him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2009. It seems likely that Stafford and the Lions will be up and down this season. Stafford is a solid quarterback, but he has not been elevated by the infrastructure of Detroit and it does not seem like the Matt Patricia-led Lions will have a breakthrough this season.
- Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Entering his fifth year in the NFL, Prescott has solidified himself as a good quarterback. Is he elite? Probably not, since the Dallas Cowboys could only get to 8-8 last season in a weak division, though he did record 4,902 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Regardless of his perception, Prescott is more than capable leading his team to victory any given Sunday, especially with Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb as offensive weapons.
- Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan won’t be confused as a top-tier, elite NFL quarterback on a yearly basis, but he is certainly on that second level. The Vikings have beat the Atlanta Falcons in their last four matchups, so while Ryan has not been great against Minnesota the four-time Pro Bowl QB undoubtedly has some good seasons left in the tank and could be a tough opponent for the Vikings in Week 6.
- Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Much like Brees, Brady would also be higher on this list if he was a bit younger. Brady was decent but not excellent in 2019, throwing for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 60.8% of his passes with a passer rating of 88.0. The six-time Super Bowl champ showed signs of slight erosion last season, but with a talented cast of new teammates and an aggressive coach in Bruce Arians, 43-year-old Brady could have a rejuvenated season in Tampa Bay.
- Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
If this ranking was about the 2018 season, then Brees might have the top spot in this list. It’s 2020, however, and the 41-year-old Brees has slowed down a bit in the past few years. This might be his final season in the NFL. With that in mind, Brees was still a very effective quarterback in 2019 and cannot be counted out as long as Sean Payton is dialing up plays and Michael Thomas catches every ball in his path.
- Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Watson is probably the most athletic quarterback Minnesota will face this year, assuming Texans head coach Bill O’Brien does not trade him before the season. Watson will not have DeAndre Hopkins to throw to anymore, but he can still create positive plays from scratch and deep threats Will Fuller, Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks will be tough to slow down.
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
At age 36, Rodgers is now on the back nine of his NFL career, but his blend of talent and experience should still strike fear into the Vikings defense. He managed to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 13-3 record and a trip the NFC championship game along with two wins over Minnesota in 2019. Rodgers will be tough to count out, even if the Vikings are able to clip the Packers once this season.
- Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and certainly the best in the NFC. Vikings fans know that all too well, since Wilson has never lost to the purple and gold in his NFL career, and after throwing for 4,110 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2019, it’s going to be tough to beat him again. Century Link Field may not be as loud in 2020, but the Seahawks’ biggest threat wears No. 3 and he will still be there.