Ranking the quarterbacks on the Packers 2020 schedule
As we all know, the NFL is a quarterback league and if you don’t have a good one you’re already behind the eight ball.
The Green Bay Packers have not had to worry about that problem much, since they have been blessed with excellent quarterback play since Brett Favre came to town in 1992. Luckily for all the cheeseheads out there, Aaron Rodgers is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and will give the Packers a quarterback advantage in every game they play in 2020.
Green Bay will play many talented quarterbacks this season, and while some are long in the tooth, there are hardly any “easy” quarterbacks on the Packers schedule.
Here’s the how the Packers 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 Green Bay 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 Packers 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 mustachioed Minshew 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 not have a stellar record when they come to Lambeau Field in Week 10, but Minshew’s elusiveness and accuracy could become issues for the Packers.
- Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers
Bridgewater 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 Green Bay. If he reverts to the way he played with the Miami Dolphins, then the Packers should be able to limit him when they play the Tennessee Titans in Week 16. The Packers coaching staff will surely emphasize the importance of slowing down Derrick Henry, so Tannehill will likely be the X-factor in this Week 16 game.
- 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 the 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.
- Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay is 2-1-1 against Minnesota with Cousins at quarterback and will presumably have two more opportunities to improve that record in 2020. For all the debate about Cousins’ ability, he has at least proven himself to be an accurate, capable starter who can lead teams to the playoffs. He finished the 2019 season with 3,603 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 69.1% completion percentage, though he won’t have Stefon Diggs to throw to this season. Cousins may not be an elite franchise quarterback, but he is good enough to beat you any given Sunday.
- Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
The Packers most difficult game of the season is probably in Week 9 when they travel to the Bay Area to play the San Francisco 49ers. While Garoppolo is not the top strength of the 49ers, he is more than capable of operating Kyle Shanahan’s offense and guiding his team to victory. San Francisco’s defense and running game will probably be the Packers’ main defensive focus, but Jimmy G is no slouch with George Kittle and Deebo Samuel as prime offensive targets.
- Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz’s NFL career has taken some weird twists and turns, but through it all, his talent has been very evident. He has elite mobility and arm strength, plus he is pretty accurate and has thrown just seven interceptions in each of the last three seasons. The Packers got to see what a fully operational Wentz looked like in their 34-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last season and if he can stay healthy, then the Packers’ Week 13 home game against Philly could be very entertaining.
- Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan won’t be confused as a top-five NFL quarterback on a yearly basis, but he is certainly on that second level. The Atlanta Falcons’ signal caller has won three of his past four matchups against Green Bay, and while Ryan probably won’t regain his 2016 MVP form, he is an experienced, accurate passer that has seen it all and knows how to win in the NFL. Not to mention that he will be throwing to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley which will definitely help.
- Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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
Much like Brady, Brees would also be higher on this list if he was a bit younger. In fact, 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 the best and most athletic quarterback Green Bay will play this year, assuming Houston 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.