The irony is incredibly thick, isn’t it?
After an entertaining summer of NFC North fans attempting to troll the Packers about their tenuous quarterback situation, they’re all left rooting for teams with worse quarterback situations than Green Bay (yet again) as the 2021 season finally arrives.
Will they ever learn?
The national narrative all offseason was that the Green Bay Packers had no idea who would be their quarterback in 2021. Division rivals, fans and content creators relished in the ‘unknown’ in Green Bay.
Some found joy, some laughed and some rejoiced that the Packers’ long run of quarterback supremacy in the division (and league, really) was supposedly coming to an end.
Detroit fans were happy. Minnesota fans were happy and quite vocal. Chicago fans were happy and incredibly vocal about the ‘turning of the tides at quarterback in the NFC North.’ They had their new rookie quarterback and Rodgers was gone. The Packers’ time had come to an end and the Bears’ time was about to begin. At least, that was the story in May, June, July and much of August.
The trash-talking out of Chicagoland was aplenty — but then it happened.
Aaron Rodgers reported to Green Bay’s training camp and suddenly the jokes stopped. Reality set it. That reality being the Packers’ still have the best quarterback situation in the NFC North.
The rejoicing of Bears fans (and Vikings and Lions fans) had crescendoed until it fell silent. From chaos at quarterback in Green Bay to sweet, sweet serenity when the king returned.
As Packers podcaster, and friend of the site, Matt Ramage succinctly said to other NFC North fans the other day, “Until further notice, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers is yo daddy.”
We couldn’t have said it better.
If something happens to Rodgers, the Packers have an insurance policy in the way of a strong-armed, humble first round draft pick quarterback named Jordan Love. It’s the best one-two punch in the NFC North at quarterback and maybe in the league for this season specifically. The reigning league MVP is calling the shots and (possibly) his heir apparent is watching his every move for the second straight season.
Now that we know the Packers’ quarterback situation is settled for 2021, let’s take a look at where the quarterback rooms of the other NFC North teams.
The State of QB in Chicago:
The Chicago Bears have good reason to think they have a bright future at quarterback. Rookie Justin Fields is incredibly talented, but we won’t know how good of a professional he will be until he starts for a few seasons. Remember how excited Bears fans were about a young Mitch Trubisky? We did the same thing with Jay Cutler and on and on it goes. Bears fans have been waiting for a reliable quarterback since Sid Luckman retired in 1950.
Will Fields actually be great?
Just as Jordan Love might actually be great. We simply don’t know yet. And that’s the thing. Bears fans were so ready to celebrate Rodgers leaving that they forgot that even if he did leave, both teams would be in the same position at quarterback.
…and Rodgers didn’t leave.
We can probably conclude that the Packers and Bears are on fairly equal footing in terms of the future at quarterback.
Heading into the 2021 season however? The Packers, of course, have three-time AP MVP Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. The Bears, sadly, have Andy Dalton leading their team to kick off the season.
For 2021? The Packers have the obvious, astronomical advantage over the Bears.
For 2022 and beyond? The Packers and Bears are in similar situations (if Rodgers does in fact leave).
So which team has the better quarterback situation?
Obviously Green Bay. But it’s really funny to make that statement after this entire offseason being about how the Packers’ quarterback situation was chaotic, unsettled and going to be potentially worse than the Bears’ quarterback situation.
Swing and miss, Bears fans.
The State of QB in Minnesota:
This summer Vikings fans had a lot of fun with the ‘drama’ surrounding the Packers and their quarterback position. They aren’t having as much fun with it today.
Plus, their quarterback and leader of their team suggested attending team meetings inside of a plexiglass box all season. So, yeah.
We’re not going to get into the political aspect of getting vaccinated. Mostly because we simply don’t see how in the hell it ever became a political issue in the first place.
The fact remains, regardless of your beliefs, Kirk Cousins has, statistically, a higher chance of contracting COVID-19 than Aaron Rodgers, who has stated he is vaccinated. We would never, ever wish injury or COVID on any player. We hope Cousins stays healthy, safe and without any sickness. But again, it’s just a fact that he could miss a game, or two, or three, or more to COVID if worst comes to worst.
Beyond that though, there isn’t a single person on earth who would rather have Cousins as their team’s quarterback than Rodgers. Cousins isn’t some young quarterback either. He’s 33 years old. He is exactly who he will be in the NFL.
The Packers, as previously stated, have second year Jordan Love (first round draft pick) in the stable, too.
So not only is Rodgers clearly the best quarterback in the division, if both Cousins and Rodgers have to miss games, the Packers’ quarterback situation would still be better than Minnesota’s.
The Vikings’ backup quarterback is third round selection rookie Kellen Mond. Could he turn out to be a quality starter? Sure, but he’s not cut from the same cloth as the two young first round quarterbacks in the division.
Plus, Cousins’ contract is guaranteed through the 2022 season. So the backup quarterback couldn’t be the answer even if they wanted him to be.
The Vikings’ organization as a whole is on thin ice. If head coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t lead his team deep into the playoffs there’s a chance he could be gone. Sure, they extended his contract through 2023, but they’ll cut that dead weight if needed. Their offensive line has been in the bottom ten of the league every year since 2017 and their prized rookie left tackle, Christian Darrisaw, has been hurt all summer. He may play starting in Week One, but he likely won’t be ‘ready’ for the big show at first.
What it all adds up to in Minnesota is their franchise is at a crossroads and they were banking on enjoying more success than they’ve experienced. They thought they would be perennial contenders. Wrong. It may soon be time to burn it all down. And thinking back to this summer and all of the trash Vikings fans were talking, it’s hilarious.
The Packers, like the Bears, have ample reason for excitement with their young backup quarterbacks. Minnesota does not have quite that same level of excitement. And the Lions definitely do not. Speaking of…
The State of QB in Detroit:
Well, the Detroit Lions are still the Detroit Lions.
They traded away their above-average quarterback in Matt Stafford and are left with Jared Goff. Huge downgrade. Sure, they’re in the middle of a rebuild, but there’s no reason to be excited at the quarterback position in Detroit.
For the Lions fans celebrating the Packers’ quarterback situation this summer, well, when the dust settled it’s Rodgers in Green Bay and Goff in Detroit. Which would you rather have?
Detroit will have to draft a quarterback next offseason and hope he develops into an exciting talent. They’ve had only one good quarterback in recent memory, so if I were a Lions fan I wouldn’t hold my breath.
“Well what if Jordan Love is bad?”
Yeah, he might be. But the Packers have a much better track record of using first round picks to acquire talented quarterbacks than any other NFL franchise. They did it to get Brett Favre and Rodgers. Have they done it again with Love? Who knows, but I like their odds better than Detroit’s odds.
Getting your next quarterback before you need them is always the best strategy. The Lions, unfortunately for them, are in ‘need mode’ heading into the 2022 season.
We’ll see how that goes.
Ex-Packer Tim Boyle was playing well this offseason, but is now hurt and out with a broken thumb. That puts David Blough in the backup quarterback spot at the moment. Not a great situation.
The team has a new head coach, new coordinators and they’ve recently lost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. They replaced these guys with… checks notes… Tyrell Williams, Trinity Benson and KhaDarel Hodge. Who?
Good luck Lions.
Now Factor In WR Rooms:
The Lions, as we’ve established, just don’t have much to work with.
The Bears have an unhappy (but talented) Allen Robinson and that’s about it.
The Vikings’ wide receiver room definitely competes with the Packers’ wide receiver room. We’d even listen to an argument that says it’s better. But it’s Aaron Rodgers that makes the difference. Him, with his chemistry with his guys, puts the Packers over the top when compared to the Vikings’ wide receiver room.
Again, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are a great tandem at wide receiver… but they have Cousins throwing to them. And their next best option at receiver is K.J. Osborn.
Now let’s get to Green Bay.
The Packers’ wide receiver room is one of the most confident in the NFL. And they should, look at this list of their active wide receivers:
- They have, without question, the best wide receiver in football in Davante Adams.
- They have, perhaps, the best deep threat wide receiver in football in Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
- They have the best blocking wide receiver in football in Allen Lazard.
- They drafted one of the more exciting and versatile wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft in Amari Rodgers.
- They brought back their best slot receiver in franchise history in Randall Cobb who has incredible chemistry with Rodgers.
- They have the wide receiver who led the 2021 preseason in receiving yards in Malik Taylor.
Damn. Read that again.
MVS’ confidence is surging and he’s going to be incredibly fun to watch in 2021.
If you couldn’t tell, we’re quite excited to see what this offense can do this year. The Packers are starting two rookie offensive linemen, but are as deep as they’ve been in the Rodgers Era at every position on offense.
Leading the league in points scored for the second consecutive season doesn’t seem like a foolish dream. Although we’d settle for ‘just’ having a top five offense and a season that ends on a podium.
What It All Means:
The more things change, the more things stay the same right?
The Green Bay Packers still have the best quarterback situation in the NFC North. What else is new? Think back to earlier this summer and all of the trash talking coming out of Chicago and elsewhere.
It’s been nearly 30 years and yet, here we are.
Funny is the best word we can use to describe this entire scenario. However the most fun thing to think about is Green Bay actually has a legitimate chance to continue their quarterback supremacy for the next few years (and beyond). Whether they find a way to keep Rodgers as he continues to age gracefully or they hand over the reigns to Jordan Love.
Their quarterback situation is simply as good or better as any team in the division looking forward. But for 2021? It’s not even close.
Again, Detroit will have to draft a quarterback soon, so their situation is basically wait and see. But they’re nowhere close to being at Green Bay’s level. File that under the most obvious statements of the year.
The Vikings, and many of their fans, will tell you that they’re happy with Cousins, but he’s not the answer. He’s not going to put any NFL team over the top. They will be forced to look for a new franchise quarterback in the future, too. Vikings fans like to pull out random efficiency stats to point to Cousins being one of the better quarterbacks in the league. It’s just silly and it isn’t true.
The Bears? Well, they have the second best quarterback situation in the NFC North. We’ll easily admit that.
If Fields really is the truth they think he is, then they’ll be feeling quite good moving forward. They’ll have a great chance at overtaking Green Bay as having the best quarterback situation in the division in the coming years. But again, he and Love are both unknown, unproven, yet talented commodities. We’ll have to wait and see a few years, but there’s little reason to think that Fields will be definably better than Love.
When the Packers’ quarterback drama was unfolding this summer Bears fans were acting like with Rodgers gone they’d definitely have the best quarterback situation in the division. That was never true. Andy Dalton is Andy Dalton. Snooze. Fields may be great, he might be average, he might be a bust. The same is true for Love. We just don’t know.
It’s almost like Bears fans have anointed Fields as the savior before he’s even played a game. The more things change… right?
What we do know is that Aaron Rodgers is the Packers’ quarterback in 2021. We know that he’s the reigning league MVP and that he has his sights set on a Super Bowl this year. So does his team.
The Packers are the only NFC North team with that legitimate goal in 2021. And they have the best quarterback situation, by far, in the division despite all of the madness that occurred this summer and all that was written and said surrounding it.
It’s simply hilarious to think about what many other NFC North fans were saying in July and then juxtaposing it with the reality they’re faced with in September.
Packers fans, remember that the good times won’t last forever. But the good times are still here. Enjoy every damn second. This summer was interesting to say the least, but the 2021 season might just make it all worth it.
Go Pack Go!