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Ranking the quarterbacks in the NFC North

Where does Cousins fit?
Kirk Cousins

The NFC North is quietly one of the better divisions for quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers is probably the best slinger by default but the rest of the starters are pretty interchangeable. 

Kirk Cousins is entering his second year with the Vikings and in charge of leading Minnesota back to the postseason.

I'm not Ron Jaworski or Jon Gruden, but I'm certainly as good as Trent Dilfer, so here's my ranking of NFC North quarterbacks.

1. Aaron Rodgers

Some people have been proclaiming this offseason that Rodgers has lost a step or two and is on the decline. 

At 35, he certainly isn't as spry as he once was but if we're saying he's declining, when he's one season removed from throwing just two interceptions – as well as 28 touchdowns – over 16 games, we're all crazy.

The only legitimate criticism to his game lately is that he missed nine games in 2017 because of a broken collarbone and pretty much played all of last season on a bum knee.

He also is terrible at chugging beer. That's it. Even if he can't pull off superhuman throws anymore, he's still the best quarterback in the division and one of the best in the league.

2. Kirk Cousins

Alright I'm putting Cousins second simply because I want him to be. On the surface, when you throw for 4,000 yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, that's a pretty good season.

However, 2018 felt like an off year for him. He had nine fumbles and was running for his life from a shaky offensive line and arguing with his top wide receiver on the sidelines by season's end. 

Cousins also needs to show up in primetime. He owns a record of 5-13 in primetime games and the Vikings have five on their schedule this season.

  • Week 8 vs. Washington (Thursday Night) 
  • Week 10 at Dallas (Sunday night) 
  • Week 13 at Seattle (Monday night) 
  • Week 15 at L.A. Chargers (Sunday night)
  • Week 16 vs. Green Bay (Monday night)

The guy just seems to be a choke artist when the lights come on. He's the same quarterback that threw a pass backwards with his back turned to the line of scrimmage on Monday Night Football last season.

That being said, I still think he's better than the other two in the NFC North.

3. Matthew Stafford

Last season was the first time Stafford failed to eclipse 4,000 yards in a full season. He still ended up throwing 21 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, and his 555 pass attempts were also the fewest of his career.

He has a new offensive coordinator – former Vikings OC Darrell Bevell – for the fourth time in his career. They also brought in Danny Amendola to help him out this season.

I've always felt bad for Stafford, he's obviously a talented dude but the Lions always seem to be, well, the Lions.

Matt Patricia, who I thought to be a turd of a human being, and had the audacity to tell a reporter to sit up straight at a press conference last season, has been more personable and open after a rough season in 2018. 

Maybe he unlocks more out of Stafford this year.

4. Mitch Trubisky

It's a ballsy move to rank the quarterback of the reigning division champions as fourth best but I just don't see it with Trubisky. He seriously reminds me of Christian Ponder.

His best asset is his legs as he's able to scramble around but I don't trust him making throws. Pro Football Focus ranked Trubisky 32nd among quarterbacks with a clean pocket. So if he doesn't know what to do when his pocket his clean, that's not exactly encouraging for a quarterback's longterm success.

Chicago's defense is still smothering and pending injuries it shouldn't skip a beat. 

However, I think opposing defenses figure out Trubisky and he prevents the Bears from being in the postseason.

Despite my hatred for Ponder 2.0, if he proves me wrong and has a good season that results in another playoff run, maybe he vaults up to No. 2. Same goes for Stafford. Hopefully Cousins isn't making excuses and getting in arguments and shows up in big games.

And unless Rodgers decides to retire – which would be the best-case scenario for everyone involved – he's still the best quarterback in this division, as much as it pains this Vikings fan to admit.

Note: At Bring Me The News, we're open about being fans of Minnesota teams because, like, it's more fun that way. 

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