By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN
It’s been a pretty eventful offseason for the NFC North teams. Free agency has brought some good players into the mix, as my fellow reporter Wanda Wiedman has mentioned. New coaches and coordinators have been hired, and the teams are looking to solidify themselves with a successful draft.
But one thing that stayed consistent in the division where all of the coaches names start with M, are the quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, and Mitchell Trubisky have the honor of quarterbacking in the Black and Blue division.
Today I ask the question, What will 2019 look like for these quarterbacks?
I’ll start with quarterback Aaron Charles Rodgers. Rodgers is coming off of a pretty dismal 2018. The Packers missed the playoffs, finished with a 6-9-1 record and 3rd in the division, and 2019 could bring more of the same. With a new head coach in Mat LaFleur, not really having a solid wide receiver group, Rodgers could be looking at another less than stellar year.
Yes, LaFleur is putting in a lot of time watching old film of Rodgers, but those teams had some playmakers. The 2019 Packers probably won’t have as much talent as in the past. But, the draft is coming, and we will see what direction the Pack want to go in.
They are going to need to get some offensive linemen, and some receivers other than wide receiver Davante Adams. Oh, and throw in a tight end. If not, it could be another long season for Rodgers and the Packers. But, if free agency and the draft are done right, in the next year or two the Packers could be back atop the division.
So, what will 2019 bring for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins? Well, he’ll get to speak at his alma mater’s commencement, so that’s good, right? Yes, but seriously, the Vikings hired offensive guru Gary Kubiak to their staff this year and his son Klint Kubiak as their quarterback coach, and also a new offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski.
Could this offense be more tailored to Cousins? Is this what Minnesota fans have been waiting for from their $84 million quarterback? For their sake, I hope so. They’ll be bringing back some weapons in WR Adam Thielen, and running back Dalvin Cook. 2019 could be a pretty good one for Cousins and company.
Mike Zimmer said he chatted with Kyle Shanahan last night about Kirk Cousins and came away from that conversation confident that Cousins is going to have a great season. “This offense with (Gary) Kubiak is going to be really good for him,” Zimmer said of Cousins.
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) March 26, 2019
Moving on to the Chicago Bears and their Pro Bowl QB Mitchell Trubisky. After having a decent 2017, Trubisky had an excellent sophomore season. He helped lead his team to a division title, and the playoffs, only to have it end in heartbreaking fashion. But, there’s no reason to think that we can’t expect the same for 2019 for Trubisky and the Bears. Especially with the addition of WR Cordarrelle Patterson.
Only downside? Their draft is going to be a little limited, as they only will have 5 picks in the later rounds. So while they have a monster defense, they pretty much are going to be rolling with what they’ve got for the next couple of years due to big trades. But for now, 2019 should be pretty good for Trubisky and the Bears.
Last, and certainly FAR from least, the best team in the NFC North. (Yeah, I said what I said) The Detroit Lions. While the 2018 campaign wasn’t what quarterback Matt Stafford was expecting, he’s still (barely) standing. But he’s there. Poised to make a good 2019.
After the addition of new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, and bringing in free agents, TE Jesse James and WR Danny Amendola, and some draft picks, 2019 could also be a good year for Stafford. He has WRs Kenny Golladay who had a breakout year and Marvin Jones. The downside is that the offensive line is going through some changes. Stafford could be getting the group of players around him that he needs to lead the team to at least an over .500 finish this year. That would be huge.
Who will have the best 2019? Only time will tell, but either way, the NFC North is going to live up to its Black and Blue moniker this year!
Talk NFC North with Sonja on Twitter @Mom23RN