The NFC North is going to be a fun division to watch in 2020. While the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers are without question considered the top two teams in the division, both the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions have a ton of talent with which to work. All four teams have the ability to win football games and they are all looking to prove a point this season.
Last year, the Packers took the division title with a 13-3 regular season record. Minnesota finished at 10-6, but were in contention with the Packers all season long. Unfortunately for the Bears and Lions, they struggled and ended up with 8-8 and 3-12-1 records, respectively.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, there are quite a few questions that need to be answered in the division. Can Aaron Rodgers get back to being an undisputed superstar quarterback? Is Mitchell Trubisky truly a starting-caliber quarterback? Will the Vikings suffer a setback without Stefon Diggs? Are the Lions good enough offensively to offset their defensive headaches?
Everything usually ends up coming back to the quarterback in some way, shape, or form. Green Bay has the luxury of having Rodgers, but he has received a ton of criticism over the last couple of years. Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford are both good quarterbacks that don’t receive a ton of hype, while Trubisky has a lot to prove if he wants to remain the starter in Chicago.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at what fans and fantasy football players should be expecting from each quarterback in the NFC North division in Week 1.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Going up against the Packers has been a hit or miss task for Cousins. Last season, he ended up having two really rough performances against the Green Bay secondary. Cousins is going to have to face that test again this season right off the bat in Week 1.
Without Stefon Diggs after the franchise traded him to the Buffalo Bills, Cousins has his work cut out for him. Thankfully, he still has Adam Thielen and has two quality young wideouts in Justin Jefferson and Bisi Johnson. It would be reasonable to expect Cousins to end up with around 240 passing yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
Those numbers aren’t going to impress anyone, but the Vikings should be able to compete with the Packers despite Cousins not having a huge game.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Next up, the Packers have to feel good about their chances offensively going up against a very young and inexperienced Vikings’ secondary. At this point in time, Minnesota is expected to start Holton Hill and Mike Hughes at cornerback. Rodgers is going to have a big game and will look like his old self this week.
Matt LaFleur and company are going to look to expose the young talent this week. Rodgers will throw for around 300 to 350 yards and three or four touchdowns. He may not end up being an MVP candidate at the end of the season, but he will force his way into the way-too-early conversation with a massive Week 1 performance.
In addition to the above numbers, Rodgers will continue taking care of the football at an elite level. He isn’t going to turn the football over a single time throughout this matchup.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
After going through a training camp battle with veteran quarterback Nick Foles, Trubisky ended up being named the starter by head coach Matt Nagy. It wasn’t easy to win the job, but he has one more chance to prove that the Bears should stick with him.
Last season, Trubisky struggled in a big way, completing 63.2 percent of his pass attempts for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Those numbers simply aren’t going to get the job done. If he plays like that this season, Foles will take over as the starter in Chicago.
Against the Lions in Week 1, Trubisky will look a bit better. He should end up recording 250 passing yards, a couple of touchdowns, and an interception. The Lions simply do not have a good secondary. Chicago will have to wait a few weeks to figure out exactly what to expect from Trubisky this season.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Let’s start this off by being honest about Stafford’s matchup with the Bears in Week 1. Taking on the Chicago defense is never an easy task, especially in the context of fantasy football. However, Stafford should be able to rise to the challenge and still put up good numbers.
Kenny Golladay has become one of the NFL’s most intriguing stars and the Lions also have good weapons for Stafford in Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, and T.J. Hockenson. This week, Stafford will end up with 275 passing yards, three touchdowns, and an interception.
Those numbers might very well be enough to lead the Lions to a big victory to start the season. Stafford is one of the NFL’s most underrated stars at the quarterback position. He will put up big production once again this season and it will start with a solid performance against the Bears this week.