The overall level of quarterback play in the ole black-and-blue division has been a mixed bag over the past handful of years with consistently elite performances coming out of Detroit and Green Bay while constant injuries and erratic play have the hallmark of those other franchises residing in Chicago and Minnesota.
While one could easily reason that Aaron Rodgers is head and shoulders above the rest of his divisional peers based purely on the fact that every quarterback is the arbiter of his own fortunes given his mental and physical aptitude for the game, other factors also come into play.
The offensive line, for instance, has always been a major indicator of a quarterback’s success.
For all of Rodgers’ ability to navigate the pocket and throw from different angles and platforms, where would he be without his wall of blockers that afford him those few extra seconds to exit the pocket and survey the field?
Green Bay’s offensive line was, in fact, ranked 5th best in the NFL by Pro Football Focus (PFF). Led by left tackle David Bakhtiari, who gave up the mere pittance of 20 pressures all season, Rodgers’ bodyguards excelled in staying in front of their opponents.
In contrast, the Vikings featured the fourth worst offensive line thanks in large part to atrocious performances registered by their tackles. T.J. Clemmings, in particular, was no more effective in stopping pass rushers than a cinema turnstile, as he surrendered 9 sacks and 58 pressures in 2016.
Clemmings wasn’t alone in allowing Minnesota’s offense to sink to new depths considering that the Purple and Gold were dead last in first downs earned, ranked 22nd in third-down conversions and also checked in with the worst running attack in the league by generating a league-low 1,205 yards.
So, bash Sam Bradford’s uninspiring outings to your heart’s content, but it was a minor miracle that the former Heisman Trophy winner started 15 games and came out of it relatively unscathed factoring in what he had around him.
The following quarterback rankings are the result of each quarterback’s physical abilities and skill levels along with the quality of their respective supporting casts. Obviously, there are some players that are better at squeezing out something palatable out of a batch of stale lemons.
With that mind and without further ado, here are your NFC North field generals ranked fourth to first.