Best quarterbacks Packers will face in 2024, and how to beat them

Why worry then when we can worry now?
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

There's not a lot going on right now in the NFL. The Draft is over and all the post-draft analysis has come and gone, which more or less means the start of the NFL's "quiet" period. Outside of the occasional 2-minute video of a rookie QB throwing passes around a practice field in shorts and a t-shirt, the next two or three months figure to be relatively news-free – or at least that's the hope.

But it's never too early to ask arbitrary questions about next season. What else is there to do at this time of year? Go outside?

There are way better things to do than enjoy the "exciting playoff games" or "sunshine" that are in abundance this time of year. Like, for instance, thinking about the toughest QBs on the Packers' 2024 schedule and more specifically, how to stop them. You may not have known that was a concern that you had, but now that you're here and have it, here are some answers for you.

The 3 Best QBs the Packers will face in 2024, and how to beat them

3. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

The good news for the Packers is that they'll get this one out of the way early – and in Brazil! The two teams kick off their 2024 seasons with a game in São Paulo this September, which also weirdly enough will be played on a Friday night. In his four seasons with the Eagles, Hurts has thrown for over 3,000 yards in each of the last three, and has a 91.1 quarterback rating for his career so far. He finished 2023 with the 8th best offensive grade (Pro Football Focus) of any QB in football, which is especially impressive considering a lot of people thought his season was underwhelming at times. He's also run for at least 600 yards in each of the last three seasons, though last year was his lowest total over that timeframe too.

How to beat Jalen Hurts: Last year's Week 12 game against the 49ers is about as good a blueprint as there is when it comes to figuring Hurts out. After the game – a 42-19 Niners win – pass rusher Joey Bosa talked about how the plan wasn't actually that focused on sacks. Instead, San Francisco's defensive front emphasized keeping the pocket tight, and always being in Hurts' view. Keeping him in the middle of a collapsing pocket negates his ability to break contain and make a play with his legs, and getting a defensive lineman or two in between his line of vision to AJ Brown or DeVonta Smith is never a bad idea. It's all easier said than done, but the gameplan's pretty clear.

2. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

You're legally not allowed to include Jalen Hurts on a list that also features Tagovailoa. It's true, look it up. Since coming into the league back in 2020, Miami's QB is 34-19 with 12,639 yards, 81 touchdowns, and 37 interceptions. He led the league in passing yards last season, and set a career-high in completion percentage. It feels like there will always be a vocal contingent of fans on Twitter who think that the Dolphins can do better, but the Football Reference page speaks for itself. And of course, Miami's receivers and offensive system are a huge part of Tagovailoa's success, but the same can be said for most any All-Pro caliber NFL QB. He benefits from some elite playmakers, but so do a lot of guys.

How to beat Tua Tagovailoa: Cover his wide receivers. Also, make him run. Among PFF's 10 highest-rated QBs last year, Tagovailoa had by far the worst running grade among the group, which included Matt Stafford and Jared Goff. 19 percent of the pressures he saw turned into sacks, which was the 9th highest number of any NFL QB. He basically doesn't scramble (he only had five more than Stafford did last season), and had the shortest average time to throw of any QB last year. If the Packers' coverage is tight, he can be thrown off his game.

1. CJ Stroud, Houston Texans

Honorable mention goes to Stafford and Trevor Lawrence, but if I was Jeff Hafley, Stroud would worry me the most. There are certainly more accomplished and prolific QBs on the schedule this year, but it's hard to argue that any of them are ascending the way that Stroud is. The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year now also has Stefon Diggs and Joe Mixon to go along with Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and Dalton Schultz. If he put up 4,500+ yards, 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions without Diggs last year, imagine what he can do with him.

How to beat CJ Stroud: We'll start with the bad news first. By PFF's overall grade, Stroud's worst two games last season were against the Ravens and the Jets, both on the road. And the Ravens game was literally the first game of his NFL career. So basically, all you need is an historically elite defense and to play at home. The good news is that next year's game against Houston is at Lambeau. So they've got half of it down already! Houston's line is still a bit of a mess, and all of Stroud's worst games came in weeks when he was sacked 4+ times. The Packers won't need to reinvent the wheel, they'll just need to beat Laremy Tunsil.

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