Is Matthew Stafford the best QB in the NFC North this year?

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Vikings Cousins
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Kirk Cousins- Minnesota Vikings

Next, let’s consider the Detroit Lions rivals, the Minnesota Vikings and their signal-caller, Kirk Cousins. Cousins is entering his third year in the Twin Cities and will be 32 years old, the same age as Stafford, in 2020. Cousins signed a huge deal after a contentious battle with his former team, the Washington Redskins, who refused to commit to him as their long-term solution.

Cousins has benefited from the continuity of the coaching staff of head coach Mike Zimmer and his defense-first philosophy and arrived at a team that is fighting for a playoff spot and missing consistency under center. Former head coach and NFL quarterback Gary Kubiak is his offensive coordinator and they provide Cousins with a huge experience base.

We always start with the line because no team is successful if they cannot protect their quarterback and open some holes for the running backs. This has been an area of the team that the Vikings general manager, Rick Spielman, has been working on for years to get right. The full depth chart from Ourlads here.

Riley Reiff, another former Detroit Lions tackle, is the only player making more than $3 million dollars in salary, giving the Vikings the 29th-highest-paid line in the NFL according to Spotrac’s website. Reiff left as a free agent and is making $13.2 million in 2020. What is striking about their line is that the starters are mostly high draft choices on rookie deals, meaning that this unit is bound to be on the rise as they fulfill their potential.

After Reiff, Garrett Bradbury, Brian O’Neill, Pat Elflein, Dru Samia, and rookie Ezra Cleveland are all fourth-round picks or higher. Starting guard Dakota Dozier was the only other player brought in as a free agent. The depth looks to be excellent, stockpiled with talent.