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The NFC North Quarterbacks

The best quarterbacks in the NFC North:

1 QB Aaron Rodgers
2 QB Jon Kitna
3 QB Tavaris Jackson
4 QB Kylerex Grossmanorton

I won't attempt to guess how QB Aaron Rodgers will play next season, but his 106.0 QB rating from his game last season at Dallas is very promising. He also played well last preseason, so the Dallas game wasn't a single fluke. Still he should be a step below QB Brett Favre's outstanding 2007 season. The rest of the starting quarterbacks in the NFC North next season have at least one season as the starter under their collective belts, so we can discuss how they might do next season based on previous stats.

Detroit's QB Jon Kitna .

I love this guy. He reminds me of former Packer QB Lynn Dickey. An average QB who is able to put up some huge numbers because he's given a lot of chances to throw the ball. He shouldn't even be playing in the NFL, but Dennis Erickson watched his nephew play in college alongside Kitna at Central Washington and he gave him a chance. He's one of only four QBs to throw for over 4,000 yards each of the last two seasons along with QBs Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, and Peyton Manning. He's also one of only five QBs, and the only one to do it in each of the last two seasons, to throw 20 or more interceptions. But man, is he a model of consistency:

Per Yds TD INT Rat
2007 63.3 4068 18 20 80.9
2006 62.4 4208 21 22 79.9

Two separate seasons, and two nearly identical lines. He turns 36 next season so his age is becoming a concern, but he's never had any injury problems either. He won't get any better, so it will be up to his teammates to improve their offense.

Minnesota's QB Tavaris Jackson.

His 2007 stats were 58.2% completed for 1,911 yards, 9 TD, 12 INT, and a QB rating 70.8. Everything Gonzo says about Jackson is true; he was a 2nd year player in 2007 making the jump from a small college and except for WR Sidney Rice, his receivers were awful. It made a big difference in 2007 when WR Greg Jennings stepped up and Favre had someone he could trust in the passing game besides WR Donald Driver, so it might make a big difference that Jackson now has WR Bernard Berrian, but I'm still not a believer. Opponents were scheming to stop RBs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, and they gave Jackson the opportunity to beat them, and all he could muster was a 70.8 rating. The only QB who threw more passes than Jackson and was rated lower by Football Outsiders in 2007 was Miami's QB Cleo Lemon. He seems like a backup QB, at best.

Chicago's QB Kyle Orton and QB Rex Grossman.

It's a QB battle, and the winner gets to lead one of the worst offenses in the NFL which lost their 2007 leading receiver in free agency and lost their 2007 leading rusher to bad judgment. Here are their career stats:

# of Starts Per TD INT Rat
Orton 18 52.0% 12 15 62.2
Grossman 30 54.3% 31 33 70.9

They both suck, and it really doesn't matter who plays. Grossman has played better in the past, but he might not have any confidence left after a Super Bowl loss and a 2007 benching. Chicago had a good 2008 draft and used their top three picks for help on offense, but it will take some time to work the rookies in. That probably won't help Orton or Grossman until 2009, if either is still on the roster by then.