Assessing Packers’ 2021 schedule by opponent quarterbacks

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

One simple way to assess a team’s schedule – and where the toughest stretches exist – is to look at opponent quarterbacks. You don’t have to subscribe to the “Quarterback Wins” argument to find the value here. No position determines a team’s strength more than quarterback. And for the most part, quarterback situations are fairly easy to assess going into a season.

The schedule for the Green Bay Packers in 2021 provides a manageable early stretch of opposing quarterbacks but gets tough over the final two months or so of the season.

Here’s a breakdown of the likely starting quarterbacks the Packers will face in 2021, with DVOA rank from Football Outsiders and overall grade rank from Pro Football Focus from last season:

Week

Opponent

Likely QB

DVOA

PFF

1

Saints

Winston/Hill

N/A

N/A

2

Lions

Goff

22

20

3

49ers

Garoppolo

N/A

28

4

Steelers

Roethlisberger

20

23

5

Bengals

Burrow

23

18

6

Bears

Dalton/Fields

30, N/A

22, N/A

7

Washington

Fitzpatrick/Heinicke

16, N/A

19. N/A

8

Cardinals

Murray

18

11

9

Chiefs

Mahomes

2

4

10

Seahawks

Wilson

13

6

11

Vikings

Cousins

10

9

12

Rams

Stafford

14

12

14

Bears

Dalton/Fields

30, N/A

22, N/A

15

Ravens

Jackson

21

14

16

Browns

Mayfield

17

13

17

Vikings

Cousins

10

9

18

Lions

Goff

22

20

– The Packers will face only two quarterbacks that finished in the top 10 of DVOA in 2020: Patrick Mahomes and Kirk Cousins.

– The Packers will face only three quarterbacks that finished in the top 10 of PFF grade in 2020: Mahomes, Cousins and Russell Wilson.

– The Packers don’t face a quarterback ranked in the top 15 of DVOA or PFF grade from last season until Kyler Murray in Week 8.

– The tough stretch of the schedule is clear: Weeks 8-12. Murray, Mahomes, Wilson, Cousins, Matthew Stafford.

– The Jameis Winston/Taysom Hill quarterback combo is intriguing but also mostly an unknown entering Week 1.

– We have no idea if Bears first-round pick Justin Fields will play or be effective as a rookie.

– The schedule might be forgiving early but it toughens up late. The Packers face eight quarterbacks ranked in the top 15 of PFF grade over the final 10 games.

– The schedule might set up well for first-year defensive coordinator Joe Barry. The new scheme might need time to come together. The Packers defense will get two months of average quarterbacks to get it figured out before the tough stretch hits.

– Nine quarterbacks finished in the top 10 of both DVOA and PFF grade in 2020: Aaron Rodgers, Mahomes, Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson, Tom Brady, Ryan Tannehill, Dak Prescott, Derek Carr and Cousins. Of the nine, the Packers only play Mahomes and Cousins in 2021.

– This is a tough schedule overall for the Packers. They will play 10 games against 2020 playoff teams. But the opposing quarterback schedule is certainly manageable, especially early. If the Packers have Rodgers back, they should be in a strong position – based on nothing more than quarterback advantage – to win a lot of games once again.

List

What to know about Green Bay Packers 2021 schedule

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting