Get the Plexiglas ready: NFC North quarterbacks go on display this week
Kirk Cousins said what!? Bears, Justin Fields take on the Dolphins, Bulls’ Summer League play begins and White Sox meet the Yankees in a “Dream” game. This You Gotta See.
Quarterbacks in the NFC North have never been hotter than they are right now.
Hot, as in, lock up the china, Mabel — we have no idea what’s about to happen.
All right, so we know Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is pretty good. We know he’s still the class of the division. But we don’t know just how disillusioned he is with an organization he seems to want little part of beyond the coming season, and that makes him something of a sitting duck. Rattle the Packers’ cages and watch it all erupt in chaos.
Then there’s Kirk Cousins in Minneapolis. Cousins is unvaccinated, as we found out last week when he lobbed the idea out there of encasing himself in Plexiglas during team meetings. This seems to be something along the lines of a disaster waiting to happen.
Jared Goff, former Super Bowler, is the new signal-caller in Detroit, which means he plays in Detroit. We all know how that turns out before it even unfolds.
Oh, and the Bears. Justin Fields, anyone? Many of us have already made up our minds that he’s the next Russell Wilson, unless he’s the next Patrick Mahomes. But why stop there? He could be the next Tom Brady. Then again, we might be selling Fields short. Best QB ever?
NFL preseason games start this week. The NFC North is awash in QB storylines. What else is there to do? Enjoy them all.
Here’s what’s happening:
Las Vegas Summer League: Bulls vs. Pelicans (2 p.m., ESPN2)
It’s the opener for a Bulls roster that includes Patrick Williams, former Illinois star Ayo Dosunmu and 2020 second-round pick Marko Simonovic. Feel free to surprise us, fellas.
Big Ten Football Kickoff Show (5:30 p.m., BTN)
Somewhere amid the customary fawning over Ohio State will be a featured speech from terrific young man Vederian Lowe, the Illinois offensive lineman who is a married father of two and the legal guardian of his 14-year-old brother.
White Sox at Twins (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH, ESPN)
Is this Luis Robert’s return to the lineup? A fan base waits with bated breath for its dazzling center fielder.
Brewers at Cubs (7:05 p.m., Marquee)
The runaway division leaders don’t know what’s about to hit them. Which is to say, the Brewers literally won’t even recognize several of the players in the Cubs’ lineup.
Hard Knocks: The Dallas Cowboys (9 p.m., HBO)
It’s Episode 1 of five, and that means quarterback Dak Prescott is already under pressure to perform and coach Mike McCarthy is already feeling serious heat. Nobody does drama like Dallas.
White Sox at Twins (12:10 p.m., YouTube)
Look, it’s time for all of us who prefer a thing called regular old television to wrap our brains around ever-changing technology. Seriously, though, a game on YouTube? Perhaps a kindly grandchild can sort out this mess.
Brewers at Cubs (7:05 p.m., Marquee)
Hey, we’re back at Wrigley Field. Isn’t the ivy lovely? Just remember: A few years from now, the Cubs might be halfway good again.
Field of Dreams Game: White Sox vs. Yankees (6 p.m., Fox-32)
Build it, and they will come. And the traffic in and out of Dyersville, Iowa, will be insane. Probably best to watch this one from a romantic distance.
Washington Football Team at Patriots (6:30 p.m., NFLN)
Washington has one of the best defenses out there, an interesting factor as the Pats figure out if Cam Newton or first-rounder Mac Jones is their starting quarterback. Tom Brady who?
Bills at Lions (6 p.m., NFLN)
Does new Lions quarterback Goff have any chance whatsoever to win with this sad-sack crew? More pressing: Will we actually see a Lions player bite an opponent’s kneecap off as new coach Dan Campbell promised we would?
Dolphins at Bears (noon, Fox-32)
OK, folks, it’s actually happening — time to see how this brand-new Bears quarterback we’re all gaga about comports himself on the field when the bullets are flying. Make us proud, Andy Dalton.
Broncos at Vikings (3 p.m., NFLN)
Cousins has a big idea about surrounding himself with Plexiglas in meeting rooms, but why stop there? Such an enclosure could only help him avoid harm in the pocket.
Browns at Jaguars (6 p.m., NFLN)
Many call Jags No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence the surest thing at the position since Peyton Manning. That’s 23 years of build-up, for those of you scoring at home.
Yankees at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH, TBS)
Those hoping to get a look at Anthony Rizzo in Yankees duds will have to wait; he’s in COVID-19 quarantine after testing positive. Maybe the Sox can quickly throw together a Vaccination Day promotion?
Storm at Sky (3 p.m., Ch. 7)
It’s the first game in 36 days for the Sky — who lost three of four heading into the Olympic break and are a disappointing 10-10 — and it comes against the best team in the WNBA. Maybe gold-medal winners Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd are really tired?
Las Vegas Summer League: Bulls vs. Grizzlies (9 p.m., NBATV)
Can Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan at least make an appearance? No? OK, then, on with the show.