Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
TCF Stadium – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sunday, November 23, 2014, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Green Bay -10
Current Line: Green Bay -9
Opening Total: 48
Current Total: 49 1/2
Opening Money Line: Packers -460 / Vikings +365
Current Money Line: Packers -375 / Vikings +305
With all due respect to the 9-1 Arizona Cardinals, most experts and fans think the 8-2 New England Patriots and 7-3 Green Bay Packers have been the two best teams in football over the last few weeks. The Packers are tied with the Detroit Lions for first in the NFC North, and the Patriots have the best record in the AFC. Those two teams meet next week at Lambeau. However, first things first, the Packers must take care of business in a road game at the rival 4-6 Minnesota Vikings Sunday. Minnesota is tied with the Chicago Bears for second or last in the division.
Since 2001, Green Bay leads the series against Minnesota 18-10-1. The Packers have gone 8-1-1 in the last 10 games against the Vikings. Green Bay won the last game earlier this season 42-10 at home in a Thursday night contest.
Green Bay is coached by Mike McCarthy. The Packers have road losses at the Seattle Seahawks 36-16, Lions 19-7 and New Orleans Saints 44-23. Green Bay has won 6 of their last 7 games including 2 straight. The Packers have home wins over the New York Jets 31-24, Vikings 42-10, Carolina Panthers 38-17, Chicago Bears 55-14, and last week against the Philadelphia Eagles 53-20. Green Bay has road wins over the Bears 38-17 and Miami Dolphins 27-24. The Packers are 6-3-1 ATS and the total is 9-1 this season. Green Bay was a 4.5 point favorite against Philadelphia and the total was 55.
Minnesota is coached by Mike Zimmer. The Vikings have home wins over the Atlanta Falcons 41-28 and Washington Redskins 29-26, along with road wins at the St. Louis Rams 34-6 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-13 in overtime. Minnesota has home losses to the Patriots 30-7 and Lions 17-3, plus road losses to the Saints 20-9, Packers 42-10, Buffalo Bills 17-16 and last week at the Bears 21-13. The Chicago loss snapped a 2 game winning streak for the Vikings. Minnesota is 5-5 ATS and the total is 3-7 this season. The Vikings were 2.5 point underdogs at the Bears and the total was 46.5.
Green Bay is outscoring teams 33-23 this season. The Packers lead the league in scoring. The Packers are averaging 370 total yards per game including 267 passing and 102 rushing yards. Green Bay is #9 in total offense and #8 in passing. On defense, Green Bay is allowing 377 yards per game including 238 passing and 139 rushing yards per game. The Packers are #23 in total defense and #29 in rush defense. Green Bay is 56/124 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 65/150. The Packers have forced 25 sacks and allowed 22 this season. Green Bay has 5 defensive/special teams touchdowns and has allowed 2 this season. The Packers are +14 in turnovers.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has completed 66.8% of his passes for 2,748 yards with 28 touchdowns and 3 picks, plus 22 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown. He is a contender for league MVP. Running back Eddie Lacy has 129 carries for 547 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 27 catches for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns. James Starks has 57 carries for 212 yards and a touchdown.
Receiver Jordy Nelson has 60 catches for 998 yards and 9 touchdowns. Randall Cobb has 54 catches for 779 yards and 10 touchdowns. Davante Adams has 27 catches for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. Andrew Quarless has 19 catches for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns. Six defensive players are questionable or out.
Minnesota is being outscored 22-18 this season. The Vikings are #28 in scoring. They are averaging 309 yards per game on offense including 192 passing and 117 rushing yards. Minnesota is #30 in total offense and #29 in passing. On defense, the Vikings are allowing 341 yards per game including 225 passing and 115 rushing yards. The Vikes are #8 in pass defense and #12 in total defense. Minnesota is 52/145 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 60/144. The Vikings have forced 30 sacks and allowed 32 sacks this season. Minnesota has two defensive touchdowns and have allowed two as well. The Vikings are +1 in turnovers.
Minnesota has used 3 quarterbacks this season. Rookie Teddy Bridgewater took over for Matt Cassel who is out for the season with a broken foot. Bridgewater missed the first game against the Packers with an ankle injury and was replaced by Christian Ponder. Bridgewater has completed 60.9% of his passes for 1,479 yards with 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, and also has 23 carries for 97 yards and a rushing touchdown. Ponder has thrown for 222 yards with 2 interceptions, but he does have a rushing touchdown. Cassel threw for 425 yards with 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
Running back Adrian Peterson is suspended indefinitely after accepting a plea bargain for child abuse charges. Jerick McKinnon has 98 carries for 484 yards, plus 24 catches for 126 yards. Matt Asiata has 85 carries for 279 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 25 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown. He is out Sunday with a concussion. Receiver Greg Jennings has 36 catches for 463 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a rib injury. Cordarrelle Patterson has 28 catches for 332 yards and a touchdown, plus 8 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown. Patterson is also one of the best kick and punt return men in the league. Jarius Wright has 26 catches for 315 yards. Four defensive players are questionable or out.
Green Bay is 6-1 ATS overall, 5-1 against NFC teams, 4-1 after a straight up win, after a cover, after passing for more than 250 yards, and after a straight up win of 14 points or more, 3-1-1 after gaining 350 yards or more, 5-2 after scoring more than 30 points, 37-16 against NFC North teams, 48-23-2 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 2-6 in November, 1-5 on fieldturf and 1-6 against teams losing records. The Packers are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games against the Vikings and Green Bay was favored in each of those contests.
Minnesota is 7-0 ATS after passing for less than 150 yards, 4-0 against teams with winning road records, 5-1-1 in week 12, 8-2 after a straight up loss, 4-1 after gaining less than 250 total yards, 7-2 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 6-2 at home and 5-2 after failing to cover. The over is 21-8-1 ATS in this series recently including 6-1-1 in Minnesota. The home team is 6-2 ATS in this series recently.
Look, the Packers are clearly better than the Vikings. The Packers aren’t quite as dominant away from Lambeau. This game just screams trap game to me. I think Green Bay lets Minnesota hang around and the Vikings get the back door cover.