NFL Week Five Thursday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field – Green Bay, Wisconsin

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: CBS/NFL Network
Opening Line: Green Bay -9 1/2
Current Line: Green Bay -9 1/2
Opening Total: 50 1/2
Current Total: 48
Opening Money Line: Packers -624 / Vikings +501
Current Money Line: Packers -450 / Vikings +370

The Packers are 9.5 point favorites at home against the rival Vikings Thursday night.
The Packers are 9.5 point favorites at home against the rival Vikings Thursday night.

The Detroit Lions lead the NFC North Division with a 3-1 record 4 games into the NFL season. The other three teams in the division are 2-2 this season. Two of those teams meet Thursday night in Green Bay as the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers renew their rivalry at historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Since 2001, the Packers lead the series 17-10-1 against the Vikings. Green Bay has won six of the last 8 against Minnesota. Last year, the Packers won 44-31 in Minnesota and the two teams tied 26-26 in Green Bay. The Packers will make the trip to Minneapolis November 23.

Minnesota is coached by Mike Zimmer. The Vikings have wins at the St. Louis Rams 34-6 and last week at home against the Atlanta Falcons 41-28. The Vikings had lost two straight before the Atlanta win at home against the Patriots 30-7 and at the New Orleans Saints 20-9. Minnesota is 2-2 ATS and the total is 1-3 this season. The Vikings were 5 point underdogs against the Falcons and the total was 47.5.

Green Bay is coached by Mike McCarthy. The Packers have a loss at the Seattle Seahawks 36-16 and at the Lions 19-7. Green Bay has a home win over the New York Jets 31-24 and last week at the Chicago Bears 38-17. The Packers are 1-2-1 ATS and the total is 3-1 this season. Green Bay was a 2 point favorite at Chicago and the total was 51.

Minnesota is outscoring teams 23-21 this season. They are averaging 344 yards per game on offense including 210 passing and 135 rushing yards. On defense, the Vikings are allowing 354 yards per game including 241 passing and 113 rushing yards. Minnesota is 20/53 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 28/57. The Vikings have forced 8 sacks and allowed 8 sacks as well. Minnesota has one defensive touchdown and have allowed one as well.

Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered an ankle injury against the Falcons. There was no structural damage but he is listed as questionable Thursday night. The rookie Bridgewater took over for Matt Cassell who is out for the season with a broken foot. If Bridgewater can’t go, then Christian Ponder will start. Bridgewater has completed 62% of his passes for 467 yards, and also has 11 carries for 54 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Running back Adrian Peterson is suspended indefinitely after being indicted for child abuse. Matt Asiata has 47 carries for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 12 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Jerick McKinnon has 23 carries for 142 yards, plus 5 catches. Receiver Greg Jennings has 15 catches for 204 yards and a touchdown. Cordarrelle Patterson has 13 catches for 181 yards, plus 4 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown. Patterson is also one of the best kick and punt return men in the league. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is out until early November with a groin injury.

Green Bay is being outscored 24-23 this season. The Packers are averaging 307 total yards per game including 234 passing and 73 rushing yards. On defense, Green Bay is allowing 390 yards per game including 214 passing and 176 rushing yards per game. The Packers are #5 in pass defense but dead last in rush defense. Green Bay is 21/46 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 35/64. The packers have forced 6 sacks and allowed 10 this season. Green bay has allowed one defensive touchdown this season.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has completed 66.2% of his passes for 999 yards with 9 touchdowns and a touchdown, plus 7 carries for 36 yards. Running back Eddie Lacy has 53 carries for 161 yards and a touchdown, along with 7 catches for 49 yards. James Starks has 15 carries for 75 yards. Jordy Nelson has 33 catches for 459 yards and 3 touchdowns. Randall Cobb has 21 catches for 239 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Minnesota is 7-1 ATS in week 5 games, 6-1 against NFC teams and after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 4-1 after rushing for more than 150 yards, after gaining more than 350 total yards, against NFC North teams, and on grass, 7-3 overall, 2-6 after a straight up win, 2-6-1 after passing for more than 250 yards, 1-5 after scoring more than 30 points, and 0-5-1 in October. The over is 20-8-1 in this series recently including 5-2 in Green Bay.

Green Bay is 4-0 ATS in October, 3-0-1 on grass, 35-16 against NFC North teams, 45-22-2 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 4-9-1 overall, 2-5 in week 5 games and after a straight up win of 14 points or more, 1-3-1 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 1-5-1 at home, 1-6 after passing for 250 yards or more, 1-7-1 after allowing 150 rushing yards or more, and 0-4 after allowing 250 passing yards or more. The home team is 5-2 ATS in this series recently. The Packers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games in Green Bay against the Vikings.

Each of these teams had impressive wins last week in virtual must win games. Still both of these teams have their issues. The Packers can’t run the ball or stop the run. Minnesota has struggled on offense and could struggle even more if Bridgewater is out. Still, I think the packers win at home, but 9.5 might be a lot of points. It should be a high scoring game.

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