Aaron Rodgers implored anxious fans of the Green Bay Packers to
“relax” and then went out and made sure they were able to do
just that with a brilliant performance in a lopsided rout at
bitter rival Chicago on Sunday. With a much brighter outlook
surrounding the team, Rodgers and Green Bay will host another
NFC North opponent when the Minnesota Vikings pay a visit on
Thursday night. The Packers are 6-1-1 in the last eight
meetings, including a 26-26 tie at home last November.
Minnesota is hoping it won’t have to start its third
quarterback in as many weeks after rookie Teddy Bridgewater
injured an ankle during last week’s 41-28 victory over visiting
Atlanta. Bridgewater, the No. 32 pick in this year’s draft,
threw for 317 yards and ran for a touchdown Sunday in his first
career start, but exited the game in the fourth quarter due to
an ankle injury. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he is “hopeful”
Bridgewater will play after an MRI exam came back clean, but
the quarterback did sit out Monday’s practice.
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS, NFL Network. LINE:
Packers -9. O/U: 47
LINE HISTORY: After opening as Green Bay -10,
the line has since dropped to -9 on Wednesday. The total has
seen a big drop after opening at 50, it now rests at 47.5.
INJURY REPORT: Vikings – LB
Chad Greenway (Out-Ribs), QB Teddy Bridgewater (Ques-Thurs)
Packers – WR Jarrett Boykin (Out-Knee)
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Coming off the upset of
Atlanta, Minnesota heads to Green Bay on short rest as big dog
on Thursday. The Vikes are 1-5 ATS after scoring 30 or more
points. Green Bay halted its two-game skid and has a short
turnaround for its 3rd straight divisional game Thursday. The
Pack are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven home games.” Covers Expert Matt Fargo
CHEERLEADER WAR: The Packers don’t have
cheerleaders, but we are sure this picture will do.
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (2-2): Bridgewater was not
the only rookie to make a big impression in Sunday’s win.
Running back Jerick McKinnon, a converted quarterback out of
Georgia Southern, ran for 135 yards on 18 carries as Minnesota
rolled up 241 of its 558 yards on the ground after failing to
score a TD in its previous seven quarters. Jarius Wright added
eight catches for 132 yards to help spark an offense that has
already lost stud running back Adrian Peterson following
allegations of child abuse as well as starting quarterback Matt
Cassel and tight end Kyle Rudolph to injury. Bridgewater on
Tuesday declined to give a percentage on his chances of playing
and his unavailability would open the door for former
first-round pick Christian Ponder.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (2-2): Following pair of
meager offensive outputs in losses sandwiched around a
come-from-behind victory over the New York Jets, Rodgers was
spectacular in the 38-17 romp in Chicago, throwing for 302
yards and fourth touchdowns while compiling a 151.2 passer
rating. Jordy Nelson caught two more scoring passes and leads
the league with 33 catches and 459 yards while fellow wideout
Randall Cobb also went over 100 yards receiving and added two
touchdowns to give him five on the season. There are concerns
about second-year back Eddie Lacy, who has yet to surpassed 48
yards in a game following his 1,178-yard campaign as a rookie.
The defense also is struggling, allowing 235 yards rushing and
496 total to the Bears.
*Vikings are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC.
*Packers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
*Over is 20-8-1 in the last 29 meetings.
*Vikings are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Green Bay.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 54.71 percent of Covers
users are taking the Packers -9 with 69.8 percent taking the