No “Thursday Night Football” game has been close in the 2014 NFL season, and the Week 5 matchup is expected to be more of the same. The Green Bay Packers are heavy favorites over the Minnesota Vikings to begin the upcoming slate of games.
All four Thursday night games have been blowouts, with the margins of victory ranging from 20 to 42 points. The Packers were involved in the first primetime contest of the season, losing to the Seattle Seahawks 36-16.
Green Bay is expected to be on the winning end in Week 5, giving Minnesota eight points. None of the Vikings’ games have been close in 2014, with each one being decided by no less than 11 points.
Rookie Teddy Bridgewater appeared to give Minnesota a spark in his first game as a starter, leading the Vikings to a Week 4 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. A few days later, though, the quarterback may be forced to watch his team from the sidelines.
It looked like an ankle injury might not force Bridgewater to sit, and he was listed as questionable on Wednesday morning. On Thursday, Bridgewater’s status was called a “game-time decision,” but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that signs are pointing towards the signal caller not playing.
Former starting quarterback Christian Ponder would get the call in Bridgewater’s absence. He led the team to the playoffs in 2012, and played nine games last year. In 2013, he completed 63.6 percent of his passes for seven scores and nine interceptions.
Adrian Peterson will miss a fourth straight game. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon split the carries last week, totaling 213 rushing yards.
For the Packers, Clay Matthews is expected to play after being listed as probable on the injury report. A groin injury limited his playing time in Week 4, though he was able to intercept a pass and return it 40 yards.
Neither team won when the NFC North rivals last met. They played to a 26-26 tie in overtime last year. Ponder got the start for the Vikings, completing 21 of 30 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown. Aaron Rodgers sat out with an injury.
Start Time: 8:25 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Packers by eight points
Over/Under: 48 points
TV Channel: CBS and NFL Network will have a simulcast
Live Online Stream: A live online stream is available at NFL Network here
Prediction: Green Bay 34, Minnesota 23