There are few rivalries in the NFL that are as heated as the one between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings and we should see a very competitive game Thursday night in what will be the 106th regular season contest between NFC North rivals.
Both teams enter the game at 2-2, fresh off impressive double digit victories. The Vikings, led by rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 317 yards and helped Minnesota easily knock off the Falcons 41-28. Green Bay, on the other hand, beat the Bears handily at Chicago 38-17, to earn their fifth-straight win at Soldier Field.
Now as each times tries to get above .50o 0n the season, they will square off in a critical game that signals the start of the NFL season’s second quarter. Looking ahead to the game, here are five bold predictions:
1. Aaron Rodgers will go over 300 yards passing:
This may not be a super bold prediction but it doesn’t mean that I don’t believe it will come true. Throughout his career, Rodgers has dominated the Vikings. In fact, he has owned them. In 12 starts, he has an 8-4 record to go along with 27 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He has completed a ridiculous 71 percent of his passes and averages 283 passing yards per game. Minnesota struggles against the pass and has allowed 241 yards per game. The Vikings also have no answer for Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb, nor do they have a great pass rush to defeat Rodgers that way. don’t be surprised to see Rodgers light up the scoreboard.
2. Teddy Bridgewater will make big plays and bad ones:
Bridgewater played well against the Falcons and seemed to be in control. Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner did a great job of getting the rookie comfortable with some easy screens that turned into big yardage. Green Bay sits at 26th overall in terms of yards allowed but are the fifth best in the NFL when it comes to defending the pass. Bridgewater will make some plays and look very good at times. But, he will make mistakes and the Packers are good enough in the secondary to make him pay for them.
3. Green Bay will hold Minnesota under 100 yards rushing:
These predictions don’t really go in order but this is might be the boldest. The Packers currently allow 176 yards rushing per game, which is the last in then NFL Yet, sometimes when you get run over, you fight back and stop it. That is what I think the Packers will do. They miss B.J. Raji inside but rookie Mike Pennel should see some more snaps at nose tackle this week, which should help. And if Rodgers and the offense can get going early, the Vikings may not have enough attempts to get there. Either way, the Green Bay defense will stand taller than it has in recent weeks.
4. Jordy Nelson will catch two touchdowns:
Nelson is playing as well as any wide receiver in the NFL right now and the Vikings simply have no one who can cover him. Xavier Rhodes and Captain Munnerlyn will try their best but I see a Lambeau Leap or two in Nelson’s future.
5. James Starks will make an impact:
Yes, James Starks didn’t even touch the ball against the Bears but head coach Mike McCarthy said he wanted to get him involved this week and I believe him. Starks hasn’t gotten many chances but has averaged five yards per carry on 15 carries for 75 yards. The Packers want to get their running game going and I just have a feeling Starks will make a play or two of more than 20 yards.
Packers Guru Prediction: Green Bay 34, Minnesota 24.