The Minnesota Vikings travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers who will be without their star QB Aaron Rodgers.
What happened to Aaron Rodgers?
A week is a long time in sport and for the Packers that week has been a rollercoaster. It is little surprise that Rodgers has been placed on IR after their loss to the Carolina Panthers (31-24). That result coupled with the Falcons win over the Bucs on Monday Night Football eliminates them from playoff contention.
The bigger issue is that Rodgers was hit 7 times by the Panthers defence which is a really disappointing way for the Offensive Line to protect such a valuable asset. Head Coach Mike McCarthy explained that his star QB ‘is sore, rightfully so’ and that ‘he was hit too many times’.
Carolina were ranked #3 in the NFL for sacks per game (3.1) whilst the Vikings are mid table in 14th (2.5) performing below their average in the last 3 games (1.7).
Do you think Brett Hundley will pick up where he left off?
An increased focus on QB protection should help Brett Hundley against the Vikings. The Packers simply can’t afford to allow their QB to be hit so often and expect to win games.
Hundley was beginning to show some promising signs and you sense he may have known that he would feature once again this season if results went against the Packers.
It’s another lop-sided market. Tell me about the value in Player Exotics.
Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers – WR)
With Devante Adams ruled out after missing practice all week in the concussion protocol it is likely that Jordy Nelson gets enough of the ball in this match to receive over 42.5 yards.
Realistically that’s only a couple of mid range plays down the field and Hundley can certainly make those passes as long as there is coverage in the pocket.
What happened in their last match?
The Packers travelled to Minnesota to face the Vikings in mid October and were beaten 10-23 with Aaron Rodgers throwing just 4 times. Replaced by Brett Hundley, the back-up QB threw 18/33 for 157 yards, 3 INTs and 1 TD but the Packers couldn’t score at all in the second half.
That was a real mess of a game and the Packers have stabilised since.
What do we know about the Vikings?
The Vikings are on top of the NFC North and headed for the playoffs. They are allowing the 3rd least yards per pass in the NFL (6.3) which means that the Packer’s wide receivers might be in for a long night.
Punters will need to keep in mind a variable that will provide huge motivation for the Packers. Rodgers’ injury was sustained as a result of a hit by the Vikings’ Anthony Barr in the last match between the two teams.
Green Bay were headed towards the playoffs (albeit not as a top seed but still would see some post-season action) before their star QB was injured.
Clay Matthews may miss this game with a recurring hamstring injury…keep an eye out for whether the Packers risk him in a game that essentially means nothing for the future.
Minnesota are a better team although the Packers will have a point to prove. We think that the Vikings grind them down and get the win although it won’t be a blowout and the Packers may even lead this game for periods.
- Jordy Nelson (GB) over 42.5 receiving yards ($1.88)
- Total Points Under 41.5 ($1.89)
- Q1 v Q2 most passing yards – Case Keenan ($1.44)
Preview by CrownBet Australia