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Flash News: Carrie Meek, the grandchild of a slave and pioneering Black former congresswoman, dies at 95      - | -     Fauci says new variant omicron might 'evade immune protection'      - | -     Police report 'some fatalities' after more than 20 people were injured when SUV drives through Wisconsin parade      - | -     Austria back in lockdown as protests erupt over COVID restrictions in Austria, Italy, Croatia      - | -     Colorado pilot killed while fighting a wildfire near Estes Park reported turbulent conditions moments before the crash      - | -     Florida legislature sends four COVID-19 vaccine bills to Gov. 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Doug Ducey says Arizona won't stop using COVID money for anti-mask grants     - | -     DOJ targets Texas again, Sues Texas Over Voting Bill, Alleging It Violates Civil Rights Act     - | -     The US gives final approval of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11      - | -     Michelle Wu becomes the first woman, a person of color elected as Boston mayor      - | -     States prepare to receive pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech doses ahead of full approval for ages 5-11: COVID-19 updates      - | -     Charleston church shooting victims, DOJ reach $88M settlement over white nationalist's gun      - | -     Remains found in California desert identified as Lauren Cho, missing N.J. woman      - | -     Vladimir Putin Drives Down Europe Gas Prices By Ordering Company to Supply Austria, Germany      - | -     Florida school district that defied governor on mask rules will end requirement for its high schools      - | -     Blinken says he ordered reviews of State Dept's evacuation efforts out of Afghanistan      - | -     Saudi, UAE summon Lebanon envoys over minister's Yemen war remarks      - | -     Biden easily won Virginia. 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Sports

NFL Thursday Night Football Preview: Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

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NFL Thursday Night Football Preview: Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

2014-10-02 12:03:17

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Aaron Rodgers has thrown 8 TDs to no INTs in the past three weeks. (Image Source: David Banks/Getty Images)

Here’s a look at tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers:

Series: Packers Lead 55-48-2; Steaks: Packers won 6 of past 8; Last Meeting: Packers 26, Vikings 26 (11.24.13)

Time: 8:25 PM ET; TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms & Tracy Wolfson)

Injury Report: Vikings: Out: LB Chad Greenway (hand/rib), TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen/groin); Questionable: QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle); Probable: CB Captain Munnerlyn (illness), RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle), CB Josh Robinson (hamstring), LB Michael Mauti (foot), WR Rodney Smith (hamstring), LB Brandon Watts (knee), FB Jerome Felton (knee)

Packers: Out: WR Jarrett Boykin (groin); Doubtful: LB Sam Barrington (hamstring), DT Josh Boyd (knee); Probable: LB Brad Jones (quadricep), G T.J. Lang (not injury related), LB Clay Matthews (groin), LB/DE Mike Neal (hip)

Where They Stand: At 2-2, the Packers and Vikings are in a three-way tie for second place in the NFC North along with the Chicago Bears, one game behind the first-place Detroit Lions. Green Bay has alternated losses and wins, while Minnesota snapped their two-game losing streak last Sunday. The winner tonight will have their first winning streak of the season. The Pack are playing in their third straight division game (split the first two) while the Vikes are lining up against an NFC North foe for the first time this season.

The Vikings: It was a big week for the rookie class in Minnesota’s 41-28 win over Atlanta last Sunday, starting with first-round pick, QB Teddy Bridgewater. The signal caller completed 19 passes for 317 yards and a passer rating of 98.9 in his debut. Bridgewater became the fifth QB in league history to throw for 300-plus yards with no interceptions in his first career start. The Louisville product also added a 13-yard TD run for good measure. On the ground, RB Jerick McKinnon (third-round pick) broke free for a 55-yard run on his way to a 135-yard day, the fourth-highest total by a Vikings rookie. RB Matt Asiata scored a career-high 3 TDs last week. At WR the Packers need to be wary of Cordarrelle Patterson, Jarius Wright and former Packer Greg Jennings. In his past six Thursday games, Jennings has scored five TDs, while Wright is coming off a career-game (8 receptions, 132 yards). Patterson has burned Green Bay on special teams in the past, with a 109-yard KR TD last season.  Their other first-round selection, LB Anthony Barr, also had a strong day against the Falcons with six stops and a sack, his second of the season. Minny’s best pass rusher is DE Everson Griffen who has 4.5 sacks in his past six games, and had three sacks in his last meeting with the Packers.

The Packers: In his career, QB Aaron Rodgers has enjoyed playing against the Vikings. In 12 starts against the division rival, Rodgers has thrown 27 TDs with just four INTs for a passer rating of 116.8. He’s also led the Packers to wins in seven of his last eight starts against Minnesota, including a postseason win. Last week, WRs Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson became the first Green Bay teammates to have 100 receiving yards with at least two TD receptions in the same game since 1969. Nelson of one of just two receivers with at least 3,000 receiving yards (3,781) and 30 TD catches (33) while averaging 15-plus yards per catch (16.1). What Green Bay lacks this season is balance. RB Eddie Lacy has rushed for just 161 yards this season, averaging 3.0 yards per pop. Maybe playing the Vikings will help him turn it around. He put up 204 rushing yards, 270 scrimmage yards and two scores against Minnesota last season. OLB Julius Peppers has 119.5 sacks since 2002, the second most in the NFL since then, and fellow bookend pass rusher OLB Clay Matthews Jr. has recorded six sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his past six games versus Minnesota. They also have two of the league’s better ball hawks. CB Tramon Williams has 20 INTs since 2010, tied for the most in the league, while fellow CB Sam Shields is fourth with 18.

Prediction: Not only is Rodgers great against Minnesota but he excels on Thursdays and has been dominant at home. He’s 4-1 with 10 TDs, 2 INTs and 109 rating in his past five Thursday games, while posting a 29-2 record and a 112.3 rating (78 TDs, 17 INTs) in his past 31 home starts. The Vikings have some talent but without RB Adrian Peterson it’s hard to imagine them upsetting the superior Packers, not on the road, not on a short week. Whether it’s Teddy Bridgewater on a gimpy ankle or Christian Ponder off the bench, the Vikes will not have the firepower to keep up.

Score: Packers 27, Vikings 17

NFL Links:

NFL: NFC Power Rankings – Packers & Cowboys Make a Statement

Around the NFL in Week 4: Aaron Rodgers & the Packers Reach Milestones

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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