By most accounts the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers are one of the top regional rivalries in the NFL. Some of that’s due to familiarity, as the teams played three times in 2013 alone — all Packers wins. But tonight’s Vikings Packers game feels different, primarily because of changes in Minnesota’s offense.
Running back Adrian Peterson continues to sit out against the Green Bay Packers tonight as he awaits his hearing in Texas for child abuse. Peterson’s absence will be a huge gain for the Packers, as the All-Pro running back often runs all over Green Bay for a career average of 113 yards.
[UPDATE] Bridgewater has been labeled inactive for tonight’s Packers game. Christian Ponder will start at QB for the Vikings instead. You can therefore ignore the next two paragraphs. However, the info on how to watch tonight’s Vikings @ Packers game online free Thursday Night Football is still valid for tonight’s Week 5 game.
In addition, tonight’s Thursday Night Football game marks just the second game Minnesota Vikings rookie Teddy Bridgewater will have started at quarterback. Presuming his status changes at kickoff from “questionable” to “active.”
Bridgewater had a solid debut in Week 3 with 317 yards against the Falcons, but he struggled last week in a 9-20 loss to the travels to Saints with just 150 yards. Tonight Bridgewater leads the Minnesota Vikings offense into Lambeau Field, a tough place to play by any measure but particularly against what’s become one of the NFL’s top passing defenses in the Green Bay Packers.
Watch the Packers game live from the sideline and you’ll see things a bit more stable. Not only has Green Bay scored at least 23 points in each its last 15 games against the Vikings, but they won all three times the teams met in 2013. Green Bay also has a 19-4-1 record in home division games like tonight’s Vikings game since 2006.
Perhaps more relevant, the 2-2 Packers have won both games this season when Aaron Rodgers outperformed the opposing quarterback. In their two losses, the other team’s quarterback has had the higher QBR. With Bridgewater on the physical ropes tonight and in a hostile road environment, Rodgers is likely to have the better stats.
Will he walk home with a win as a result? Tonight’s Thursday Night Football game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers is live on TV on both CBS and the NFL Network. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:25pm EST / 5:25pm PST. You can also watch Vikings vs Packers online free Thursday Night Football live using the CBS Sports website or DirecTV’s website. The latter requires you to have an NFL Sunday Ticket MAX subscription, but if you do you can watch the game online free on a smartphone, tablet or PC.