Teddy Bridgewater worked some magic for the Minnesota Vikings in his first NFL start, and the team came up with a home underdog victory. As of Wednesday night, both NFL bettors at America’s Bookie and fantasy team owners were anxiously awaiting word about whether the first-round draft choice was going to be available for action on Thursday night as the Vikings travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers, with an 8:30 PM ET start on CBS.
It all started for Bridgewater when Matt Cassel, who was more or less the “seat warmer,” was hurt in a game against the New Orleans Saints. That forced the Louisville product into the game, and although he acquitted himself rather well under fire, his club was still on the short end of a 20-9 score, in which the Vikings, failed to cover the pointspread in the football odds at America’s Bookie.
But for all intents and purposes, the job was his. And he got a full week of practice for the Vikings, then went in there and played a starring role as they beat the Atlanta Falcons 41-28. he completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards, stayed away from mistakes, and showed a lot of escapability, even running for a touchdown.
But he also sprained his ankle in the game, which leaves his status in question as the Thursday night game approaches.
In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this contest by the folks at America’s Bookie, the Packers are favored by more than a touchdown:
Green Bay Packers -7.5 (-115)
Minnesota Vikings +7.5 (-105)
Over 47.5 Points -110
Under 47.5 Points -110
The Vikings have not committed to announcing that Bridgewater is going to be the starting quarterback, although an MRI that was taken on it was negative. he did not practice for a couple of days, and that might be a factor here. Rookies need a lot of time to execute a game plan when it is installed, and inasmuch as one can imagine that Green Bay on the road is a tougher challenge than Atlanta at home, this may put Minnesota in a tough position.
At the same time, many NFL bettors suspect that there could be some gamesmanship at work. If the packers aren’t sure whether they have to prepare for Bridgewater or Christian Ponder at quarterback, it means they have to devote the time to prepare for both of them.
Ponder, of course, is the second-round draft choice who preceded Bridgewater as the Vikings’ “quarterback of the future,” but found himself in the #3 spot this season. Whoever plays at quarterback, America’s Bookie customers know that Adrian Peterson is not available to the Vikes, as he continues to sit out a suspension related to his child abuse case.
But NFL bettors saw this team get a huge boost out of rookie Jerick McKinnon, who ran for 135 yards, and Matt Asiata, who scored three touchdowns.
Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers knows Ponder well enough to understand how he is going to go about dealing with him. And it is likely that he would try a lot of blitzes and disguised coverages against Bridgewater. So it would be imperative that the rookie get support once again from the running game against a Packer defense that has yielded 4.6 yards per rush attempt if he is going to successfully deal with it, as well as cover as the dog at America’s Bookie.