UK-based Cheeseheads will be joining their NFL-watching brethren from the Raider Nation in tuning in for Week 5’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders in the early hours of Tuesday (01:15am).
The Packers look a lot healthier coming off their mini-bye week with two key offensive lineman now injury-free and lead running back Aaron Jones potentially set to have a bigger part to play.
Jones racked up 127 total yards with two touchdowns before he pulled a hamstring in Green Bay’s Week 1 romp over the Chicago Bears.
Returning on a pitch count in last week’s home loss to the Detroit Lions, his role should be expanded after the bonus of a ten-day break.
Starting left tackle David Bakhtiari is now out for the rest of the season, but left guard Elgton Jenkins returns to boost the offensive line and right guard Jon Runyan Jr has shaken off an ankle issue.
As for the Raiders, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo cleared the NFL concussion protocol in time to play after missing last week’s 24-17 defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers.
However, star receiver Davante Adams missed practice on Friday with a shoulder injury and is a doubt to face his former team.
Josh Jacobs 1st Touchdown Scorer @ 9/2
The Raiders will need to establish their rushing game early on if they’re to dictate terms to the Packers, who have been less than solid against the run of late.
Green Bay’s defence rank 25th in yards allowed per rushing attempt and show little improvement from the past two seasons, when they finished 28th and 30th in the league respectively.
The Packers are allowing a whopping 155.3 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry in 2023, which should play into the hands of the Raiders’ rushing king Josh Jacobs.
Last season’s league leader in rushing yards has yet to average more than 3.6 yards per carry through four weeks.
But he scored his first touchdown of the campaign last week and should have picked up the scent for more against a Packers defence that has allowed four rushing scores already this season including two goal-line efforts by the Lions’ David Montgomery last week.
Under 44.5 Total Points @ 20/23
Both teams will try to control the clock with their rushing game and that could restrict the number of points on offer to fewer than the projected total of 44.5.
Three of Las Vegas’ four games this season have come in under that number, while the Packers have failed to score more than 20 in each of the last two weeks.
Jordan Love was ineffective against the Lions as his offensive line was unable to withhold Detroit’s pass rush and his receivers gained little separation.
If that trend carries on into this week, then the Raiders could keep him in check.