Studies have found that some functions relating to touch and hearing are better done by a person that is blind. Loss of sight can serve to enhance other human functions both by necessity and according to areas of the brain that would be used for visual stimulation rerouted to enhance hearing and touch.
Sometimes handicapping the National Football League is also best achieved blind; not blind to facts, but allowing those facts not to be interfered with by what we think we saw.
Now, I’m not suggesting that a blind cab driver is a good idea, or that I perform my work without due diligence based on all the information I can gather. What I am suggesting is that I allow my work to prevail over what I sometimes think I see.
For example, I see the Green Bay Packers as one of the best teams in the league this season. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having a career year and their development as a team is anchored on winning 13 games during the regular season last year and ending the 2019 campaign with a three game bulge over the second place Minnesota Vikings.
The Packers also won their 2019 opening playoff game over the talented Seattle Seahawks, before losing the NFC Championship Game on the road against the San Francisco 49ers.
In other words, in his first campaign as the Packers head coach, Matt LaFleur made the Packers management decision to fire Mike McCarthy and bring him in look like a brilliant move. Particularly now, when McCarthy is having more trouble in Dallas than Jerry Jones normally tolerates.
So, in his rookie year as an NFL head coach, LaFleur guided the Packers to a dominating division win and a trip to the NFC Championship Game. In his second year at the helm of the Packers, LaFleur has Green Bay winning all but one game through the first seven weeks of the season and once again looking to add space between his team and the rest of the NFC North Division.
This Sunday, the Packers get their next chance to drive a spike into the dwindling hopes, and perhaps coaching career, of the Minnesota Vikings and Mike Zimmer. A Vikings team that many thought would be the greatest challenge for the Packers in their division race this year are struggling. Six games into their campaign, the Vikings have a single win.
Last year, despite winning three less games than the Packers, Minnesota did qualify for a Wild Card postseason berth. They parlayed that into a road playoff win over the New Orleans Saints, and like the Packers, had their season end at Levi’s Stadium against the 49ers. This year, the organization was looking for a step forward in Zimmer’s seventh year at the helm, and instead have had the team drop like an anvil off a roof top.
Now, one would think that a team with only one loss versus a squad with only one win would be an obvious choice. In other words, take the Packers and expect a blowout for Rodgers and company.
But, to come up with that conclusion, would be to turn a blind eye to some very compelling reasons why this is the week the Vikings strike with an upset win at Lambeau Field.
First, the Packers, I suspect, are blind to the peril they face while taking on a Minnesota team that has had two weeks to prepare, they had their bye in Week Seven, and are looking at the abyss of a lost year. One could not blame Green Bay for expecting to punch in an easy win here and even be already looking ahead to their battle next week when they again meet the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.
But, one would have to be blind not to see how well Green Bay has played up to this point and how poorly the Vikings have performed this season.
Which, in this case, would be a benefit.
Qoxhi Picks: Minnesota Vikings (+6) over Green Bay Packers