DALLAS—All of a sudden, the Packers look like a hot team in December.
The Packers are fresh off one of the biggest and most emotional comebacks in franchise history, they’ve rallied in the second half in consecutive games, their defense is beginning to deliver critical takeaways at crunch time, and maybe, just maybe, their star quarterback is nearing a return to action.
Oh, my, isn’t this becoming an interesting if not promising season again?
Matt Flynn saved the day for a second consecutive week. He’s playing, again, as the quarterback whose record-setting performance two years ago launched him into free agency. In Sunday’s 37-36 thriller, Flynn threw four touchdown passes and won a shootout over Tony Romo, after spotting Romo a 23-point lead by halftime.
Has he considered the possibility that he might be “The Man” for the Packers the rest of the way?
“Not really,” he said. “I really have been trying to take it one game at a time. I don’t anticipate being the guy. We all anticipate Aaron getting healthy.”
Well, folks, get ready for another week of the ever-popular football soap opera, “Will Rodgers play?” It begins again in earnest on Monday afternoon, when Head Coach Mike McCarthy will step up to the podium at his press conference and the first question he’ll be asked will be, “Will Aaron Rodgers play this week?” or something to that effect.
One of these days, the answer will be, “Yes, Aaron Rodgers will play this week,” and when that day comes, look out.
The Packers are near the point of controlling their own destiny, which is exactly what will happen should the Lions lose to the Ravens on Monday night. With a Ravens win, the Packers will win the NFC North with wins over the Steelers and Bears. With a Ravens win, the Packers will become the team to beat in the NFC North, especially should McCarthy step up to the podium and announce, “Yes, Aaron Rodgers will play this week.”
Flynn has been the custodian quarterback he was signed to be. He rallied the Packers to a tie with the Vikings, and then, after a dreadful performance in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, he has resurrected the Packers’ playoff hopes with comeback wins over Atlanta and Dallas. If Flynn turns over the reins to the offense to Rodgers this week, he will do so with the pride and satisfaction of having done his job.
“Matt just stays the course. He’s a tough guy. I think it says a lot about him,” McCarthy said following yesterday’s miracle in Big D.
Was it the biggest win of Flynn’s football career?
“I would probably say so. What a feeling! We were all taking a knee and thinking is this happening?” Flynn said.
The change in his performance from the first half to the second half was so stunning that it was inexplicable. The Packers were headed for a blowout loss. They would be on the verge of playoff elimination; the Bears could do it to them with a win the following week.
“I played pretty poor in the first half. I was having difficult seeing the field. I was waiting too long for my guys to get open,” he said.
Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, the Packers have a hot quarterback, but he might be about to be benched, and that’s just fine with him and everybody else in Packers nation.
Maybe this is the week Rodgers returns to action.
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