GREEN BAY—The frozen voices in Lambeau Field cheered as he took the field. Matt Flynn would save the day, and he did.
So what’s not to like? Was this the same guy that had been cut by the Raiders and Bills earlier this season? The Raiders and the Bills?
Rumors of Flynn’s demise have clearly been exaggerated. Hey, the guy can still play. He proved it in Lambeau Field on Sunday, coming off the bench with 8:22 to play in the third quarter, the frigid Wisconsin air choked with hopelessness.
“There are throws that needed to be completed out there. My first objective is to move the chains. I didn’t do that,” starting quarterback Scott Tolzien said.
Tolzien had a difficult day. He made a big throw early to Jordy Nelson and then put a spin move on Letroy Guion to score a touchdown that staked the Packers to a 7-0 lead, but then Tolzien went colder than those girls in the bikinis. He finished seven of 17 for 98 yards.
“We were looking for a spark,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said of his decision to replace Tolzien with Flynn. “We had a history with Matt. He went out there and played football.”
Yes, the Packers have a history with Flynn. It goes like this: When he plays, good things happen. Completions happen. Touchdowns happen. Points happen.
Down 23-7 early in the fourth quarter, Flynn caught fire. He nearly rallied the Packers to victory in regulation. Don’t complain about that two-point conversion attempt McCarthy ordered. Every coach in the league would’ve gone for two when down by 10 with 11:42 to play.
This was great stuff. This was the stuff of Packers legend. Put another log on the fire and let’s wax nostalgic.
But for Flynn, it was about more than writing another chapter in Packers history. This was about his career, which was revived by his performance against the Vikings. He’s back. Please, don’t leave again.
“It feels good to have some success. Whoever was counting me out, I don’t care what people say. I know what I can do. I know my best football is in front of me,” he said following the game.
The Packers might need for Flynn’s best football to be directly ahead of him. He might be the team’s starting quarterback in Detroit this Thursday and, if he is, he will likely hold in his hands the fate of the Packers’ season.
Is there a chance Aaron Rodgers will be the starter in Detroit? The question came forcefully to McCarthy.
“I have no idea. I can’t answer that for you,” McCarthy shot back.
So, unless one of you reading these words is clairvoyant or has inside information you’d care to share with us, a “nation” will likely turn its lonely eyes to Flynn on Thursday, and he will likely decide the degree to which we all enjoy our turkey later in the day, or whether we can eat at all. This is a must-eat game.
“Once you get over the sting of not winning the game, you can look at the positives,” Flynn said following Sunday’s tie.
The positives are obvious. For the first time since Rodgers fractured his collarbone, the ball was being moved at a pace reminiscent of how the Packers play football. An element of grace returned to the offense. A degree of fear returned to the opposition’s defense.
For the first time since Rodgers took off his shoulder pads, the Packers gave its fans reason to cheer with hope, instead of worry. Flynn did, in fact, save the day. He might be needed to save one more day. Complete game coverage