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Can Matt Flynn Lead The Packers To Victory?

December 16, 2010

Like the majority of us, Matt Flynn doesn’t know what it feels like to throw a touchdown pass in the NFL. He has never started an NFL game. In fact, in three years, he has only made token appearances in 22 games. All of that changed for the former LSU Tiger on Sunday. After Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers left the game with a concussion, the Packers’ coaching staff called Flynn’s number. Matt Flynn answered the call, but could not right Sunday’s sinking ship. After the loss, head coach Mike McCarthy said Flynn “did a good job; he managed the game very well, he was in some tough spots.”

With Rodgers’ status for Sunday looking more and more unlikely, Flynn may get another opportunity on Sunday in Foxboro.

Flynn’s final numbers against the Lions were not bad — 15-of-26 passing for 177 yards — but his redzone interception ended a promising drive, and probably closed the door on the Packers chance at victory. So the question remains: Can Matt Flynn and the Packers beat Tom Brady the New England Patriots?

The easy answer is “no”. But as NFL fans know all too well, on any given Sunday, either team can come away with the victory. Maybe the better question is: Can the Packers defense beat Tom Brady and the Patriots?

When framed in this light, I think it gives Packer fans a bit of optimism. And the Packers’ glimmer of hope on Sunday starts with the player who, on draft day in 2009, in all likelihood should have been a New England Patriot: Clay Matthews III. If the Packers are to stop an offense that has averaged over 30 points a game this season, they will need to apply creative and constant pressure on Tom Brady. However, with injuries decimating the Packers defense this year, the Green and Gold find themselves without an outside linebacker to complement Matthews. Additionally, the defensive line will be without one of their top players, Cullen Jenkins. Despite the numerous hurdles and roadblocks this season, the Packers’ defense has risen to the challenge week-in and week-out, so another “lights out” performance on Sunday is not that far from the realm of possibility.

In the Patriots only two losses this season, their offense has been limited to 14 points. Turning to the Packers’ side of the ball, can Matt Flynn and company muster more than 14 points? With a full week of practice under his belt and a game plan specifically designed to his strengths, it might just happen.

If the Packers are to upset the Patriots on Sunday, it will be because the team puts together a near-perfect performance in every facet of the game: offense, defense, and special teams. In the Packers eight victories this season, this has not happened; at times, the team has won convincingly but has rarely fired on all cylinders.

On Sunday, the Packers will travel to Foxboro to face a team that is always well-prepared. Will Matt Flynn and Mike McCarthy outplay and outcoach Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? The answer is: I have no idea. I suppose that’s why they actually play the game.


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