Matt Flynn comes full circle for the Packers after Scott Tolzien is benched
It took a while for quarterback Matt Flynn to work his way back to the Green Bay Packers after a fairly disastrous and high-priced turn in Seattle, but against the Minnesota Vikings, Flynn got back under center. This happened because Packers head coach Mike McCarthy benched backup Scott Tolzien after the third-stringer-turned-starter completed 7-of-17 passes for 98 yards and fired off two incompletions in a three-and-out drive to start Green Bay’s offense in the second half. Tolzien was in the game because franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers is stil recovering from a broken collarbone, and backup Seneca Wallace hit the injured reserve list with a groin injury. Tolzien was directed to the sideline despite a rather impressive touchdown run in the first quarter.
Flynn finished the game 21-of-36 with 218 yards and one touchdown. In overtime, he marched the Packers down the field for a field goal that put them up 26-23, but he was unable to muster anything beyond that and the Packers and Vikings eventually played to a 26-26.
Selected by the Packers in the seventh round of the 2008 draft, Flynn served as Rodgers’ primary backup through the 2011 season. He had a couple scalding cups of coffee in Rodgers’ stead, most notably the six-touchdown performance he authored against the Detroit Lions on Jan. 1, 2012. Inspired by that game (and we’re not quite sure what else), the Seattle Seahawks signed Flynn to a three-year, $26 million deal in March of 2012.
Unfortunately for Flynn, Seattle also selected a guy out of Wisconsin by the name of Russell Wilson in the third round of that same draft, and Wilson outperformed Flynn from the first day of training camp. Flynn kept riding the bench through the next two seasons, and Seattle traded him to the Oakland Raiders for low-round picks this past April. Flynn did not impress in Oakland, and Green Bay re-signed him after Rodgers’ injury made quarterback depth and a familiarity with McCarthy’s offense a heightened concern.
Tolzien, an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin, spent his first two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers before the Packers gave him a shot. He had completed 48-of-73 passes for 619 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions before Sunday’s game. Of course, Wilson also spent one season at Wisconsin, so maybe McCarthy is hoping that a bit of Flynn on the field will somehow bring that shine back up in Tolzien’s favor.
The Packers are hoping that Rodgers can return for their Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions.