Posted November 24, 2013

Matt Flynn comes full circle for the Packers after Scott Tolzien is benched

Green Bay Packers, NFC North
It took a while, but Matt Flynn is back under center for the Green Bay Packers.

Matt Flynn is back under center for the Green Bay Packers. (Mike Roemer/AP)

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.

18 comments
Wojo1
Wojo1

Maybe he can parlay the couple of games until Rodgers gets back into another free agency bonanza. Nah, teams aren't that dumb, are they?

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

Tolzeeeeeen. Great QB. Classless move by the Packers to bench the youngster. Gonna ruin his confidence.

NatashaJohnson
NatashaJohnson

I don't get why Flynn wasn't brought back sooner. I knew Tolzien and Wallace sucked, I prayed for Flynn to come back games ago especially against those giants. Which present for but no more of that Tolzien guy. I was furious with the decision

ken.burnside
ken.burnside

Matt Flynn managed to turn two good games for the Packers into a roughly 18 million dollar pay day over two years where he never got hit.  

Smartest sumbitch in football.

Mike26
Mike26

The phrase that describes this situation best is "system QB".

j7apple
j7apple

Flynn.....most notably the six-touchdown performance he authored against the Detroit Lions on Jan. 1, 2012...Let him play again...Deja vu? 

Ninja_Penguin
Ninja_Penguin

Inaccurate article.  Flynn was only on the bench for one season in Seattle.  He was traded to Oakland the next year.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

You rally to TIE the vikes, you got problems

ianlinross
ianlinross

Makes we wonder why Matt Flynn didn't start the game. With a playoff berth on the line who would you rather have: a free agent walk-on from the taxi squad to run one of the league's most sophisticated offences, or an experienced guy, drafted and developed by you, who's familiar with your scheme and holds the team's single game passing record?

Mike McCarthy takes the blame if this season goes down the drain. Said it in his post game presser, he wished he'd gave him Flynn more practice snaps. Dumb, just dumb.

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

@Richard--Ramirez LIke they are really all that concerned about his confidence. At best he's their #2 QB next year though I wouldn't be shocked it it ended up being Flynn. Its not like they are building for a future starting QB here.

Dan79
Dan79

@Richard--Ramirez Down 16 points you do what you have to do to win and clearly it was the right call. I could see them keeping him in if there's absolutely no chance at post season. To call it "classless" makes no sense at all. He has time to grow, now is not the time. Even he said he would have pulled himself out of the game.

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

@ken.burnside NO doubt! Huge money and never had to play a snap in a game. He's a pretty solid backup QB in the right system and now he's back in that system. 

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

@WHO*IS*ESPN Repeat after me...FOURTH string QB. No QBs on the roster outside of Rodgers were even in camp this year. I realize tying the Vikings isn't anything to be proud of, but the comeback for Flynn was, he wasn't responsible for the score when he came in but he played great while he was in there.

geewhiz
geewhiz

@ianlinross Your season went down the drain when your offense got decimated by injury.  No point in rushing Rodgers back, clearly this team is going no where this year.  That said, having wallace as an insurance policy was incredibly stupid.

TrevorRasmussen
TrevorRasmussen

@geewhiz @ianlinross Not going anywhere? They have a top 10 RB, three very good WRs with another very good one coming off IR in time for the playoffs, the best QB in the league. The D has been up and down but they are good enough to make this team competitive with the best teams in the conference.


But yes, the Wallace decision was a poor one. 

gbgentleman
gbgentleman

@geewhiz @ianlinross Packers are 1/2 game out of the lead of their division with games remaining against both of the teams ahead them.  Division is easily within their grasp IF Rodgers comes back soon.