Well, we know Matt Flynn is the real deal.
The Green Bay Packers backup quarterback led the team to a wild 45-41 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday by throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns, both single-game team records.
The game was meaningless for the Packers, who had the No. 1 seed in the playoffs wrapped up. They sat key starters Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson, while the Lions trotted out all their starters in hopes of improving their playoff seeding.
Rodgers obviously wasn’t missed, as Flynn torched the Lions secondary. His TD passes went to Donald Driver, Ryan Grant, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley, who caught the game winner after the Lions went ahead 41-38. Nelson helped Flynn to his monster day by catching nine balls for 162 yards and three touchdowns.
Nelson finished his breakout season with 68 catches, 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns. He ranked ninth in the league in receiving yards and third in touchdown catches.fs
While Rodgers wasn’t missed, Matthews and Woodson were. The Packers played a weak-ass zone defense and Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson took full advantage of Green Bay’s lackluster game plan and missing starters.
Stafford threw for 520 yards and five touchdowns. Johnson caught 11 balls for 244 yards.
Is this cause for concern? Probably.
Certainly, the absence of Woodson and Matthews played a huge factor in the Packers sieve-like defense, as did the game plan, but the secondary has been a weak link all season. If the Packers face the Saints and Drew Brees in the playoffs, you probably should be worried.
Although they got thrashed for most of the day, as they have all season, the defense came up with an opportune turnover to seal the win. This time it was cornerback Sam Shields, who picked Stafford with 25 seconds left as the Leos were driving for the potential game-winning score.
The Packers will get a break for a week before facing either the Giants, Falcons or the Lions again, if they were to get by the Saints, in Lambeau. They’ll be the healthiest they’ve been in a while, with Greg Jennings and Bryan Bulaga returning from injuries and Chad Clifton back in the lineup.
And let’s face it. Nothing up to this point really matters.
The games start for real in two weeks.