The Green Bay Packers started more quarterbacks in 2013 than in the last 21 years. I’m sorry to say my fellow Cheeseheads, we’ve been spoiled; Bart Starr, Brett Favre, and now Aaron Rodgers: all MVP’s, all Superbowl Champs.We’re so accustomed to not having to hunt for franchise quarterbacks. But everyone misses a game some time; even Favre’s Iron Man Streak came to an end. A-Rod missed half the year due to a broken collarbone. Therein, we’re not used to having to hunt for a backup quarterback.
First was Seneca Wallace. The 33 year old hasn’t taken a snap since 2011. Despite being known as a scrambling quarterback, rust showed in his arm and legs. In two games this year, Wallace threw zero touchdowns and one pick.
Next was rookie Scott Tolzien, an undrafted free agent brought up from the Packers practice squad. In three games, Tolzien showed a bit more promise actually scoring one touchdown with five interceptions. Still, the spotlight and competition was too heavy for a rookie.
The Pack went from a division leading (5-2) to a five game losing streak struggling to survive in the NFC North. This was the longest losing streak in Green Bay since 2008.
Only one word could describe the disaster; remember Shane Falco in The Replacements…“Quicksand”.
Finally, management made the move. We can only guess what took so long to bring Matt Flynn back home, but better late than never. Flynn was signed as a free agent and took over for Tolzien midway against the Minnesota Vikings. He rallied a 16 point fourth quarter comeback to tie the game and force overtime. Despite the game ending in a tie, Flynn showed the Lambeau faithful he can stop the bleeding.
Flynn’s 2013 season saved the Pack. In five games (2-2-1), Flynn threw for 7 touchdowns and 1,146 yards leading Green Bay back to playoff contention. The back to back one point wins to the visiting Atlanta Falcons and at the Dallas Cowboys confirmed as a testament to Flynn’s leadership even as a backup quarterback. He did his job. He pulled the trigger.
The Packers have a reputation of draft and develop. General Manager Ted Thompson is known to draft a quarterback every year. It’s ironic how things work out. The one year they didn’t draft a qb is when they needed one most. But Flynn proved himself yet again, just like in the 2010 Superbowl season. We remember Flynn’s first career start on Monday Night Football where he almost pulled off the upset in front of the great Tom Brady. We remember the shootout in the snow against the Detroit Lions where he shattered the franchise record with six touchdown passes.
Flynn earned himself a starting salary that offseason but busted in Seattle and Oakland. Maybe it was the people around him making him better in Green Bay whereas the Seahawks and Raiders looked to rebuild at the time. The fact that Flynn suddenly showed his skills again, three years later matter of fact, indicates a perfect fit within Coach Mike McCarthy’s system.Matt Flynn found his way back home.
Being reunited with the green and gold brought his talents back to fruition. Maybe Matt is meant to be a Packer. After all, you don’t have to be on the varsity team to make a difference.
With that, we can assume that Matt Flynn will have earned at least another one-year contract, but why not re-sign him to a longer extension. He already tried out the market. Let’s lock him up for at least three years. The window is open for a few Superbowl runs with A-Rod in his prime, Eddie Lacy adding a physical ground game, and young defense on the rise. McCarthy appreciates continuity. As aforementioned, it’s difficult to find a quarterback, let alone two. So when you find them, keep them. One hit is all it takes to ruin a season, and having a solid backup qb like Matt Flynn is like having a bandaid to make everything better.