Sunday, December 19, 2010

Flynn Deserved a Win

Heartbreaking.  Matt Flynn came out and had an outstanding performance, but he fell just a few plays short of selling the movie rights to “The Matt Flynn Story.”  If you had told me that Flynn would out-perform Brady, going 24/37 for 251 yards and 3 TDs, I’m not sure I would have believed it.  Apart from the pick six, it was a nearly flawless performance – and a real confidence booster that there is someone behind Rodgers who can execute their offense.

Credit to the Packers’ coaching staff.  They came in with a nearly perfect game plan.  I loved the onsides kick to open up the game.  That set a tone that the Packers were throwing out all the stops to win this game.  Defensively, they did an outstanding job keeping Brady in check – holding the likely league MVP to 163 yards passing.  With Collins missing much of the game and Erik Walden getting the start at linebacker, it’s all the more impressive they held the #1 offense to so few yards.  And the running game was finally effective tonight – racking up 143 yards and resulting in a dominant time-of-possession advantage.

The game was really decided on three plays that didn’t go the Packers’ way:

  1. Woodson’s missed interception.  Charles has to be kicking himself to have the ball bounce off his hands on the Patriots’ opening drive.  That would have been a key turn-over.  
  2. Dan Connolly’s 71-yard kick-off return.  Are you kidding me???  That looked like a walrus stealing a chicken.  How a 300+-lb offensive lineman rumbles down the field to nearly score a touchdown is beyond me.
  3. Flynn’s pick six.  I’m not sure you can pin that one on Flynn.  It looked to me that Jones cut off the route early.  And the fact that about three dozen Packers had opportunities to make the tackle but couldn’t was disappointing.

Any of those three plays could have changed the outcome of the game.  It would have been a sweet victory.  But we at least had some luck on Sunday – with the Lions’ victory over the Buccaneers, Green Bay moves into 7th place in the NFC playoff race.  And with the Eagles’ dramatic come-from-behind victory over the demoralized Giants, the Packers still effectively control their own destiny.  If they beat New York next Sunday at Lambeau, they will be tied with the Giants for the 6th and final wild card spot, which they would take by virtue of the head-to-head tie breaker.

So in spite of the heartbreaking loss, I got a shot of optimism tonight.  The team played with heart and determination and nearly pulled out a long-shot victory.  If they bring that kind of game the last two weeks, I’m hopeful we’ll make it to the post-season.

1 comment:

  1. Trigger --- You know I love you like a brother, but "Credit to the Packers' Coaching staff?" Really --- now I'll grant you the prep was impressive and they came to win. But McCarthy showed again his poor clock management. Come on man, Chuck Ross and Scott Barnum could call two plays coming out of a timeout at good old Appleton East. It was a pitiful finish on the coaching side. Flynn did an awesome job filling in, but his head coach/offensive coordinator prevented him from having an opportunity to win.

    Bye, Bye Mike McCarthy ----- Hello John Gruden!