Green Bay Packers: The Aaron Rodgers Scare – Matt Flynn is not the answer


It has been reported that no one in the Green Bay Packers organization is sweating the minor hamstring injury that Aaron Rodgers sustained on a scramble last Sunday night against the New Orleans Saints.

I’m more or less worried about what it would mean if the injury actually were serious.

The news has been good – crisis averted.

Well, as long as team management, doctors, coaches and teammates are unconcerned … I’ll just be over here, concerned enough for everyone.

Let me explain: I’m not really strung out (pun intended) on the hamstring, per se. I’m more or less worried about what it would mean if the injury actually were serious.

Usually, I don’t like to think about such things, but with Matt Flynn coming into the game in garbage time (again), I got the opportunity to see what the future would hold for my Green Bay Packers if Rodgers actually did sustain another injury.

I did NOT like what I saw.

Actually, to break it down … I haven’t liked what I have seen from Matt Flynn since preseason.

Quarterback Matt Flynn hasn’t shown us that the team would be in good hands with him as the leader. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Every time he steps on the field, the mistakes start flowing. It seems like he’s nothing but interceptions and fumbles. The Packers try to mask his inability to lead the first team offense effectively by running the ball and setting up short, high-percentage screens; even then, Flynn can’t get the job done.

Deep in Saints territory in the fourth quarter, the Packers were down by 14 points. Rodgers probably would have stayed in the game, considering he had just led a fierce trek downfield for a quick touchdown to cut the lead, when the moth-eaten Packers defense allowed Drew Brees a quick march of his own.

Feeling the pressure of Rodgers’ injury and chances of revival growing thinner, McCarthy made the QB switch to finish out the game.

On Flynn’s second snap – he dropped back, scanned the field and had the ball knocked loose, a fumble recovered by the Saints.

I’m getting very tired of seeing that.

When Flynn finished out the rout of the Minnesota Vikings a few Thursday nights ago, he promptly threw an interception. His interception was followed by three-and-outs and some generally ugly looking offense.

Scott Tolzien watches as a play against the Eagles unfolds in 2013..

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

During the preseason, McCarthy insisted on keeping Flynn at the number two spot on the depth chart, over emerging player Scott Tolzien. Flynn threw the ball with the first team offense and barely moved the chains.

He looked horrid throughout every series that he played. Yes, you can blame it on limited opportunities getting first team snaps during training camp – but if ever you were to overcome those kinds of obstacles, it should be with the starting offensive line, the starting wide receiving corps and your prime running backs.

Flynn couldn’t keep the offense on the field to save his life. Being relieved by Tolzien was like a breath of fresh air. He didn’t get much work with the first unit … taking mostly second and third string players up and down the field.

He threw with fire, confidence and relentlessness. That was the kind of play I would expect to see from Aaron Rodgers’ backup.

When the Packers decided to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, I breathed a sigh of relief. I still believe that Tolzien will get his comeuppance. However, in the here and right now, it’s still Flynn time, and that’s what scares me.

The Rodgers Scare is not an unfamiliar one. We were plagued with injuries last season, culminating in the elimination of Aaron Rodgers for seven weeks due to a collarbone break.

It was terrible.

Packers fans gathered week in and week out, unsure as to who would be under center and for how long. We didn’t know what to expect; we didn’t know if we would ever see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I think we are all still a bit raw from that experience and the hamstring just dredged up all of those old feelings of terror and frustration.

Yes, the offense moves under Rodgers. He is the captain and leader of it.

However, is it really acceptable for the entire program to shut down completely when he is sidelined or used cautiously? Shouldn’t we be able to count on a capable backup QB coming in and taking over the offense, maybe not as efficiently, but at least … workably?

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  • Shouldn’t we expect the offensive and defensive units to play just as hard as when Rodgers is 100 percent healthy? I feel like we should be able to count on those things – but can we, really?

    As of right now, I can’t comfortably say that we can.

    With the Halloween holiday upon us, it’s only fitting that Packers fans be very, very afraid of the possibility of another midseason “Rodgers Scare.”