And Now On To More Important Things

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Jordy Nelson

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.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

12 Comments on "And Now On To More Important Things"

  1. credible32

    The D has been suspect all year. I’m over worrying about it. If it comes down to GB/NO -last team to score wins. We’re not going to stop anybody in the playoffs…better just hope the offense doesn’t take a week off.

  2. Donny H

    I’m really sick of all the AR haters. We’ve all heard by now that Flynn’s performance proves that the Super Bowl MVP is a system QB. This is a bunch of BS, yes?

    Bottom line is this – Our QBs have electrifying performances because of their big time arms and football IQ. Good job TT and the scouting department on finding top notch talent waaaaay late in the draft and taking the time to develop it. The Packer way works and I expect a series of division titles over the next few years.

    Props to Drew Brees but he cannot make the throws that our passers can. I don’t think his critical thinking skills are in the same league as A-Rod’s either. The who dat can have the league MVP – our team has its sights set on the bigger prizes.

    • Shawn iltarion

      The “AR is a system QB” was a joke started inside the Packer locker room.

      Aaron Rodgers is the 2011 MVP. I would bet money on it. Voters consider the entire season, and they also weigh heavily the final record of the team.

      When you look at everything as a whole, Rodgers, Brees and Brady all had record breaking seasons. So, the difference between them? The Packers are 15-1 while the other two teams are 13-3.

      Rodgers and the Packers earned the right to sit Rodgers the final week thanks to their record. Rodgers will not be penalized for that. It is partially Brees and Brady’s fault that they HAD to play that final game.

  3. Donny H

    Monty, the secondary is not the worst part of the Defense. The d-line, hands down.

    As much as i’d like to think that each element sucks equally, you have to wonder where the packers would be right now without all the INTs acquired by the opportunistic DBs. My guess is the packers would be playing next weekend.

    I have never witness a more sorry d-line in my 16 years of packer backing as I have this season. To the contrary, the line has usually been the pride, essence, backbone, identity, other adjectives; I never remember them sucking this bad or even sucking period. WTH happened this year?

    • darrin

      I have no idea, but when I watch other teams that get pressure up front, I see the DL get separation from the blocker, using their hands to fight off the block, and penetrate the seam, OR just use quickness to shoot the gap. Either way none of our D-line do ANY of this. Our guys kinda half-ass run into the O-line and just stand their with their hands locked up. Nobody seems to have any quick, agile moves to shed a blocker or get into the backfield. They looks slow and soft, even Mike Neal who supposed to be a “beast” gets manhandled.

      • Shawn iltarion

        The 3-4 typically generates pressure from the edge: James Harrison, Terrell Suggs, Clay Matthews. The DL normally aren’t pass rushers. Otherwise, this observation is spot on.

    • Vijay

      Donny H is absolutely, unequivocally correct on this one. Why? Because I’ve been saying it all year and I’m extremely smart (and humble). We need defensive line studs in the worst way. Not only to supplant what we have now in our weak rotation, but to make our defense once again rank at or near the top in the league (stats-wise). People can say stats don’t matter? Really?? I think numbers are very telling and that’s why they point an area of your team that is heading in the wrong direction. If MM and TT are true to their words about draft and develop and improving from within, that’s fine…but you gotta have the right horses to win the race…OK cliche’s done.

      • darrin

        I’m pretty sure the DL will be addressed come April. There’s only so many draft picks one team can make, and if the guy you want is gone you draft the ‘best player available’, which is what TT has done remarkably well. Last year was OL, WR, TE – this year we’ll see OLB, DL, S – one would think. Keep drafting, developing talent and plugging the holes. With the core of this team in place (and under age 30) this run outta last for several years.

  4. Shawn iltarion

    The yards on both sides were inflated thanks to the Lions running the hurry up all game and the Packers running it in the 1st half. That also is why the game took so damn long.

    I was at the game and the Packers did some awfully strange things on defense. I don’t know if they were experimenting or trying to confuse the Lions with different looks.

    The bottom line is that the Packers sat their 4 best players and their best offensive lineman, and they still outscored the 4th highest scoring team in the league who was desperately trying to win. So, you still worried about another team outscoring the Packers? Good luck with that. They better play perfect on offense, which is a difficult thing to do in cold weather.

    No one should be worried about anything other than the next opponent. Whether it is the Giants, Falcons or Lions, they all are capable of beating the Packers, but as we saw in this game, if the Packers do the same thing they’ve been doing all year: kick your ass with their offense and turn you over with the defense, then they will beat whoever they face.

  5. Buddymobile

    Brees doesn’t deserve MVP. He racks up passing yards in garbage time and stays in the game after being up by 3 plus TD’s. Rodgers get’s MVP hands down. He’s a fucking sergeon with a football.

  6. Cuban

    Anyone else notice that brees has just as much talent ag receiver as gb, just brees threw the ball over 150 more times than rodgers, and a lot of his yardage was in running up the score. All that and he still had one more touchdown and more picks than rodgers

    And i think its more the qbs being developed than the system itself thats why they had to protect harrell who was afterthought on draft day coming out of college

  7. mxz 600

    Agree 100% with darrin about the DL. They seem to rush, and just get “stood up” Usually Pickett is on his ass 50% of the time(watch him) It’s painfull to watch as i review the line games after. (dvr).Mike Neal is showing some burst…but just not getting there.
    Same with Wynn, and Wilson. I think Capers needs to be held accountable….ok so you lost Collins…You lose one guy, and your D drops from 5th, to 32nd?….B S!!! Over last year, this defense has given up over 1800 more yards than last year. Yea You heard me right….1800….and also gave up 119 more points….That to me is the equivalent of 5-6 games worth of yardage and scoring.

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