Can a prodigal son save Green Bay’s increasingly lost season? The answer, sadly, is, “No.”
With Aaron Rodgers free to heal and pursue work in a small indie drama that will establish his “serious actor” bona fides, the Packers were apparently both desperate and comfortable enough to bring Matt Flynn back into the fold.
Flynn, you may recall, was a loyal back-up for the Pack who shone in the brief time Rodgers reluctantly allowed him to share the spotlight, most notably a 6-TD masterpiece against Detroit in the final week of the 2011 season. Despite this performance, Green Bay went back to Rodgers in their next game, and their season predictably ended in another playoff loss at Daunte’s House. Adding insult to injury, Flynn was not brought back to the Packers the following season (jealous much, Aaron?), and was forced to catch on as a free agent with the Seahawks.
In the season-and-a-half since, Flynn has bounced from Seattle to Oakland to Buffalo to the unemployment line. It’s very fair to speculate that the machinations of Green Bay’s front office and their corporate spokesperson/QB affected Flynn’s confidence. After all, his loyalty and skill had been rewarded with a slap in the face, a wound visited upon everyone from Brian Brohm to Vince Young once Lil’ A feels threatened.
Now, though, with Seneca Wallace’s creaky groin sending him to the IR and the intriguing-but-raw Scott Tolzien as their only healthy quarterback, the Packers were forced to do the right thing for a change and bring Flynn back. Although he would have not been blamed for turning his back on a franchise that had burned him, Flynn is a pro’s pro, and re-signed with the club on Tuesday. Can he set an example that other quarterbacks on the roster will follow? You’d be forgiven for being skeptical of that.
This week, the Packers travel to New Jersey to face the equally dreadful New York Giants. Given the dire state of the NFC East, though, the Giants have an outside shot at sneaking into the playoffs. Can the Pack play the spoiler and ruin New York’s season for a change? In an increasingly lost season, don’t bet on it.