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The Green Bay Packers lost to the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football but believe it or not Packers backup QB Matt Flynn hung with MVP candidate Tom Brady for much of the game. Outside of the turnovers, you could argue Flynn outplayed Brady as he completed 24-of-37 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns while Brady went 15-of-24 for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
For the Packers, it's another heartbreaking loss in a season that has a lot of them for the Pack.
The Green Bay Packers are now 8-6 and have lost all six games by less than 4 points. This one was marked by big plays (an INT returned for a TD and a 71 yard kickoff return by an offensive lineman) and dropped passes (and interceptions) dooming the Packers. In many ways, the Packers dominated the game as they ran 36 more plays than the Patriots and led in time of possession 40:18 to 19:12. With their backup quarterback Matt Flynn leading them against the best team in the NFL on the road.
Flynn wasn't the only Packer that played well. Unfortunately, Flynn's inexperience got the best of him at the end of the game as he had trouble getting the final play call off and was sacked fumbling the ball. To give Flynn some credit, though, the Packers wouldn't have been in that position if it weren't for Flynn's solid play throughout the night. He impressed some folks on Sunday night.
Check out Acme Packing Company to see what Packers fans are saying about the game.
Tom Brady is human...sort of. The New England Patriots quarterback had an OK game as he completed 15-of-24 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. For most that's a decent game but this is Tom Brady and he's an MVP candidate. Despite Brady's good but human-like performance, and the Green Bay Packers best attempts at keeping him off the field, New England prevailed over the Packers, 31-27, as they move to 12-2 on the year.
SB Nation's Pats Pulpit notes that for the first time in a while the Patriots offense looked (at times) like they could be stopped.
Tom Brady didn't see the field much, as the defense struggled to defend the run, which opened up a lot of things for Packers quarterback Matt Flynn. The Patriots lost their balance offensively as well. The blocking was suspect, especially up the middle. The Packers played a lot of tight man coverage on Patriots receivers and it really seemed to disrupt things and timing for Tom Brady and the offense.
This wasn't a bad performance from Brady and the offense by any means but it was one in which they came back to earth a little bit. The Packers had an excellent game plan to stop him and I think they executed it very well.
No matter the numbers, the Patriots keep winning as they have every Sunday since Nov. 7. Check out Pats Pulpit for more on the game.
The Green Bay Packers are now 8-6 and have lost all six games by less than 4 points. This 31-27 loss was especially painful as it was marked by big plays (an INT returned for a TD and a 71 yard kickoff return by an offensive lineman) and dropped passes (and interceptions) that doomed the Packers.
In many ways, the Packers dominated the game as they ran 36 more plays than the Patriots and led in time of possession 40:18 to 19:12. With their backup quarterback Matt Flynn leading them against the best team in the NFL on the road.
When looking at the players of the game on offense it’s required to start with Flynn. He’s not QB Aaron Rodgers, but Rodgers wouldn’t have done a whole lot better. WR James Jones was the big name receiver, but he also gave up on the route that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. RB Brandon Jackson ran for 99 yards, but also had a big dropped pass. After Flynn, I’d have to go with FB John Kuhn, who had a couple huge plays as a receiver, and was going airborne every time he touched the ball.
They didn’t grab any turnovers, and they couldn’t stop the Patriots from scoring a touchdown once in the red zone. But the Packers defense held the Patriots to 4 for 10 on 3rd down, and held their potent offense to only 249 yards of total offense. The big story was how they got after QB Tom Brady with so many injured pass rushers, and with another poor game from LB Clay Matthews as he’s still limited by a shin injury. NT B.J. Raji blew up at least three plays all by himself, and LB Desmond Bishop had two of the biggest hits of the game.
All due credit to Matt Flynn. The back-up quarterback stepped into the unenviable position of making his first start against the New England Patriots on the national stage. Once there, he went 24 of 37 for 251 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
That said, that interception was returned for a touchdown and Flynn’s inability to figure out what to do as time ticked away, both helping the Pats hold on for a win Sunday night. A failure to quickly call a play with time winding down left Flynn scrambling, and Tully Banta-Cain sacked him from behind to force a fumble and end the game, 31-27 Patriots.
Tom Brady has a statistically-average evening (163 yards, 2 TDs) but he made the most of the time given, especially on a six-play drive in the fourth quarter that put the Pats ahead for good.
The Patriots defense had an up and down evening, to say the least. They looked tired and unable to make critical stops when needed. At least until the fourth quarter when they woke up just in time to bend-but-not-break on the final drive of the game. That the Packer threat ended with a forced fumble and recovery was a satisfying conclusion for a unit that hadn’t felt so up until then.
Of course the big, and I mean big, story of the evening was Patriots right guard Dan Connolly running 71 yards on a kickoff return, the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history. His rumble set up a two-yard TD pass from Brady to Aaron Hernandez in the first half.
Tom Brady capped six-play quick-strike drive that ended with a 10-yard pass to Aaron Hernandez in the endzone to make it 31-27 Patriots. Danny Woodhead rushed for 25 yards and Brady went 3-3 for 38 yard and the score.
Now we’ll find out what final tricks Matt Flynn has up his sleeves. He gets to start with excellent field position. Here we go again…
The Packers got all the way down to the one-yard-line and the Patriots made it all the way to the Packer 20-yard-line. But all either of them had to show for it was a pair of field goals that has pushed the score to 27-24 with 11 minutes remaining.
For the Packers, they have driven from their own 46 all the way to the Pats 1 where they three chances to score. Stuffed on a run and jilted in the air, they had to settle for a 19-yard Mason Crosby field goal.
That left the door open for Tom Brady and the Patriots, never a good idea. Brady hit Welker on the first play of the drive for a 35-yard gain that put them in Packer territory. From there they were able to get down to the 20 but no closer. Shayne Graham kicked a 38-yarder to keep New England in the game.
Time continues to tick off the clock as each drive becomes that much more important for each team.
Matt Flynn is having one heck of a audition tonight for Packers fans, the NFL and the sports-watching world. He’s just completed a 13-play drive to put Green Bay back on top of New England 24-21 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.
Starting at their own 31, Flynn, Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn worked their way down the field with an effective drive. They capped things off with a six-yard pass from Flynn to Kuhn to retake the lead.
Flynn is now 16-of-25 for 183 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The Patriots followed that series up with a three-and-out. If Green Bay wants to seal the deal on this one, they’ll do much of the same thing again right now.
This update was going to be about Matt Flynn, but New England Patriots OL Dan Connolly, a 313-pound full-blown offensive lineman, just ran back a kickoff 71 yards. The Packers tried a squib kick to keep the ball away from New England’s speedier kick returners, though Connolly proved there’s much more to breaking a big play than being fast.
Connolly scooped the ball up and held it tight with both arms like a mother, clearly just trying to advance forward without screwing anything up. But the Packers special teams, which covered the opening kickoff so well, permitted the big gent to haul almost all the way down the field and deep into Green Bay territory. He soon switched to a one-arm tote, permitting him to really open up the throttle.
Somebody's getting a Ball Carrier Vision bump in Madden 12.
One great thing about being enormous while flying down the field, besides the incredible momentum: stiff-arming. Connolly flicked away one Packers coverage man as if the smaller individual was outweighed by an entire adult male human body. Which, yes, he almost was.
This was the longest kick return by an offensive lineman in NFL history, and well, yeah, of course it was. Connolly has returned a handful of kicks in his time for 35 total yards.
The Pats did not squander Connolly's speed, with Tom Brady throwing a touchdown to Aaron Hernandez shortly after.
Here’s the rest of that other update I was working on:
One of the more impressive things about Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn’s night tonight: he had led the Pack to a lead over the New England Patriots without even completing a pass to Green Bay’s primary offensive weapon, WR Greg Jennings. That’s all changed now, with a touchdown pass toHOLY CRAP LINEMAN KICK RETURN.
Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn just threw his first touchdown pass in a regulation game of American tackle football since his senior year at LSU, with a 66-yard strike to WR James Jones giving the Pack the lead again. Flynn has completed five of seven passes for 91 yards, a very Aaron Rodgers early showing indeed.
The New England Patriots offense is having a hard time dealing with Green Bay’s pass rush. QB Tom Brady has been sacked twice and hit another time, and has found himself pressured a couple other times. Though New England’s running game has performed well, averaging almost 10 yards a carry and featuring big runs by both BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, they’re still the Pats, and will thus try to figure out a way to buy Brady time to deliver.
The Patriots have punted back to the Packers after a three-and-out. It’s been an evenly matched game so far, with Green Bay outgaining New England by only two yards.
The Green Bay Packers needed big plays from their defense and special teams to overcome the loss of QB Aaron Rodgers. Their kick unit stepped up on the game’s opening play, stealing a possession by grabbing an onside kick, and the defense had its chance on the New England Patriots first drive. A Tom Brady pass hit CB Charles Woodson in the hands, but the defensive back dropped the ball.
The New England offense took advantage shortly after, with RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis weaving 33 yards for a touchdown run, the longest of his career. The drive went 73 yards in just seven plays, and now Green Bay QB Matt Flynn is right where the Pack didn’t want him: playing from behind against the top-ranked scoring offense.
Brady completed only two passes on the drive, but they were both big plays. Rookie TE Rob Gronkowski caught and ran for 25, and WR Deion Branch added 17. Green-Ellis ran twice, and Packers DT B.J. Raji sacked Brady on the other play. Just making sure we can account for every last play in this game.
Why would the Green Bay Packers opt to kick off to the New England Patriots league-leading offense? Surprise onside kick, that’s why! Nick Collins fell on the Mason Crosby onside, giving the Pack the kind of edge they’ll need tonight minus QB Aaron Rodgers.
Backup QB Matt Flynn completed three of four passes, with his only incompletion a semi-throwaway as the Pats pass rush bore down. RB Brandon Jackson carried thrice for 14 yards, indicating the Packers might place more of an emphasis on the running game than usual with Rodgers out.
WR Donald Driver caught the drive’s highlight, a 16-yard snag. James Jones and Jackson also caught a pass each — Dmitri Nance and John Kuhn also ran the ball once each, so maybe the Packers plan tonight is to let as many people touch the ball as possible.
The Packers have now kicked off the proper NFL way, and Tom Brady’s set to try and top Green Bay’s opening score.
With QB Aaron Rodgers out of tonight’s Sunday Night Football game against the New England Patriots, Matt Flynn is getting his first NFL start. He’s also the first backup to start for the Packers in 18 years, since a young man named Brett Favre took over for Don Majkowski. But who is this Matt Flynn?
In his three years since leaving the LSU Tigers, Flynn has showed up in a handful of games for the Packers. He’s completed 25 of 46 passes for 246 yards and two picks, and he also likes to run around a little bit.
In college, Flynn helped lead LSU to the 2007 national title, being named the MVP of the 2008 BCS National Championship Game against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He backed up JaMarcus Russell for years, taking over for him in the 2005 SEC Championship Game, so he certainly has coming-off-the-bench experience.
He was drafted in the seventh round.
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