Taking a closer look at the Green Bay Packers’ 34-14 victory over the Kansas City at Lambeau Field, which saw 20 Packers sit out, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers:
Thumbs up: Earlier this week, quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt was talking about just how close the backup quarterback competition was between Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. Then, Van Pelt stated his objective Thursday night: “I’d like to see them both make it really hard.” Congratulations, Alex. That’s exactly what Flynn and Tolzien did.
With Rodgers sitting and the quarterbacks alternating by quarter, Flynn got the start and led the team to 17 points in four full series, completing 7 of 15 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 108.9. Tolzien got four full-fledged possessions and led his group to 17 points as well, completing 12 of 18 passes for 139 yards with two touchdowns for a passer rating of 126.9
“I think Matt and Scott have both championed the case to be on our football team,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I felt very good about their progress from last year through the spring and all the way through training camp. Watching it live, I think they both played very well tonight. Just the little things, too – there’s a number of little things that went on as far as checks and adjustments and things like that. I thought they both played very well.”
Neither Tolzien nor Flynn was staking a claim to the job verbally, although both certainly had reason to feel good about what they’d done.
“I feel good. I feel I can hold my head high,” Flynn said. “I’m proud of what I’ve done. I feel like I had a good camp. Things went pretty well tonight, but the only thing I’m thinking of are the missed plays. That’s about it.”
Said Tolzien: “It’s out of my control. The things I can focus on are my preparation and my performance. I really like our quarterback room and our coaches and everything like that. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I guess you can only control what you can control. You can’t worry about that.”
Thumbs down: While you absolutely, positively cannot blame McCarthy for sitting 16 healthy players with the regular-season opener at Seattle exactly seven days away, it underscored the foolishness of preseason football – or, at least, late preseason football. Four players were scratched due to injury: Inside linebacker Brad Jones (quadriceps), center JC Tretter (knee), tight end Brandon Bostick (leg) and cornerback Demetri Goodson (concussion). The other 16 were all healthy starters McCarthy was playing it safe with in advance of the regular-season opener at Seattle: