The question dominating the NFC North (and perhaps most of football) for the past month or so has been the health of Aaron Rodgers. While he has been on the sideline, he has seen the Packers break down and go on a five game losing streak and only recently win their last two games. Although the total winning margin of the last two games has been just two points, a win is a win no matter how ugly it is and, thanks to the Lions soul-crushing loss, the Packers now control not only their own playoff chances, but also their chances of actually winning the division. This brings up the question that since the Packers have the playoffs within reach, should they play their Super Bowl winning quarterback in the final two games to try to sneak into the playoffs?
It really depends on who you ask.
Ever since Rodgers went down with that pesky collarbone injury, the Packers have seemed like a team that had lost its way. They were 5-2 when Rodgers went down, and now presently sit at 7-6-1, which is good enough for second place in the division. Ever since Aaron got injured, they surely haven’t looked the part of a playoff team. The Seneca Wallace experiment failed, and Scott Tolzien didn’t have much luck either. That led them to re-sign Aaron’s former backup in Matt Flynn and he has shown some success and some failure, but that is to be expected out of a player who rarely sees the field.
There is, however, some sort of argument that can be made for Flynn to keep playing. It was not that long ago (last Sunday, actually) that Flynn was facing a halftime deficit that would discourage many players, Flynn jogged onto the field and something special happened. He tied the franchise record for the biggest comeback victory when the Packers edged out the Cowboys 37-36. Not even Mr. Super Bowl MVP himself has matched that record. Yes, Tony Romo helped out by throwing two late interceptions that Flynn capitalized on to take victory away from the jaws of defeat. Matt Flynn clearly has the momentum and the chemistry with this team, and do you want to interrupt what he has going to play Rodgers for the last few games in the season?
Over his last three games, Matt Flynn has improved his passer rating each week. He had an abysmal 51.9 rating in the Thanksgiving day game against the Lions, but turned it around versus the Falcons with a 95.6 rating, and torched the Cowboys in the fourth quarter to earn an outstanding 113.1 rating. He is clearly understanding the offense and become more familiar with his teammates around him, but inserting Rodgers into the lineup and potentially disrupting the flow the Packers have going after two comeback wins in the last two weeks might not be worth it. Rodgers is head and shoulders better than Flynn, but Flynn has the possibility to ride this tidal wave of newfound momentum straight into the playoffs.
The Packers might make the postseason without Rodgers after all.