Before I get too far into this post, I have to give credit where credit is due. Matt Flynn stepped into a very difficult situation and has performed well enough to have the Packers in position where they can make the playoffs with a final win against their arch rivals.
That said, here are three things Matt did wrong that we probably won’t see with Aaron at the helm.
Inability to Avoid a Sack
Granted Aaron has taken more than his share of sacks, but you’ll see in the following clips that Flynn just doesn’t move in the pocket like Aaron does. In the first clip, Flynn doesn’t recognize the blitz. Flynn is in a tight window to react here, but if he had stepped up into the pocket the linebacker would have overpursued and Flynn might have bought some more time to complete a pass. In the second clip, Flynn displays his characteristic “deer in the headlights” just run approach to the pressure.
Aaron does a great job of making use of small, controlled movements to extend plays and give his receivers the time they need to get open.
At times Flynn was shooting the lights out in completion percentage, but that was large short passes that amount to little more than a glorified running game. There were times when Flynn missed completions that Aaron would have made. Here are a couple examples.
In the first clip, Matt fires to the outside. The pass is completely uncatchable, but there is no safety help. Flynn could have led Jones to the inside and not only would it have been a completion but it would have been a touchdown. In the second clip, Matt is just not quite on target with an out that is like clockwork for Aaron.
There have been several wrong reads since Flynn took over, and goodness knows Rodgers has had his share of wrong reads as well. However, I think, especially on this last play of the game against the Steelers, Aaron would have made the right read.
We slow this play down just as Jordy Nelson comes open across the middle of the endzone. Polamalu has come crashing way too hard to get back into Nelson’s passing lane. All Flynn had to do on the final play of the game against the Steelers was play pitch and catch with our #1 receiver and he would have won another game in Rodgers’ absence.
Welcome Back Aaron Rodgers
Regardless of what Flynn could have done better, he kept the Packers in position to win a postseason bid and for that we’re grateful. However, it will be more than a thrill to have Aaron Rodgers lead this team again.