NFL Green Bay Packers

Pros/Cons Whether Green Bay Packers Should Start Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien

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Pros/Cons Whether Green Bay Packers Should Start Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Is anyone really surprised that the Green Bay Packers signed quarterback Matt Flynn? It was as if he was destined to return to Titletown, USA where he set franchise records, received a Super Bowl ring and made a lot of money because of the success he had as superstar Aaron Rodgers’ backup. With that being said, just because the Packers have faith in Flynn doesn’t mean Scott Tolzien goes right back to the bench.

Numerous players were thoroughly impressed with how Tolzien commanded the huddle and handled himself on the field. Not to mention, head coach Mike McCarthy, who was irate about his team’s performance, was thrilled with Tolzien. In fact, it appeared that was the only aspect of Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that McCarthy was pleased with.

Even though the NFL is a fast-paced business that can see jobs change in the blink of an eye, one has to imagine that Tolzien did enough to warrant at least one start. That start, as of right now, will occur against the New York Giants on Sunday.

However, the signing of Flynn certainly puts an interesting twist on the quarterback saga in Green Bay. The Packers obviously like Flynn and believe he can get the job done as far as leading the team to victory. At the same time that was two years ago and a lot has changed since then.

This best way for fans to decide who deserves to start in the place of Rodgers is to look at the pros and cons for each quarterback.

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Flynn Pro: Experience in the Offense

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Is there really anyone better than Flynn to take over the offense? He has the experience and proven talent with a majority of the same players that are on the roster right now. He knows where Jordy Nelson likes the ball and he understands what decisions must be made and when.

It is one thing to talk about his record-breaking performance against the Detroit Lions in which he put up 480 passing yards and six touchdowns. However, what most people don’t realize is that Flynn’s performance against the New England Patriots in 2010 is what inspired the team to go on a historic run on their way to victory in Super Bowl XLV. The players realized that if Flynn was almost capable of beating one of the best teams in the league, then the team was certainly good enough to win it all.

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Tolzien Pro: Incredibly Intelligent

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

There is no denying that Tolzien has a solid head on his shoulders. The man’s intelligence is through the roof, and that could not be more evident than what he displayed against the Eagles. The signal caller was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1 and was promoted to the active roster on Nov. 5. Not a lot of time to learn a completely new offense with completely different terminology than what he faced with the San Francisco 49ers.

The way he was able to move the chains with players who have barely heard him talk let alone catch a pass from him is amazing. He was in complete control of the offense, which is simply unheard of considering he was short on experience with the Packers.

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Flynn Con: Elbow Could be an Issue

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It is has been reported that Flynn’s elbow is not 100 percent, which means he will not be able to throw the ball as well as desired. In fact, it was just a month ago that Green Bay had him in consideration, but the elbow kept the move from going through. In hindsight, it might not have been a bad idea to give it a shot. Regardless, Flynn’s elbow is still a concern, and the only reason he is on the team right now is because the Packers are in emergency lockdown mode.

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Tolzien Con: Limited Time with Receivers

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Tolzien only got a few reps with the first-team offense last week, which is why he looked shaky on his first series. The limited time that he has had with the receivers could be a huge issue. There were several instances against Philadelphia in which Tolzien and his targets didn’t look to be on the same page. At this point, Green Bay cannot afford anymore mishaps on the goal line.

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Flynn Pro: Fate

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes things happen for a reason. Brett Favre got the start to his legendary career because Don Majkowski went down with an injury. Rodgers became a household name because the Packers knew he was capable of leading the team, despite the fact fans were not ready to move on from Favre. I’m not saying Flynn is the second coming of Favre, but what I am saying is that there is a reason he is in Green Bay after the numerous opportunities to start elsewhere.

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Tolzien Pro: Will Completely Absorb Rodgers’ Knowledge

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There was a moment during Sunday’s contest in which Rodgers stepped in to talk to Tolzien. He was clearly explaining to the third-year pro how he would handle the given situation. Tolzien nodded and understood what Rodgers said. More importantly, he showed the ability to completely absorb Rodgers’ knowledge of the game.

This week, Tolzien will get to spend several hours in quarterback meetings with Rodgers, who will basically outline how to defeat the Giants. The fact that he has a front row seat to learn from the best quarterback in the league is something that he will not let slip away. He will use his intelligence to comprehend what Rodgers is saying and then utilize his talent on the gridiron to execute the drawn up plays.

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Flynn Con: Immobile

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest knocks on Flynn is that he isn’t the most mobile quarterback in the league. That could become a huge issue on Sunday, especially if offensive linemen Evan Dietrich-Smith and Don Barclay are unable to suit up. Marshall Newhouse is not the answer at right tackle, which means without key offensive linemen in the mix Flynn could be running for his life if he is thrust into the lineup.

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Tolzien Con: Mistakes Will Occur

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As smart as Tolzien is and as much as he understands where the ball must be placed in order to ensure success, mistakes will occur. It’s simply something that will happen no matter how hard he tries to avoid it. Look no further than his momentum-halting interception on the goal line. The fact is the Packers cannot afford any mistakes against the Giants, which means it could be the single reason why McCarthy decides to go with Flynn.

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Bottom Line for Flynn

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The guy has done things no other quarterback has accomplished in a single game in Green Bay. And that list consists of some pretty impressive names. He understands the offense as if he was born to run it. More importantly, the receivers trust that he will put the ball where it needs to be. There is some concern that he hasn’t played since Sept. 29. Not to mention, he hasn’t taken the field with the Packers since Jan. 1, 2011. All things aside, and assuming his elbow is healthy enough, Flynn could be the answer to the question if Green Bay can stay intact until Rodgers returns.

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Bottom Line for Tolzien

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay would be crazy not to give Tolzien a chance in New York. He shocked everyone with his gutsy performance, including the members of his own team. Sure, he made some mistakes that are partially to blame for the loss. However, how many other third-string quarterbacks in the league who were thrust into the starting role in just the second series could put up 280 passing yards and one touchdown? Tolzien proved he has what it takes to get the Packers a few victories until Rodgers returns. Why not allow him to etch his name in the history books of the most legendary franchise in all of sports.