The Detroit Lions defeated the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving three days ago inside of Ford Field in one of the poorest performances by a team fighting for its life. It was a loss that Packers head coach Mike McCarthy called “embarrassing”.
The beat down at the hands of the Lions was tough for any Packers fan to watch. The offense totalled just 126 yards with a majority coming in garbage time with the team trailing by 30 points. Many critics of the Packers instantly jumped at the quarterback position and put the blame on Matt Flynn.
I am not going to sit here and tell anyone that Flynn played a great game because even he would admit that he did not. Flynn threw an interception and lost two fumbles, which is unacceptable for a quarterback. However, let’s look at what was really happening in the game that pretty much gave Flynn no shot at being successful.
First, McCarthy’s play-calling really put a leash on Flynn. The Packers had a 10-3 lead early in the game, they played not to lose instead of playing to win in the possessions after. The offensive play calls seemed to be very hesitant and I don’t believe Flynn was able to get into any rhythm because of it.
Eddie Lacy saw eight- to nine-men fronts and was getting swallowed up behind the line of scrimmage, but instead of running bootlegs or play-action, McCarthy decided to keep running Lacy.
Secondly, the offensive line was flat-out dreadful. Sitton said earlier in the week that the Lions were “scumbags” and regardless of these comments, the Lions’ defense looked hungry outplayed the entire offensive line. The line gave Flynn little to no time to get passes off and even on three step drops, he was hit almost immediately.
The most glaring and disturbing play was in the third quarter when Flynn took a shotgun snap from the Packers’ end zone, and as soon as he caught the ball, Ndamukong Suh had split two offensive lineman and grabbed Flynn to bring him to the ground. It was one of seven sacks on the day for the Lions as they dominated up front.
Finally, the defense didn’t show up yet again. The Lions’ offense seemed like it was on the field for the entire first half. I rarely recall seeing Flynn on the field in the first half, and the reason was because the defense wasn’t tackling and the Lions were eating clock and putting up points.
I am not one who looks to sit and make excuses for a loss. The Packers were outplayed and out-coached on all aspects of the game, but for anyone who says that Flynn was the reason for the loss clearly didn’t watch the game.
I still hold true to my word that Flynn gives the Packers a better chance to win then Scott Tolzien, but regardless, it was an awful loss for the Packers. With only four games remaining, they better hope Aaron Rodgers can return and that luck is on their side to help them get into the playoffs.