The Green Bay Packers are surprisingly still in the thick of a playoff race despite their star quarterback having been out of the lineup for well over a month. Bad news, Packers fans.
Aaron Rodgers is once again out this week. In a game they need to stay alive, veteran backup Matt Flynn will once again be under center at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. At 7-6-1, they sit a hair behind the Chicago Bears for the lead in the NFC North.
If they can manage a way to beat the Steelers on their home turf without Rodgers, they guarantee themselves a chance to control their own destiny in Chicago in the final week of the season. It is also possible they get that bad man back for the final week of the season.
It all rides on this Week 16 matchup, though. Flynn is certainly riding a wave of momentum. He had a second-half performance for the ages last Sunday as he led five-straight second-half touchdown drives, including four second-half touchdown passes.
It was miraculous. With that improbable victory, the Packers kept themselves relevant for one more week. Flynn needs a repeat performance, though. This is not your old fashioned Steel Curtain defense in Pittsburgh anymore.
They are aging on that side of the ball and susceptible to the big play in the secondary. Flynn needs to take advantage of big and speedy targets such as Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin in the passing game.
If Flynn can lead this team to a win, it sets up for a juicy winner-takes-all matchup against the Bears next week. I have a hard time believing Rodgers wouldn’t be ready for that one with the Packers’ playoff lives on the line, even if he weren’t 100 percent.