Goliath Wins With a Lucky Punch


On Sunday, David stood up to Goliath, in his own yard, and walked all over him… until Goliath landed a lucky punch and put David down for the count.

It was almost the perfect circumstances to write a great David vs Goliath story, and I was mentally formatting it as I watched Matt Flynn lead the Packers down to the Patriot end zone for the game winning touchdown… until he got sacked with no time left, Patriotcashoffer and it would change the theme of the story I was formulating in my head.

Who? Matt Flynn… Oh, that’s right… unless you are an LSU or a big College Football fan, you probably wouldn’t recognize his name. He was, for some reason that a lot of NFL scouts now have to answer for, drafted all the way down at number 209 in the seventh round of the NFL draft of 2008. Cashforhousesillinois

Sunday was Flynn’s very first start in the NFL. Coming in as a backup to Aaron Rogers, who was out with a second concussion, he was the first backup quarterback to start a game for the Packers since… 1992. Yes… since Brett Favre. For nearly 20 years, if you were on the Packer’s roster as a backup quarterback, you had to invest in bench cushions, nice long books, and have your agent keep his ear open for a trade… ASAP… because otherwise, you weren’t getting on the field anytime soon. The NFL’s own “Iron Man,” Favre, just missed his first start last week as a member of the Minnesota Vikings against the New York Giants, breaking a streak of 297 games. Rogers took over for Favre when he went to the Jets three seasons ago before joining the Vikings after one season. nevadacashoffer

On the other side of the field facing Matt Flynn was none other than Tom Brady. That’s right… The two-time Super Bowl MVP that even most non-sports fans know for his movie-star good looks and supermodel wife, and is one of the few athletes to become paparazzi bait. He also happens to be… as hard as it is for me to say this… one of the most successful, if not one of the best, quarterbacks in NFL history. Sounds like a rather lopsided fight… doesn’t it?

Tom Brady has carved the hearts out of many opposing football fans over the last ten years, starting with my Rams back in Super Bowl XXXVI. He was the subject of the now-infamous “Tuck Rule,” which saved the Patriots against the Raiders that season. He’s NFL royalty… the “Golden Boy,”…etc. Nobody was giving Flynn and the Packers much of a chance in this game, for obvious reasons. The Patriots were coming in with an 11-2 record, and had won most of their games decisively. The Packers, at 8-5, sellahousefastohio boasted the #1 defense in the league to go against the Patriots #1 offense, but no matter how good your defense is, you’re looking at having to put up at least three or four touchdowns to beat the Patriots. How is this 25-year-old, inexperienced, number 209 draft pick going to do that (ironically, Tom Brady himself was pick #199)?

Well, it started with a very risky on-side kick after the Packers deferred the wining coin toss to the Patriots. They recovered, but were only able to put up three points as a result. Not getting a touchdown on that first drive would prove to be their undoing. Regardless, sellfastarkansas the Packers punched the Patriots right in the mouth… hard. Flynn was unflappable, and led the Packers to one score after another like a seasoned veteran… and if not for a little bit of confusion on the part of the entire offensive line on whether they had a time out left or not, they might have won of the biggest upsets in NFL history.

With about twenty seconds left, they came up a yard short of a first down, taking away the chance to spike the ball and stop the clock with enough time to run at least two more thought-out plays. This young quarterback’s chance to shock the world by beating the best team in the league on their own field came down to clock management… and they didn’t manage it well. Flynn got sacked with no time left, and they lost 27-31. But in spite of losing the game, Flynn didn’t back down an inch from the mighty Patriots. He threw for 251 yards on 24 of 37 passing, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception (a pass the receiver should have caught). Brady threw for 163 yards on 15/24 passing, 2 TD’s, and no INT’s. Big plays on defense and special teams helped make up for Brady’s relatively low numbers.

Flynn’s composure was amazing, considering the circumstances, almost like he was simply playing ball with friends in his old playground of Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Texas. Even after getting sacked at one crucial point in the second half, Flynn got up with a smirk on his face as if to say, “okay, whatever…” and promptly passed for a first down on third and long. webuyhousessaltlake

I seem to remember a guy back in 1999 by the name of Kurt Warner who had to step in with a similar level of experience and take control of a St. Louis Rams team that had put high hopes on their new quarterback, Trent Green. Nobody was giving him much chance, either. Warner’s stats in his first start that season? 28 of 44 for 309 yards, three TD’s, and two INT’s. Kurt’s passing percentage was a little less than Matt’s and he threw one more interception, but he had 58 more yards and the win. Still, Matt came very close to the same numbers as the projected First-Ballot Hall of Famer, against a much stronger opponent. Warner won the Super Bowl at the end of that season, and broke many passing and touchdown records, including many of Dan Marino’s records.

Warner kept the job due to Green’s season-skipping knee injury at the hands of Rodney Harrison, then on the Chargers. The Packers are still fighting for an NFC Wild Card spot, but Aaron Rogers is going to return, likely next week, so the next time we’re likely to see Matt Flynn might not be for a while, barring another concussion or injury to Rogers. Flynn is in the middle of a four-year, $1.8 million contract, but now that he has been “exposed” in such a way, no doubt his agent is already fielding calls from interested teams should the Packers choose to cash in on Flynn’s skyrocketing value and trade for some veteran help in other areas. It happens all the time.

 


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