Expect Flynn Under Center Sunday NightPosted:Dec 15th, 2010 10:17 pm
When the schedule came out in April, this was the toughest game on it: Packers at Patriots on a Sunday night. A couple weeks back Tom Brady eclipsed Brett Favre's home field domination by winning for the 26th straight time at Foxboro. Even with a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the Packers would be big time underdogs.
Now it appears the Pack will be without its best player when the teams meet on Sunday night. Rodgers has yet to be cleared by doctors, meaning he cannot practice, attend team meetings or go through film study. He has been ruled out of practice on Thursday and most likely Friday. We won't know anything more regarding his status until Saturday.
Safe to say, Rodgers is out this week. It's undoubtedly the right call for Aaron Rodgers' health now and down the road. When a football players suffers two concussions within an eight week period you can bet there will be extra measures taken, in this new era of protecting players from devastating brain injuries.
From a football perspective, the loss of Rodgers changes little. The Packers would be 9-10 point underdogs with him, 14 point dogs or more without him. With or without him, it would take a Herculean effort to beat a team that has caught fire, embarrassing the Jets and Bears in successive weeks.
Looking at the playoff ramifications, the loss to the Lions put the Pack in a world of hurt. Yes it would be much better to beat New England, obviously, but a loss to an AFC team does little damage in the tiebreaking scenarios. Win or lose Sunday night, the Pack will need to win its final two home games against the Giants and Bears and get a little help, this week by the Eagles and banged up Vikings.
The Giants might be our best hope. They face the Eagles this week in a showdown for first place in the NFC East. They lost by 10 points four weeks ago in Philly and host them on a short week, following the win over the Vikings. If the Eagles can knock them off and the Packers beat them the following week, our playoff hopes will look a little brighter.
But first things first. Rodgers needs to get well and hopefully be ready for the Giants next Sunday afternoon. In the meantime, we'll prepare to watch Matt Flynn get his chance to start, in primetime against Bill Belechick and Tom Brady in their house.
Hide the women and children.