Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Ruled Out: Flynn to Make First NFL Start

Patrick TeskeContributor IIDecember 18, 2010

Matt Flynn Will Be Green Bay's Trigger Man on Sunday Night
Matt Flynn Will Be Green Bay's Trigger Man on Sunday NightLeon Halip/Getty Images

Well now it's official.  Aaron Rodgers will not be allowed to play in the Sunday night matchup vs. the New England Patriots.  Backup QB Matt Flynn will make the first start of his NFL career.

It will be the first time the Green Bay Packers have had to start a backup QB since Don Majkowski was injured in 1992 and backup QB Brett Favre made his first start as a Packer. 

Even prior to Rodgers being ruled out, it appeared the Packers' chances of winning at New England were quite slim anyway. 

On the bright side, it will provide Flynn an opportunity to demonstrate that he may be worthy of a shot at a starting job somewhere in the NFL.  He could also become a source of future draft picks should the Packers find a partner willing to trade for Flynn. 

With this latest development, it will be interesting if Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy will take a more conservative approach on offense with fewer deep passes and make more efforts in the run game.

Flynn played solidly being forced into action last week against the Detroit Lions.  He made a couple of big blunders but overall was able to move the team some. Typical of most backups, Flynn was without the luxury of taking any reps with the first string offense last week. 

This week Flynn has been preparing as the starter and perhaps that will help avoid the momentary lapses that he displayed against the Lions which included an interception in the red zone.

This season has slowly been going downhill in the last few weeks as it seems the long list of injuries are finally taking its toll on the Packers.  It seems only fitting that the backup QB will get his chance to play among the other backup players filling in on offense and defense. 

OLB Frank Zombo will also be expected to miss the game with a knee injury giving little known third-year player Erik Walden an opportunity to start.  Walden was signed prior to the Packers' game against the New York Jets when injuries to Brad Jones and Brady Poppinga struck the team. 

The defense will obviously need to be a huge factor against the top-ranked scoring offense in the NFL if the Packers are to stay in the game. 

The Packers boast the No. 1 defense in terms of points allowed so something has to give.  Will the Packers live up to the rankings and keep the Patriots within reach?  Or will it be similar to 2009? 

A season ago, late games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and again in the playoffs against the Arizona Cardinals proved the defense wasn't as good as their statistics, giving up tons of yards and points in both of those critical games.

I'm afraid it will be more of the 2009 results.  While their secondary was decimated by injuries last year, this year the front line has taken some lumps and I don't believe the pass rush (or lack thereof) will do the Packers any favors tomorrow. 

It is disappointing to not have Rodgers face-off against Tom Brady.  But again, at least this will provide a great opportunity to see what Flynn can do as it seems many Packer fans are turning their thoughts towards next season already anyway.