Nobody gave Matt Flynn a chance.
The night was Dec. 19 of last year. The Green Bay Packers were visiting the New England Patriots in a game they seemingly had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and nobody was giving them a second thought.
That's because Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay's superstar quarterback, had a concussion and was on the sideline. Instead, Flynn, a seventh-round draft pick, was in the pocket. And the third-year player almost did the unthinkable.
Flynn sparked the Packers and nearly lifted Green Bay to the upset. He threw for three touchdowns, 251 yards and a quarterback rating of 100.2. He was one interception, or one poorly managed winning drive, away from beating the Patriots and eventual MVP Tom Brady on their own turf.
Flynn's story was surprising, but it was hardly unprecedented. NFL history is filled with teams that turned to backup quarterbacks in an effort to reverse a losing streak, spark a team or salvage a floundering season.
There are 32 teams in the league, and often, not every good quarterback has a starting job. The 1999 St. Louis Rams found this out first-hand, as did the 2001 Patriots and 2006 Dallas Cowboys, to give a few examples.
Knowing this, backup quarterbacks can be another team's treasure. The following are five backups around the league that would be worth looking into for teams with quarterback woes.
A note: The only quarterbacks considered are ones entrenched in the second spot on the depth chart. So, Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton, who are both competing for the starting job, aren't in the running.