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Does Flynn's big day impact Rodgers?
Right now I want to be Matt Flynn’s agent. OK, he probably already has an agent but he made himself some money today. The Packers have been talking about their backup quarterback for a long time. Now, he beats the Lions on a day when Matthew Stafford throws for more than 500 yards. What a pass-happy league.
The beauty of Flynn, who is going to be a free agent, is that he sets Packers’ records with six touchdown passes and 480 yards. Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers never had a game like he did today. Coming out of LSU, I wasn’t real keen on Flynn, but he played well today. Things can change.
What’s weird about all this is I wonder if Flynn’s performance will hurt Rodgers in the MVP voting. I can see a writer saying it’s the Green Bay receivers and the offense and that’s why Green Bay was 15-1 this season, and not the quarterback after watching this game, one that Detroit really wanted to win. Just think of the two games that Drew Brees closed the season with. You really have to like the Saints and how they finished the season. They shouldn’t mind playing next weekend. They are red hot and they can maintain that momentum. I don’t think it’s bad that they didn’t get a bye.
I really think the MVP voting is going to be a lot closer than people think based on how the season ended. Just think of this: Flynn beat the Lions, and the Packers were without Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews and Rodgers. How good is that?
Crash and burn
The Jets’ season ended on a real bad note. I think everyone knows I’m not a big fan of Rex Ryan and his season-long talk about the playoffs and going to the Super Bowl. Well, Rex is officially not going to the playoffs.
Now, do we blame Mark Sanchez for this failure? We are always quick to blame the quarterback and I feel their pain. I really do.
Well, Sanchez didn’t play very well. Three interceptions is not a good day. My buddy Jimmy Johnson says Sanchez doesn’t play with a lot of confidence. And let me tell everybody you can’t play this position without confidence. You have to trust in yourself and believe in yourself.
I went through this earlier in my career. I worried that if I messed up, and if I messed up big time, we were going to lose. I believed that. All the other guys like Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann; they were always loose and relaxed. They believed in their abilities and knew we were going to win.
Eventually I felt the same way. I remember a Super Bowl where on the first two possessions, I had the ball striped from me by Hollywood Henderson and then I threw an interception. But when I came to the sidelines, I laughed with Chuck Noll. I told him I was going to be OK and not to worry about me. Then I went out and played great.
That’s how Sanchez or any quarterback has to think. You have to believe that you make positive plays when times are tough. I don’t know what the future is going to bring for the Jets. I don’t like hearing that WR Santonio Holmes, one of New York’s best players, basically quit on his team at the end. He took his helmet off and took a seat on the sidelines. You can’t have that. That’s where Rex has to come and fix that. You can’t have that.
We all heard the rumors this week about the offensive coaches. Does Rex make changes with his staff? Brian Schottenheimer is the offensive coordinator and Matt Cavanaugh is the quarterbacks coach and I hear that Rex really wants to stick with Sanchez. Well, if he wants to keep his quarterback, I wouldn’t want to be those coaches. They could be in big trouble. Like they always say, it’s easier to fire the coach than all the players.
I’m not saying this is the right move. I don’t even know these guys. But I couldn’t believe two of Sanchez’s interceptions. I mean, he threw them right at defensive lineman Randy Starks. I can’t remember the last time I saw a big, old lineman come up with two interceptions. You can’t have that. You have to be able to see those big guys.
I think Tim Tebow came crashing down in Denver today. It’s hard to throw for only 60 yards in what was a big game for the Broncos. Denver lost 7-3, but they are still in the playoffs thanks to my buddy, Norv Turner, and his Chargers. They put a whipping on the Raiders and knocked them out and Denver slides in the back door after losing three straight.
I don’t think they have a chance against the Steelers this weekend. Just think of those Pittsburgh linebackers. You think they are waiting to hit Tebow and chase him down? I’m not sure the officials can call roughing the quarterback against defenses because I’m not sure Tebow is a passer. Well, he’s not one yet, anyways.
It will be interesting to see what John Elway and the Broncos do with Tebow going forward. The winning streak was fun and all that but defenses are catching up with this option offense and what Tebow can and can’t do.
Speaking of teams backing into the playoffs, how about Houston and Cincinnati? I love how QB Andy Dalton has played as a rookie, leading his team into the postseason. The Bengals have a shot in this game because T.J. Yates got a little dinged against the Titans. The Texans aren’t the same team without Matt Schaub. Honestly, I still like the Steelers in the playoffs. They have the defense to get it done.