With Rodgers inactive for Sunday's meaningless regular-season finale against Detroit, Flynn made himself a lot more money.
Flynn became the second quarterback in Packers history to throw for 400 yards and five touchdowns, then added a sixth touchdown pass with 1:10 remaining, to lead the Packers to a 45-41 victory. With Sam Shields' clinching interception, Green Bay became the sixth team in NFL history to finish with at least 15 wins.
Three of those touchdowns went to Jordy Nelson. The fifth, a 35-yard catch-and-run to Donald Driver with 8:10 remaining in the game, gave the Packers a 38-34 lead.
The Lions got the ball at their 7 with 5:01 remaining. Matthew Stafford's 22-yard pass to Brandon Pettigrew got them rolling, and a shaky pass interference call against Tramon Williams on an underthrown ball to Calvin Johnson moved the ball 36 yards to the Packers' 28. A great catch by tight end Tony Scheffler gave Detroit a first-and-goal at the 2. Offensive pass interference on Johnson on a jump ball against Williams moved the ball back 10 yards, but Stafford threaded a 12-yard touchdown pass to Scheffler against Jarrett Bush and Charlie Peprah to give the Lions a 41-38 lead with 2:39 remaining.
That gave Stafford 477 yards and five touchdowns.
The Packers took possession at their 20, with Flynn hitting James Jones for 16 yards and Brandon Saine for 7 to move the ball to the 43 at the two-minute warning. On third-and-4 from the Lions' 46, Flynn dropped a beautiful deep pass to Jones, who was shoved out of bounds at the 6 with 1:19 to go. On second-and-goal from the 4, Flynn threw his sixth touchdown pass of the day, to tight end Jermichael Finley against safety Chris Harris, giving Green Bay a 45-41 lead with 1:10 to play.
Detroit took possession at its 20. The Packers' defense, with Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson inactive, clinched the game. Stafford hit Johnson for 12 yards and Kevin Smith for 10, with Smith out of bounds with 40 seconds to go. Stafford connected with Johnson for 21 more, with Tramon Williams just missing an interception. That moved the ball to the Packers' 37, with the Lions calling timeout with 33 seconds left. On the next play, Sam Shields intercepted – a team-record 31st for the Packers – to end the game.
The Packers led 24-19 at halftime but some self-destruction allowed the Lions to take a 26-24 lead midway through the third. A sack by Vic So'oto turned into a first down for Detroit when Erik Walden piled on late for a personal foul. Later on third-and-1 from the 5, the Lions were called for a false start but a blitzing Desmond Bishop jumped to deflect Stafford pass and clocked Stafford upon landing. That made it first-and-goal at the 2, with receiver Titus Young beating linebacker A.J. Hawk on a crossing route for the touchdown.
Nelson, however, caught his third touchdown pass of the game, a 58-yarder. Flynn's deep ball was underthrown and cornerback Chris Houston swung at Nelson's hands as the ball arrived. Nelson, however, snatched the ball clean and jogged the final few yards for the score, making it 31-26 with 4:32 to go in the third.
The Lions, however, answered, with completions of 41 and 27 yards to Calvin Johnson setting up a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Smith. The two-point conversion pass to tight end Tony Scheffler gave Detroit a 34-31 lead with 2:07 left in the third quarter.
Flynn completed 19-of-29 passes for 280 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in the first half, good for a Rodgers-like rating of 117.0.
The touchdowns all were remarkable. The first was a 7-yarder to Nelson in which he leveled cornerback Alphonso Smith with a violent stiff-arm. The second was a perfect call by McCarthy. With linebacker DeAndre Levy blitzing, Ryan Grant faked a block, turned around and had clear sailing for an 80-yard touchdown. The third came on a free play. With the Lions offside, Flynn went deep down the left sideline, with Nelson making a great leaping catch over Smith for a 36-yard touchdown that gave Green Bay a 24-19 lead at halftime.