Quarterback Derby: Stats vs. Scoring

Scott Tolzien has outplayed Matt Flynn from a statistical perspective during the preseason. Flynn, however, is the one who has put points on the scoreboard.

If it wasn't on before, the battle to be the Green Bay Packers' No. 2 quarterback certainly is on now.

For the second consecutive preseason game, Scott Tolzien statistically outplayed veteran Matt Flynn. In keeping with coach Mike McCarthy's rotation throughout training camp, Tolzien got the No. 2 reps on Saturday at St. Louis. He responded by completing 10-of-15 passes for 107 yards. Flynn didn't get as many chances but went 2-of-3 for 44 yards and a score. His touchdown went in the books as a 34-yarder but the pass went 2 yards downfield.

Combined with last week’s game at Tennessee, Tolzien is 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) for 231 yards (8.6 yards per attempt) with no touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 93.3. Flynn is 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) for 93 yards (7.2 per attempt) with one touchdown, no interceptions and a rating of 102.4.

After Aaron Rodgers drove the Packers to a touchdown and a field goal on his two possessions, Tolzien entered with a 10-7 lead. Playing behind the No. 2 line and mostly second-team players, Tolzien had a rough start -- literally. On his first snap, journeyman veteran Eugene Sims, who has five sacks in four seasons, beat left tackle Derek Sherrod and drilled Tolzien. On the next play, a 13-yard completion to Alex Gillett, rookie Ethan Westbrooks beat right tackle Aaron Adams to hit Tolzien. Then, on third-and-8, Sims again got past Sherrod to hit Tolzien and force an incompletion.

“I thought Scott had some tough situations," McCarthy said. “I thought his decision-making was good and the management of what he was trying to do out there. We had some pressures there that really hurt us in some of our drives. We’ll look at the video. I thought Scott improved today.”

Through two possessions, Tolzien was 1-for-4, and he was 3-for-6 for 22 yards at halftime. In the second half, though, he completed his first six passes. The Packers failed to score on his five possessions, with DuJuan Harris fumbling on the first possession of the second half and a touchdown negated by a penalty on the second drive after halftime.

In his two games, Tolzien has led eight possessions and guided the team to one score (touchdown) and 18 first downs.

Flynn, on the other hand, put points on the board on two of his three possessions. Taking advantage of great field position on both of those scoring drives, he capped a 43-yard drive with the catch-and-run touchdown by Janis. Flynn tacked on the two-point conversion by hitting Davante Adams on a slant. Then, after the Rams missed a 55-yard field goal and gave Green Bay the ball at its 45, LaDarius Perkins had a 15-yard reception and a 14-yard run to put the Packers in scoring position. The drive died on a holding penalty, a dropped pass near the goal line and a sack, and Mason Crosby hit a 49-yard field goal.

“I feel good," Flynn said. “I’m proud of what I’m doing, proud of what I’ve done. I feel like I’m playing fast, I feel like I’m very much in control of what we’re trying to accomplish on offense, getting guys in the right position. I’m very much in control of what I’m doing, and I feel like physically I’m throwing the ball well. Haven’t really been able to put that out there on the game film, but everything goes into it. Practice goes into it, and I feel like I’ve thrown the ball well.”

In his two games, Flynn has led eight possessions and guided the team to three scores (two touchdowns, one field goal) and 12 first downs. So, Tolzien has the stats but Flynn has the scoring production.

“It’s a good group. It's a deep group," Rodgers said. “Those guys are talented players. They'll both have an opportunity to compete for the backup spot and they're doing a good job."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com, and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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