Packers Desperate For Rodgers Return

Can Aaron Rodgers help the Packers make the playoffs? Despite a solid outing by Matt Flynn against New England, the Packers still need Rodgers back in midseason form if they're to have any chance at the postseason.

The Packers are expecting to have Aaron Rodgers back for a critical game Sunday against the New York Giants.

Yet, in the event Rodgers endures more complications from two concussions he has sustained this season, Green Bay can take comfort in having a capable fill-in at quarterback with Matt Flynn.

The third-year player out of LSU made his first NFL start Sunday night and nearly led the Packers to an upset of the league's top team on the road. The New England Patriots rallied in the fourth quarter for a 31-27 win.

"We've got a very solid guy in Flynn," receiver Greg Jennings said. "I told him after the game, 'Hold your head up.' I would take him any day of the week if (number) 12 (Rodgers) isn't up. He's going to be a great quarterback."

Flynn put up better numbers than Patriots counterpart Tom Brady, the front-runner for league MVP this season, finishing 24-of-37 for 251 yards and three touchdowns, including a 66-yard strike to James Jones.

Flynn matched Don Majkowski's team record in 1987 for most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback in one game.

"For his first start on a big stage against an excellent football team playing very well, I thought he did a number of positive things and gave us a chance to win," head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Yet, Flynn was critical of his mostly solid performance, in which the Packers controlled the football for more than 40 minutes. He was sacked five times, and his lone interception was a costly one as Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington returned it 36 yards for a touchdown early in the second half.

Flynn also couldn't get off a pass on a frenetic final play of the game when the Packers were at the New England 15.

"We lost. So, it has to be a losing performance," Flynn said. "We did some good things offensively. We moved the ball. But, when it counted, we didn't get it done."

The Packers fell to 8-6 with their second straight loss. Reaching the playoffs is in their hands, however, if they can win out the last two weeks against the Giants and the Chicago Bears.

Although Flynn played better than many anticipated Sunday, having Rodgers behind center again is paramount for Green Bay in its do-or-die final push.

Rodgers had a streak of 46 starts (including playoffs) end when he was deactivated for the first time since taking over as the starter at the beginning of the 2008 season. He wasn't cleared to play a week after suffering his second head injury in as many months.

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