Questions remain among backup quarterbacks

Matt Flynn throws a touchdown pass.

Flynn makes bid for backup spot behind Rodgers, says Packer Report's Tom Andrews.

The Green Bay Packers went into Thursday night's last preseason game against Tennessee hoping to answer the big question. Namely, who will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers?

They're still asking.

Rodgers barely broke a sweat, playing one first-quarter snap. But what a snap it was. Fading into the pocket on the first play of the game, Rodgers spotted Greg Jennings open behind Titan safety Chris Hope near midfield. He lofted a nice pass over Hope's outstretched arms to Jennings, and the fleet receiver did the rest for a 68-yard scoring strike.

"I threw a dicey ball, but threw it pretty well and Greg made a great play," said Rodgers. "I saw a small window, tried to put it in there and it worked out. Greg made a great run after the catch. High risk, high reward."

"Aaron threw a perfect ball in the hole, and the safety came down for the interception instead of playing the ball, and it worked out in our favor," added Jennings.

The crowd roared its approval. Jennings did his Lambeau Leap in the south end zone and Rodgers made his exit. However, the story at backup quarterback was nowhere near as clear cut.

Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn had more than their share of troubles in the first half. They split playing time (Brohm for three series, Flynn for two) and it wasn't pretty. Brohm went 2-for-3 for 12 yards. He was sacked twice, lost a fumble and failed to produce even one first down. Flynn didn't throw a pass, was sacked once, also lost a fumble and produced no first downs.

In the second half, Flynn showed some heady play and an ability to scramble out of the pocket when plays broke down. and he ended up throwing a pair of touchdown passes. After a three-and-out in his first series, Tyrone Culver picked off a Kerry Collins pass and returned it to the Tennessee 12 yard line. Kregg Lumpkin picked up 6 yards before Flynn fired his first TD pass, a 6-yard strike to Brett Swain.

Later, with the clock winding down, Flynn marshaled a 13-play, 85-yard drive which he punctuated with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jake Allen with no time left. The drive included a beautiful 21-yard scramble to keep the drive alive.

Rodgers was impressed. "He (Flynn) did a great job," said Rodgers. "He's definitely a gamer and he's made some big plays. The scramble was huge, just an incredible play. The wherewithal to complete a pass in bounds, get the guys to the line of scrimmage and spike the ball to give yourself one more chance – as long as you've got time on the clock and a down, you can still win the game. He made a great throw and Jake made a great catch after Matt avoided the sack."

"It was a lot of fun out there," said Flynn. "At the beginning of the game, after the ‘ones' came out, we didn't have the success we wanted to. We had some three-and-outs and got the defense a little tired. We've got to execute better than that. But towards the end, we never said ‘uncle.' We just kept playing and fighting and we executed well. Joey Haynos made some great catches and so did Jake Allen in the end zone."

Flynn completed 8 of 13 passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Has he made a statement to be No. 2?

"It's not about making a statement," said Flynn. "It's about going out there and playing the best you can. I can't control what anybody does and I can't control what decisions the coaches are going to make. I can control what I do, how I go and execute and how I prepare for the games. I feel like I represented myself well tonight. But it's not about making statements. It's about being the best quarterback I can be."

Brohm finished 8 of 12 for 52 yards but no scores. Still, he sounded confident after the game.

"I felt really good and I felt my tempo was good, especially in the second half," said Brohm. "We got a few first downs and we could see their defense tiring a little bit." As to his decision making, Brohm said, "A few times, maybe I held onto it just a tick too long and there were possible throwaways I might have had. I need to throw the ball away and not take that sack. I'll work on those things when I get back out there. Me and Matt both went out there and played pretty hard, played pretty well. We're both in here, trying to get better."

If coach Mike McCarthy has decided on the quarterback pecking order, he certainly wasn't letting on. "I think both our young quarterbacks were in some tough spots, particularly early in the game – probably the whole first half," said McCarthy. "Frankly, I liked the way they went about their business. I thought they both attacked the game for as tough as it got in certain spots in the game I've already alluded to. They kept battling. They did some good things. I thought Matt (Flynn) made some big plays down at the end, but once again it's information that you're using to develop the quarterbacks and we'll continue to do that."

Tom Andrews writes for PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at andrewst@charter.net.

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