Upon Further Review: Packers Week 14

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
8:00
AM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A review of four hot issues from the Green Bay Packers' 22-21 win against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at Lambeau Field:

[+] EnlargeMatt Flynn
AP Photo/Tom LynnMatt Flynn completed 14-of-16 passes outside the numbers in Green Bay's 22-21 win against Atlanta.
Flynn works well outside: In his first start against the Detroit Lions, Matt Flynn was unable to take advantage of one-on-one matchups on the perimeter. In his second start against the Falcons, it was clear the plan was to attack the Falcons along the sidelines. Relying heavily on out routes, corner routes and fades -- many of them to his tight ends -- Flynn completed 14 of 16 passes outside the numbers, according to ESPN Stats & Information. More than half of Flynn’s yardage -- 149 of his 258 yards -- came on such passes. The Falcons entered the game allowing the second-highest completion percentage on passes outside the numbers. On the first series, Flynn hit tight end Andrew Quarless for 15 yards on an out pattern. “We had some success early with it, and so we just stuck to our guns,” Flynn said. “We took some shots when we thought it was the right time, but mostly if they’re backing off, there’s no reason to throw deep, especially on a field like that, weather like that. Get [it] in your guys' hands and let ’em go to work.”

Safety dance: It was another rough outing for the safeties. Morgan Burnett gave up a pair of touchdowns -- a 36-yarder from quarterback Matt Ryan to receiver Drew Davis and a 2-yarder from Ryan to tight end Tony Gonzalez, both in the second quarter. On Davis’ touchdown, safety M.D. Jennings missed what would have been a touchdown-saving tackle. On Gonzalez’s touchdown, Burnett bit on the play-action fake, leaving the tight end wide open. Jennings was benched late in the second quarter in favor of Sean Richardson, who played most of the remainder of the game. “They said my role was going to increase a little because I had deserved it, they felt like I deserved it,” said Richardson, a second-year pro who missed the first part of the season while recovering from neck surgery. “I just thank them for the opportunity, and for believing and trusting in me.”

Too early for two, again: For the second time in three games, coach Mike McCarthy called for a two-point conversion early in the fourth quarter. After going for it -- and failing -- with 11:42 left in the Week 12 tie against the Minnesota Vikings, McCarthy did it again -- and failed again -- with 12:01 left against the Falcons after the Packers took a 22-21 lead. The fact that it failed both times is irrelevant. That’s just too early in the game to sacrifice one sure point even though a successful two-point play would put the Packers ahead by a field goal. “Obviously, two points makes it a field goal lead,” McCarthy said. “I felt it was kind of a no-brainer at that time.”

Lucky Lacy's injury wasn’t worse: Running back Eddie Lacy's day -- and perhaps his season -- was almost ruined by an ankle injury on the final play of the first half. The play probably never should have been called. McCarthy was clearly intent on running out the clock (there were four seconds remaining), and the play was a run to the left by Lacy for 1 yard. He sprained his right ankle on the play and hobbled to the locker room. He missed the first two series of the second half before he returned with his right ankle heavily taped. When asked whether he regretted not having Flynn take a knee, McCarthy said: “No. There’s other play calls I regret, but I won’t share that with you. That’s for the team.”

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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