Flynn, Tolzien make decision difficult


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Three days before the Green Bay Packers' preseason finale, quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt had one wish for his last look at backup quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien.

"I'd like to see them both make it really hard," Van Pelt said on Monday.

Two touchdown passes per man combined with passer ratings of better than 100 for each in Thursday's 34-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason finale might have made even harder than Van Pelt could have imagined.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy will have to pick one of them to serve as the backup for Aaron Rodgers, who was given the night off along with most of the other starters. Just as difficult might be whether to keep both backups on the 53-man roster.

"I think Matt and Scott have both championed the case to be on our football team," McCarthy said after the game. "I felt very good about their progress from last year through the spring and all the way through training camp and watching it live, I think they both played very well tonight."

Flynn played the first and third quarters. He threw touchdown passes of 22 yards to Davante Adams and 11 yards on a screen pass to LaDarius Perkins. Tolzien handled the second and fourth. He threw touchdowns passes of 33 yards to Jeff Janis and 6 yards to Myles White. Each put up 17 points.

Tolzien's overall numbers (12-of-18 passing for 139 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 126.9) were slightly better than Flynn's (7-of-15 for 102 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 108.9) just as they have been throughout the preseason.

If the Packers went simply by the numbers, it wouldn't be close. For the entire preseason, Tolzien completed 38 of 56 passes (67.9 percent) for 477 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, which equates to a passer rating of 112.0. Flynn was 18-of-38 (47.4 percent) for 232 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 82.3.

But the Packers can't ignore Flynn's history. He was the backup here from 2008-11 and then returned last season to bail out the Packers after Rodgers' injury and unsuccessful starts by Seneca Wallace and Tolzien.

"I've said it from Day 1, and it's true: I'm not just saying it to be saying it, but I really haven't paid attention to any competition," Flynn said. "I've been out there supporting Scott. I have never wanted to compare apples to apples or even try to. I don't think anybody really does in a competition."

McCarthy said the decision about how many quarterbacks to keep will come down to more than just the competition between Flynn and Tolzien. It also could be impacted by competition at other spots.

Earlier in the week, Rodgers made a plea for his bosses to keep both of his backups. Tolzien said he would be fine with that.

"I like our room and first and foremost, they're great guys," Tolzien said. "It's truly been the most fun I've ever had play football, having those guys in the room. They keep the mood light, and it's been fun in that regard. You spend so much time preparing for these guys that you're always happy for the other guy's success just because you see how much time we put into it together. It's nice when it shows up on game day."