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Mike McCarthy: Lions dared Packers to throw in loss

It took roughly two years for Matt Flynn to go from backup wonderboy to Turkey Day buzzkill for the Green Bay Packers.

Flynn's performance in a 40-10 loss to the Lions on Thursday bore zero resemblance to his 480-yard, six-touchdown flaming of Detroit in the 2011 regular-season finale. This time around, he sputtered to the tune of 10 completions and 139 yards, spending most of the day running for dear life.

"They have a lot of the same guys (as in 2011), but they're a different defense," Flynn said after the game.

The Packers were "still optimistic" when trailing 17-10 at the half, according to Flynn, but hopes shriveled up quick as Detroit kept pounding away. It's easy to pile on the quarterback, but the problems on offense were comprehensive Thursday, beginning upfront with a line that was dominated from A to Z. It's a reminder of how special Aaron Rodgers has become as an escape artist.

"They dared us to throw the football, and they won," said coach Mike McCarthy.

Dumping young Scott Tolzien for the dead-armed Flynn was an ill move. Tolzien is a work in progress, but we're just 11 days removed from McCarthy gushing over his playmaking ability.

"I'll say this. Our big-play production -- nine explosive plays on offense -- I have never seen a quarterback hit all his big throws like that in a game," McCarthy said after Green Bay's loss to the Giants. "That was the most impressive big-play, big-pass play production from a quarterback. ... I was talking to Scott and going through his grading session this morning and I can't think of another time in my career that I've had someone hit every one."

Instead of working with Tolzien, Green Bay is the equivalent of the floundering and lonely single guy who dials up the old girlfriend at 2:12 a.m., hoping to recapture the magic. Desperate.

None of these passers will come within a country mile of equaling Rodgers, but rolling out Flynn for this critical game goes down as one of the more uninspired moves of the McCarthy era.

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