How it happened: Matt Flynn throws for 480, then Aaron Rodgers matches him

Super sub and two-time MVP share single-game team record for passing yards

Former Packers QB Matt Flynn

In this new series, takes a look back at one of the team's single-game records and how the individual set the mark. The series continues with the games in which Matt Flynn and Aaron Rodgers each threw for 480 passing yards, roughly 20 months apart.

GREEN BAY – The Packers have never had a quarterback throw for 500 yards in a game.

But two have come awfully close, and they both happened to throw for the exact same number of yards – 480.

Matt Flynn was the first to do it, back in the 2011 regular-season finale (New Year's Day, 2012, actually) vs. Detroit. He was filling in for Aaron Rodgers, who was resting for the playoffs as the Packers had already clinched the NFC's No. 1 seed.

Rodgers then matched him just over 20 months later, on Sept. 15, 2013, vs. Washington. Both games were at Lambeau Field.

Flynn's outing is the one everybody remembers, because it was so unexpected, and the game was so entertaining.

The 2008 seventh-round pick from LSU got into a shootout with Detroit's 2009 first-rounder and No. 1 overall selection, Matthew Stafford. The two QBs combined for 11 TD passes and exactly 1,000 passing yards – Stafford's 520 still rank as the most ever in a game at Lambeau – in a 45-41 thriller that served as a playoff tune-up for both teams.

Which QB made more big plays on the day depends on your perspective. Flynn had TD passes of 36 and 58 yards to Jordy Nelson, 35 yards to Donald Driver, and 80 yards on a screen to Ryan Grant. He also connected with James Jones on a 40-yard gain.

Stafford meanwhile had only one completion longer than 30 yards, a 41-yarder to Calvin Johnson. But that was one of just 12 completions overall of 20-plus yards – seven to Johnson, four to Brandon Pettigrew and one to Tony Scheffler.

As Nelson finished with his best game to date (nine catches, 162 yards, three TDs), Johnson racked up 11 catches for 244 yards and a score. His yardage total also set a Lambeau record at the time before Atlanta's Julio Jones put up 259 yards on a Monday night in 2014.

Flynn threw his sixth TD pass of the game – also a team record, since matched twice by Rodgers – with 1:10 left, a 4-yarder to Jermichael Finley. It marked the 11th and last lead change of the game. Flynn wound up 31-of-44 with one interception and a 136.4 passer rating.

Stafford had five TDs but didn't get to six, throwing his second interception with 25 seconds left, snagged by Sam Shields in Green Bay territory to finally end the madness. Stafford was 36-of-59 with a 103.8 rating.

Flynn's 480 yards shattered the previous single-game team record of 418 (Lynn Dickey vs. Tampa Bay in 1980), which had stood for more than three decades. It should also be noted Rodgers had thrown for 423 yards in the 2009 NFC Wild Card game at Arizona, but postseason statistics are kept separate from regular-season records.

Since then, Rodgers has matched or topped Dickey's 418 yards seven other times, with his 480 in Week 2 of 2013 equaling Flynn.

There was nowhere near as much drama in this one, as Washington was totally overmatched by Rodgers and the Packers' offense.

In staking Green Bay to a 38-7 lead through three quarters, Rodgers had seven completions of 20-plus yards – two to Randall Cobb, including a 35-yard TD; three to Jones, including a 57-yarder; and one each to Nelson and Finley.

Jones finished with a career-high 11 catches for 178 yards, while Cobb had nine for 128. Eddie Lacy sustained a concussion early in the game and was replaced by James Starks, who ran for 132 yards on 20 carries, including a 32-yard TD.

Because Washington rallied to get within 38-20 in the fourth quarter, Rodgers stayed in to finish the game. In draining the final 7:31 off the clock with a 13-play drive, he went 5-for-5 for 66 yards, somehow hitting 480 right on the nose. He finished 34-of-42 with four TDs and no picks for a 146.0 rating.

Since then, the closest Rodgers has come to 480 is 442, a number he's reached twice, both in the 2018 season in a loss at Detroit and an overtime win at the N.Y. Jets.

While no Packers QB has ever thrown for 500 yards, there have been 13 400-yard games, and Rodgers owns nine of them (14 and 10 including the Arizona playoff outing).

Anyone else in franchise history who eclipsed 400 yards did so only once – Don Horn (410 vs. St. Louis in 1969), Brett Favre (402 vs. Chicago in 1993), Dickey and yes, Flynn.

His one monster game still sits on top, with company.



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