ARLINGTON, TEXAS – If this was Matt Flynn’s last start in place of Aaron Rodgers, it was quite a memorable one.
Flynn threw four touchdown passes in the second half, Eddie Lacy had the winning score on a 1-yard plunge after an interception by Tony Romo gave them one more chance, and the Green Bay Packers matched the biggest comeback in franchise history in a 37-36 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Romo tossed two interceptions in the final 3 minutes, the first one giving Green Bay a chance for the go-ahead score with the Cowboys in position to run out the clock with a 36-31 lead.
Lacy scored with 1:31 to go for Green Bay’s first lead since the first quarter and after the Packers trailed 26-3 at halftime.
“It took me everything not to cry,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, whose team won its second straight without Rodgers after going winless in the first five, including the Chicago game when the star QB got hurt. “I’m just drained. Just the sheer emotion. It was incredible.”
Playing on the same field where Rodgers was the MVP when they won the 2011 Super Bowl, the Packers matched the 1982 team in a September game against the Los Angeles Rams for the largest rally.
Romo had no interest in ranking just how bad this loss was for the Cowboys, but owner Jerry Jones was a bit more forthright.
“This is one of the hardest losses that I’ve experienced. That’s a shame that we’ve lost that ballgame,” Jones said. “When you have that kind of lead and you are playing well, and we were playing well, then it’s a shame to lose a ballgame like that.”
This is arguably the worst loss in the Jones era, even though it wasn’t their biggest blown lead. The Cowboys led by 24 points in the third quarter at home two years ago against Detroit, which rallied for a 34-30 victory.
Vikings 48, Eagles 30: In Minneapolis, Matt Cassel passed for 382 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead injury-depleted Minnesota over Philadelphia, snapping the Eagles’ five-game winning streak.
With Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart out, Matt Asiata rushed for the first three touchdowns of his career and Greg Jennings caught a career-high 11 passes for 163 yards for the Vikings. Asiata ran for 51 yards on 30 carries.
Dolphins 24, Patriots 20: In Miami Gardens, Florida, Tom Brady’s latest comeback bid came up short, and the Dolphins helped their playoff chances with a breakthrough victory.
Falcons 27, Redskins 26: In Atlanta, Desmond Trufant deflected Kirk Cousins’ pass on a potential winning 2-point conversion with 18 seconds remaining.
49ers 33, Buccaneers 14: In Tampa, Vernon Davis caught a touchdown pass for the fifth straight game and Michael Crabtree scored his first TD since returning from injury to help San Francisco beat the Buccaneers.
Seahawks 23, Giants 0: In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Richard Sherman had two interceptions, Marshawn Lynch scored on a twisting, triple-effort 2-yard run, and Steven Hauschka kicked three field goals as Seattle manhandled New York.
Bears 38, Browns 31: In Cleveland, Jay Cutler shook off some early rustiness and threw three touchdown passes in his first start since Nov. 10.
Colts 25, Texans 3: In Indianapolis, Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes, and Robert Mathis broke the Colts’ single-season and career sacks records by forcing a second-half safety to lead Indianapolis past Houston.
Bills 27, Jaguars 20: In Jacksonville, EJ Manuel threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading Buffalo to a victory over the banged-up Jaguars.
Steelers 30, Bengals 20: In Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a score in a 64-second span in the first quarter as the Steelers picked up a win over Cincinnati.
Panthers 30, Jets 20: In Charlotte, North Carolina, Cam Newton threw for 273 yards and a touchdown, and Captain Munnerlyn had two sacks and returned an interception for a score.
Chiefs 56, Raiders 31: In Oakland, Jamaal Charles tied a franchise record with five touchdowns in a game and gained 215 yards from scrimmage as the Chiefs beat the Raiders and clinched at least a wild-card spot.
Rams 27, Saints 16: In St. Louis, Drew Brees threw interceptions that led to touchdowns on New Orleans’ first two possessions, and the Rams got big days from Zac Stacy, Robert Quinn and on special teams in the victory.
Cardinals 37, Titans 34 (OT): In Nashville, Tennessee, Jay Feely kicked a 41-yard field goal in overtime.