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Flynn steps in, rallies Packers to tie with Vikings

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin (11) can't make a catch against Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) in the 4th quarter at Lambeau Field. (Reuters photo)

By The Sports Xchange

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback carousel continued. Might it wind up with Aaron Rodgers returning from a broken collarbone and starting a must-win game at Detroit on Thanksgiving?

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“I have no idea,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after a 26-26 tie against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

The Packers have used four quarterbacks in the past four games, with Matt Flynn replacing ineffective Scott Tolzien in the third quarter. Flynn led the Packers to two touchdowns and a field goal on three consecutive possessions to force overtime. The teams traded field goals in the extra period.

The tie didn’t leave either team feeling happy. The Packers (5-5-1) missed out on a chance to tie for first place in the NFC North following Detroit’s home loss to Tampa Bay and Chicago’s loss at St. Louis. The Lions and Bears are 6-5.

The Vikings (2-8-1) were led by running back Adrian Peterson’s 146 rushing yards. Toby Gerhart added 91 as the Vikings piled up 232 rushing yards.

“We shouldn’t have ties in football. It sucks,” Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said. “The game should keep going like in college, sudden death. They should have another 5 (minutes) on there.”

Tolzien, however, was pulled in the third quarter with the Packers trailing 20-7. Minnesota increased the margin to 23-7 before Flynn’s rally.

“I think there were some good things done by the offense,” said Flynn, who completed 21 of 36 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. “Obviously, I’m proud of the guys, the way we fought back and were able to come back and push it into overtime.

“I don’t know how we’re supposed to feel about (the tie). I think we’re all disappointed. We needed that win and we all know it, but things aren’t over.”

The Packers settled for a field goal in overtime.

Minnesota’s defensive stand meant its offense would get a chance. On third-and-9, Peterson ran for 15. From their 49, quarterback Christian Ponder hit tight end John Carlson for 10 on a bootleg and Gerhart ran for 12 on 11 to the Packers’ 13.

Mount Vernon native Chad Greenway finished with nine total tackles, with eight being the solo variety for the Vikings.

Minnesota’s Blair Walsh kicked a 38-yard field goal to tie the game with 3:49 to play on overtime.

After the Walsh field goal, Green Bay then went three-and-out. Middle linebacker Audie Cole got pressure on a pair of blitzes, including leveling Flynn on third-and-9. The Vikings couldn’t do anything, either, with wide receiver Greg Jennings unable to haul in Ponder’s third-and-5 pass.

That gave the Packers the ball at their 10 with 1:59 to go but three penalties doomed any chance at winning the game.