Skip to content

McCarthy, Flynn defend clock management

Mike McCarthy

First things first: Matt Flynn played a superlative game Sunday night, and Packers coach Mike McCarthy had one of the best gameplans of his career.

The Patriots were lucky to be up four late in the game because the Packers out-played them in Foxborough for much of the contest.

With that out of the way, we find it odd that McCarthy doesn’t think his team could have improved the game-ending sequence that resulted in only three plays being run in the final 53 seconds.

We wrote about it last night, but the key moment was after Donald Driver was tackled one yard short of a first down with 23 seconds left.

“It was either first down or fourth down,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “The clock was running. There were 20, 21 seconds let. You have to see at that point if it’s a first down. It wasn’t clear right away. So on fourth and 1, you take a shot.  Matt operated it properly.”

Burning 18 seconds is handling it properly? Really?

The Packers should have had a plan for what they would do if they were short of a first down in that scenario.  They could have dove for a first down, clocked it, and huddled before the final play.  They could have thrown to the sideline and taken a couple cracks at a score.

“It was fourth down and we just had to go,” Flynn said via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Yes, there were other huge moments in the final sequence.  (Dane Fletcher’s sack of Flynn with 53 seconds left forced the Packers burn a final timeout.)   It’s just surprising when McCarthy doesn’t admit publicly the areas in which he could improve, with clock management consistently being high on the list.

That attitude occasionally seems to carry over to his team.

Permalink 54 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories
54 Responses to “McCarthy, Flynn defend clock management”
  1. villagoo says: Dec 20, 2010 10:26 AM

    Disagree Gregg. What does picking up the first down change, really? No timeouts, if they sneak it once the pileup is cleaned out and ball is placed, there’s only going to be time for one play anyways after a spike.

  2. packerhater says: Dec 20, 2010 10:28 AM

    Last night proved that Karen Rodgers is not all that great , a back up came in and did just as good , looks like its the WR’s who make the qb good on the Packers team.This team is only paper champs again.Once again the refs tried to hand the game to the Packers but this time even the refs wernt enough for the pack to win.

  3. nflgreedleague says: Dec 20, 2010 10:28 AM

    I love this web site. If you post anything remotely perceived as detrimental to the integrity of the league (even if it’s true) your comment is deleted.

    All these games are fixed by the league or Vegas, get a clue! Track the success of teams that have built a new stadium. believe

  4. huskerguy says: Dec 20, 2010 10:29 AM

    As big of a Pack fan I am I will go on record and say I thought we would get smoked last night. I didn’t see enough of Flynn to be impressed before last night. With that said, great game but moral victories will only get you so far. I was actually very disappointed in the defense and special teams. Sure, Flynn’s pick 6 probably was the deciding factor but that was right after half time. We still took the lead back and the D blew it in the 4th quarter. Heck of job shutting down the WR but the TE was killing us.

    At least all the other right things happened and all we have to do is win out. Given that McCarthy pulls his head out and actually learns to call in the plays faster. Good game plan, except for the final 2 minutes and special teams. 71 freaking yards to a 300 LB lineman? Really?!

  5. youboettcha says: Dec 20, 2010 10:32 AM

    Everyone would have killed McCarthy if he had sent out a QB sneak, then the Packers pick up a first down, and then try to spike the ball but the clock runs out. In the end, they were only going to get one shot at the endzone, so they decided to take that shot on fourth down instead of “maybe a first down.” Plus what if a QB sneak failed? People would be asking, “why didn’t you use that 20 seconds to get get a play set up and at least take a shot?”

    You have to look at it both ways.

  6. 4sacroc says: Dec 20, 2010 10:33 AM

    McCarthy’s a complete dolt.

    It was crystal clear Driver (whose a cuppa coffee away from being done) was well short of a first down.

    Again, McCarthy’s arrogance and stupidity with in-game decision-making is infuriating.

    I truly believe ed Thompson hired this guy because he knew McCarthy would never pull a Holmgren and seek complete control. Thompson simply hired an OC who would be grateful for the chance to coach and not rock the boat.

    McCarthy’s lone accomplishment to date is coaching Aaron Brooks up while in NO. That’s it. And that lands him a GB HC job where he gets to showcase his incompetence on a weekly basis.

  7. 4sacroc says: Dec 20, 2010 10:36 AM

    McCarthy blathers on how “we came here to win the game…”

    Oh, really.

    Then why didn’t you have your QB coached-up on how to “win the game” in a 2-minute offense?

    Same thing happened last week when on 4th and 1 McCarthy throws a deep sideline out pass. Incomplete. Game over.

    He’s a flat-out moron who does not deserve the label of HC.

  8. blackglass3 says: Dec 20, 2010 10:37 AM

    Packer fans must have been pulling there hair out during that final minute. I’m a Patriots fan and I actually said aloud “What kind of clock management is this? Do they know it’s the end of the game?”

  9. madtolive5 says: Dec 20, 2010 10:40 AM

    umm?
    Why were they lucky to be leading?
    Could someone explain that to me? The packers played well, but the patriots played and coached just a little bit better.

    Second why does every new NFL fan believe that teams driving with under 2 minutes left should score???

  10. nekelund says: Dec 20, 2010 10:46 AM

    Considering Flynn was the presumptive starter all week, given that Rodgers couldn’t practice, they should have worked on a 2-minute drill. McCarthy, despite having the ball, 3 timeouts, decent field position and 2+ minutes of time, being down by 4, didn’t make any sideline plays, ran the ball repeatedly, didn’t go hurry-up and wasted 15-20 seconds per play until it was too late. Not getting a crack at the endzone without the ball being turned over is pathetic, McNabb-esque game management.

  11. lgwelsh1 says: Dec 20, 2010 10:48 AM

    Flynn looked fantastic, you could not have expected anymore from this kid. He did everything that was asked of him and a lot more, he kept it close while playing against the best team in the NFL.

    Flynn has nothing to be ashamed of.

  12. nopuntintended says: Dec 20, 2010 10:52 AM

    I looked at my buddy when GB burnt their 2nd TO of the half and said that it was way too early. I looked at him with 50-whatever seconds were left when they called the 2nd one and I said “why in hell is McCarthy leaving his first start qb out there to run a 2-minute offense with less than 1 minute left and no time outs, they’re screwed”

    If I can figure this out, then surely god someone in Green Bay can figure this out — he needs to be spoken to about it, just horrific clock management.

  13. grpatriot says: Dec 20, 2010 10:54 AM

    Flynn played well. Pretty obvious the Patriots didn’t know his tendencies. The bad call not going on 4th and goal??? Put the Packers in that position. The offensive line was just standing there? Waiting for the call or not they should’ve got right up to the line!

  14. binladenwasright says: Dec 20, 2010 10:59 AM

    So what about the first down/fourth down issue – that just clouds the problem. Either way, the clock was running and the players were standing around 5 yards back from the line of scrimmage scratching their heads and trying to figure out what to do. No matter where the ball was spotted, the whole team should have been lined up waiting for their QB to call out a command.

    In the National Title Game, a first down would have stopped the clock while they reset the chains. Was Flynn waiting for that?

  15. camprobot says: Dec 20, 2010 10:59 AM

    lol, the patriots almost lost to a backup QB.

  16. PFTiswhatitis says: Dec 20, 2010 11:00 AM

    The Pack fan next to me told me they were about to win the game. I told him I dont think so. When Flynn let the clock run out the guy looked shocked. Hahahaha.

  17. contra74 says: Dec 20, 2010 11:02 AM

    4sacroc says:
    Dec 20, 2010 10:20 AM
    Packers 31
    Vikings 3

    Get out ….
    —————
    Lions 7
    Packers 3

    No YOU get out.

  18. flyingelvislogosucksbringbackpatpatriot says: Dec 20, 2010 11:13 AM

    As a patriots fan i gratiously accept the opposing teams ineptitude (all of them). Pats had no business winning that game last night but as usual they don’t seem to make the critical gaffs the opposing team makes when the money is on the table.

  19. slatetundra07 says: Dec 20, 2010 11:14 AM

    Funny how everybody thinks they’re the expert once it’s all said and done.

  20. row60 says: Dec 20, 2010 11:15 AM

    What would they have gained by running a QB sneak and then clocking it? One shot into the end zone from one yard closer? In exchange, they take the chance of not getting the pile cleared and the ball reset in time or a false start with a 10 second run off. It seems like bad odds to me.

    Unbelievable that a coach goes to play away to the hottest team in the league and who never loses at home, with a QB making his first start and gets criticized after a 4 point loss.

  21. etjla says: Dec 20, 2010 11:20 AM

    Looks like Flynn learned all of his clock management skills from Les Miles.

  22. flyboat44 says: Dec 20, 2010 11:20 AM

    I wonder how many teams will ask about Flynn’s availability this offseason. Only one year left on his contract.

  23. polegojim says: Dec 20, 2010 11:24 AM

    Great teams find ways to win suprisingly tough games, even lucky ones.

    Pats = Great Team

    Actually – Belichick had a video of the Packers two minute drill, but after watching it, immediately resold it to Warner Bro’s for an upcoming Looney Toons episode.

  24. rskills says: Dec 20, 2010 11:25 AM

    This isn’t as bad as when he didn’t call a timeout against the Bears claiming he believed they’d miss a 20 yard field goal. What a silly Sally!!

  25. 1historian says: Dec 20, 2010 11:25 AM

    The Pats were lucky last night – no question. But when they got a break – 71 yard runback by an offensive lineman – longest in history- they took advantage of it.

    Had they been in the situation the Packers found themselves in in the last minute there would not have been the confusion – Moyer (backup to Brady) would have already known what play to call. The responsibility for Flynn’s not knowing what play to call in that situation falls directly on McCarthy.

  26. ditkaditkaditka says: Dec 20, 2010 11:28 AM

    I love how lame packer fans are happy with losing close games, really shows their loser mentality.

    Yayy, we didn’t suck as bad as expected, yayyyyyyy!

    Flynn sucks, the Pats were caught in a classic trap game. What do you expect coming off of victories over real contenders the last 2 weeks and coming home to play the scrub Packers?

  27. 1historian says: Dec 20, 2010 11:31 AM

    In the last 30 seconds or so Green Bay didn’t seem to have a clue what to do and the Patriots did their bit to keep the confusion going and the clock running – Dumb football and smart football.

    Had the situation been reversed and Moyer the Pats qb – what would have happened? We’ll probably never know.

    Good and LUCKY is a good combination.

  28. 1historian says: Dec 20, 2010 11:34 AM

    It was 4th and one with just seconds to go in the game, the pack didn’t have a play, the 1st time starter QB didn’t know what to do, the Pats realized it and did their best to aggravate the situation.

    While the clock ticked on

    smart football

  29. dukemarc says: Dec 20, 2010 11:42 AM

    #
    ditkaditkaditka says: Dec 20, 2010 11:28 AM

    I love how lame packer fans are happy with losing close games, really shows their loser mentality.

    Yayy, we didn’t suck as bad as expected, yayyyyyyy!

    Flynn sucks, the Pats were caught in a classic trap game. What do you expect coming off of victories over real contenders the last 2 weeks and coming home to play the scrub Packers?
    ___________________________

    36-7 loss with your starting QB at HOME – so STFU, you’re not to speak about the outcome of last night’s game.

    Btw, you’d better hope your boys can handle a rookie QB tonight, otherwise the division is the Packers.

    Even if you do win tonight, the Packers will be happy to smack you around in back to back weeks in January.

  30. theoriginalcaptainmarvel says: Dec 20, 2010 11:45 AM

    So much for all the Packers Super Bowl predictions. Oh well, we’ll hear the same preseason big-talk next year.

  31. bluvayner says: Dec 20, 2010 11:51 AM

    After the Meriweather interception that was negated by the roughing penalty, the Packers had the ball on the Pats 47 yard line. They still had 3:30 remaining with two time outs. They ran 3 running plays for the first down, and let the clock run down to the two minute warning, even though they had enouth time to line up and run another play.

    At the two minute warning, the were on the 35 yard line, and still had two timeouts remaining. They managed only 7 plays in the final two minutes, despite having two timeouts. In the final minute, they ran only 3 plays.

  32. kisstherings says: Dec 20, 2010 11:54 AM

    camprobot says:Dec 20, 2010 10:59 AM lol, the patriots almost lost to a backup QB.
    —————————————————–

    Hey, I am on NFL.com right now and I don’t see the collumn where they track “almost losts” can you let me know where that is? All I see are wins and loss’s – and the Pats just got another win. Against one of the best defenses in the NFL, against a QB that had a great game and great game plan to fall back on.

    Must suck waking up on a Monday morning and having to ‘lol’ about the Pats almost losing lol.

    Moron

  33. pack15forever says: Dec 20, 2010 11:55 AM

    First, the Packers put on a very gritty performance last night. Let’s not forget that they had a backup QB starting his first game in the NFL in a place that is very difficult to win and against team that everybody had in the Super Bowl. Prior to last night’s game we heard comments like can Green Bay stay within 100, etc. I also saw lame excuses from Patriot fans saying that the reason they barely won was because the Patriots prepared for Rodgers the whole week and not Flynn or that it was a trap game. Give us all a break and try to give a little credit where it is due. The Packers outplayed the Patriots on most aspects of the game. Just take a look at yardage, etc. They also showed how to play against Brady by pass rushing up the middle. Brady is not use to getting his cage rattled and it showed. The Patriots scored 31 points. How many of those were by the offense? Interception return for 7 and the offense scored from five yards out after the return by Connelly. That’s 14 points that the Packer defense cannot really be blamed for. The Packers lost the game because their tackling sucked, their special teams sucked on the return by Connelly and poor clock management at the end of the game by a Head Coach that cannot win the big games and a rookie QB. What did we learn? The Patriots are not invincible and their defense is not that good. There are no truly great teams in the NFL at the present moment.

  34. S says: Dec 20, 2010 12:00 PM

    Moyer (backup to Brady) would have already known what play to call
    ———-

    Hi name is Brian Hoyer – not Moyer.

  35. belicheckyoself says: Dec 20, 2010 12:04 PM

    His name’s Hoyer! You damn well bet he knows how to run a two minute. He wouldn’t be there if he didn’t. Remember the success of the last two Pat’s backups (Brady, Cassell) that comes from great coaching. It undoes the damage of inexperience.

    GB played tough, smart, and physical. The long term clock management was bad, not so much the last two plays. They should have had a timeout left, they wasted a few earlier. The Patriots got lucky in two ways. The qb panicked at the end a little and wasted extra time against an exhausted Pat’s D, and secondly the Pat’s will treat this like a loss, get humbled, and play better in the playoffs for it.

  36. superalpha says: Dec 20, 2010 12:21 PM

    packerhater says: Dec 20, 2010 10:28 AM

    Last night proved that Karen Rodgers is not all that great , a back up came in and did just as good , looks like its the WR’s who make the qb good on the Packers team.This team is only paper champs again.Once again the refs tried to hand the game to the Packers but this time even the refs wernt enough for the pack to win.

    ________

    Wrong. It showed the Packers are the best in the business at finding and developing talent. As opposed to blowing money on washed up FA’s.

    ditkaditkaditka says: Dec 20, 2010 11:28 AM

    I love how lame packer fans are happy with losing close games, really shows their loser mentality.

    ______

    Notice how the Packers and their fans didn’t whine and complain about the cold, the stadium, or the opponent. Instead they went in and took it to the home team and fell short. Meanwhile the Bears and their fans have been griping all week about having to play outside in Minnesota, right after playing like wusses in the cold at their home stadium.

    Look for the Bears to receive a spank down into the frozen tundra. Another Lovie meltdown is about to commence.

  37. tednancy says: Dec 20, 2010 12:22 PM

    Gregg’s smarmy posturing is very unbecoming for someone who is supposed to provide insight for a living.

    You can stop posing now, Gregg. It’s painfully obvious to everyone that Flynn’s inexperience was the key factor in the Packers’ confusion at the end of this game. He’ll learn from it and move on. Yes, the sky is still blue, whether McCarthy says so or not.

    If his coach doesn’t see the need to throw his young QB (or himself, for that matter) under the bus after an inspiring effort on the road against the best team in the NFL, can you really blame him?

    I guess the answer to that question is “yes,” but only if you lack the imagination to write something insightful.

  38. ditkaditkaditka says: Dec 20, 2010 12:26 PM

    Bwahahaha, out played the Pats? You mean when you let a bowl of gravy run 71 yards?

  39. Ralphie says: Dec 20, 2010 12:41 PM

    @pack15forever says:
    Dec 20, 2010 11:55 AM
    “…They also showed how to play against Brady by pass rushing up the middle. Brady is not use to getting his cage rattled and it showed. The Patriots scored 31 points. How many of those were by the offense?”
    ________________________________
    What’s your point? Brady didn’t put up his usual numbers, but when it counted he came through. When it counted Flynn didn’t come through. 24 of the Pats points came from the Offense (or kicking), and they were hardly on the field the whole game as the Pack had more than double time of possession than the Pats and beat them on rushing, passing and 3rd down conversion stats. But the Pats didn’t turn it over, but the Pack did for 7 points.. You don’t get style points in the NFL. The Pack made a bunch of plays. the Pats made THE plays that counted. Get over it.

  40. stetai says: Dec 20, 2010 1:07 PM

    I just hope Flynn doesn’t take the heat for that debacle. He was waiting for a play, which was not given, plain and simple. It almost looked like he was having to remind the sideline that it was 4th so spiking was not an option.

    McCarthy should’ve had his play dialed up immediately. And Collinsworth is dreaming if he thinks Aaron Rodgers would’ve handled that any differently. He’s one of the worst 2 minute drill QB’s on the NFL.

  41. gravesl says: Dec 20, 2010 1:13 PM

    I thiink that anyone who has ever witnessed a situation where the coach is not only trying to protect his players from scrutiny as well as his own ass it becomes clear that, being proud does not win games. t all starts at the top of the Org. Look at TT, he is his own man, he doesn’t listen too or care about public critisim about how he manages player or head coaching personnel. McCarthey has proven to live and die by his decisions as well much like his mentor TT. It would be easy to fire the both of them because frankly they have simply not put a product on the field that can be characterized as championsip caliber football. MM is not Lombardi by a long shot. We could be worse off (look as SF with all of thier young talent). With TT, you can count on him not drafting athletes that teams fear. TT has failed to build an OL in 5 years. TT has failed to provide a game breaking RB or return guy in 5 years. He overpays players who are marginal because they would otherwise leave the cold of GreenBay. TT and MM must go. Boycott the game consessions as a message to the CEO to fire TT & MM.

  42. kellyb9 says: Dec 20, 2010 1:26 PM

    Why were the Pats “lucky”? Everyone comments on the fact that they had a huge return from a lineman, but lets suppose for a second that he was tackled as he should have been around the 40. You don’t believe the Pats with that type of two minute offense and with the time left on the clock would’ve driven down for at least a FG. They score when they need to score…

  43. pack15forever says: Dec 20, 2010 1:40 PM

    @Ralphie – my point is that the Pats aren’t the world beaters Pats fans think they are. Yes, they won the game and nobody is arguing that. But I’m sure you thought that it would be a piece of cake. If I had told you before the game that a second string rookie QB making his first NFL start in Foxboro would make your defense look pitiful you would have laughed at that. You may not admit it but I’m sure you are not as certain that your team is a shoe-in for the Super Bowl any more.

  44. purpleguy says: Dec 20, 2010 1:42 PM

    I thought the Pack hung in there pretty good, with a decent game plan, good interior O-line play, Raji was lights out, and the secondary did well in man-to-man. It’s pretty clear that Flynn is a serviceable QB when the coaches have a chance to game plan for him. Wierd year for the cheesers given all the expectations.

  45. slatetundra07 says: Dec 20, 2010 1:42 PM

    “ditkaditkaditka says: Dec 20, 2010 11:28 AM

    I love how lame packer fans are happy with losing close games, really shows their loser mentality.

    Yayy, we didn’t suck as bad as expected, yayyyyyyy!

    Flynn sucks, the Pats were caught in a classic trap game. What do you expect coming off of victories over real contenders the last 2 weeks and coming home to play the scrub Packers?”

    Unlike your Bears who got raped in your own place, we came in with back-ups and made the Pats work for their win.

    All week your Bears have been doing is pissing/moaning about conditions in Minny and your own field.

  46. tedvalentine says: Dec 20, 2010 1:42 PM

    Les Miles thinks McCarthy and Flynn played that pretty well at the end.

  47. infectorman says: Dec 20, 2010 2:05 PM

    View/Listen to Flynn’s comments: at 00.14 he says “they spotted it late “.
    I suppose he means the ref’s spotted the ball late. UNTRUE: the ball was spotted merely 2-3 seconds after Driver flips it to the ref. Flynn, is walking (not running-where is the sense of urgency?) up to the line of scrimmage -looking at the sideline for guidance.
    The ball was there on the ground waiting for Packers to line up with 22 seconds left.
    Inexperience AND lack of preparation killed them, period, end of story. He even had a man open 7-8 yards ahead of him the instant before he got sacked. If he/they didn’t waste 18 seconds- they may have had a chance.

  48. shiftyshellshocked says: Dec 20, 2010 2:27 PM

    Anyway you slice it a loss is a loss. You guys sit here and say the QB did this and the game plan did that, you still lost the game. Your not going to make the playoffs and that makes you no different than the Vikes or the Lions or any other team outside looking in. Good luck next year chumps. Skol Vikes.

  49. packrulzm says: Dec 20, 2010 3:01 PM

    packerhater says:
    Dec 20, 2010 10:28 AM
    Last night proved that Karen Rodgers is not all that great , a back up came in and did just as good , looks like its the WR’s who make the qb good on the Packers team.This team is only paper champs again.Once again the refs tried to hand the game to the Packers but this time even the refs wernt enough for the pack to win.
    ————————————————-
    Hahahaha, so very clever! Karen Rodgers. Wow, gold, that’s gold. Your a complete tool. Flynn played out of his mind against one of (If not the) best teams in the league on their home turf. How did the refs give away the game? You’re obviously an idiot with very little knowledge of the game. The Pats were outplayed all night by our second string QB. As a Packer fan, I was thrilled with their play. McCarthy lost this game just like he lost last week against Detroit. Poor play calling and piss poor clock management. I fnothing else, the Packers have exposed the Patriots for what they are. A team with a great QB and a sub par defense. I cannot wait to see how the Pack plays in the playoffs. That’s right. I’m calling it now. All we have to do is beat a deflated Giants team at home and a Bears team that will be playing for nothing.

  50. cliverush says: Dec 20, 2010 4:20 PM

    This was a great game for fans to watch. The Pack should be encouraged with the effort of the team against another top level team. Flynn played as good as a young player can be expected. The int. appeared to be a misread. The game plan was good up to the last seconds. The physical play by both teams carried through the entire game. One difference was the situational football at the end. If the kid did not handle it as he should have the excuse is obvious, no experience. As a Pats fan I am worried about the amount of injuries on the D line. This is a major weakness going into the post season. The ref (Big Ed) should retire.

  51. bowsandarrows44 says: Dec 20, 2010 8:01 PM

    Flynn is awful. He was awful against Detroit, and if you actually watched the game against New England he was awwwfullll, despite the close score. He’s incapable of throwing the ball more than 6 yards down field (which is where he got all of his yardage from against NE), more than that and there’s about a 1/3rd chance that it’s getting picked off. Green Bay needs a much better backup for injury prone Rodgers. (coughFavrecough).

  52. bowsandarrows44 says: Dec 20, 2010 8:05 PM

    I’m a Packers fan by the way.

  53. theytukrjobs says: Dec 21, 2010 11:57 AM

    The way the clock was managed and the places that Flynn threw the football to erased any possibility of a touchdown score. They never even attempted a pass near the endzone.

    Granted he was sacked twice. Granted some of the underneath routes were thrown after Flynn looked off some deep routes. But the bottom line is that at some point you have to throw the ball down the field and/or use the sidelines.

    They only ran 3 plays in 53 seconds and they were still like 30 yards from the endzone. C’mon. You have to take some shots. There are reasons this Packer team has such a poor record in close games under McCarthy. They truly don’t understand clock management and refuse to acknowledge, yet alone learn from their mistakes.

    There are about half a dozen or so coaches in this league that have almost no understanding of clock management. It is kind of hilarious. Childress was like this before getting canned too. They just don’t get the concept of maneuvering for the last possession or when to take shots and when to grind it out. They are just out there guessing.

  54. packfan963 says: Dec 21, 2010 1:30 PM

    I hate how people go on a rant about how Flynn messed up and how McCarthys and idiot. Well first off give Flynn a break its his first NFL start and I would like to see you go and do McCarthys Job then we’ll see who everybody calls an idiot!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!