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.