Five months later, Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn’t over his team’s playoff loss to the Giants.
McCarthy told Albert Breer of NFL.com that as much as he respects the Giants, what makes the loss so tough to swallow is that McCarthy thinks the Packers lost more because of how they played — badly — than because of how the Giants played.
“It’ll always bother me,” McCarthy said. “I don’t want this to come out the wrong way, because that win is special, that’s a great win for their football team. The margin of victory they won with, too, is definitely to their credit. But I feel like we beat ourselves in this playoff game. Or better yet, we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win the game.”
It’s easy to see why McCarthy feels that way about his team’s 37-20 loss in the divisional playoffs: The Packers had just 14 turnovers during the entire 2011 regular season, but they had four turnovers against the Giants. More than that statistic, however, what bothers McCarthy is that he didn’t think the Packers reacted well when things went badly last year, either against the Giants or in their one regular-season loss, to the Chiefs.
“That’s the thing that kicks me around at night: Did I do the right thing the Giants week? Is there something I could’ve done differently with our team? That’s what you learn from,” McCarthy said. “Unfortunately, we had two subpar days that cost us, and one was in the playoffs. Trust me, I understand the importance of playoff football. I don’t just chalk it up to a bad day, I don’t believe in that thought process. I believe that you gotta be brutally honest with yourself and make sure it never happens again.”
Losing a game is something that will happen again. But McCarthy wants to make sure that when it does happen, it’s not because the Packers beat themselves.