In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Bears, Green Bay nursing a 21-10 lead with eight minutes left, and had forced the Bears to punt. All the Packers had to do was get the ball back, pick up some first downs and not make any stupid mistakes, and the game was theirs.
And then they made a stupid mistake.
The Packers called a bizarre trick play on the punt return on which Randall Cobb fielded the punt then turned around and threw the ball across the field to Jeremy Ross. But Cobb’s throw was a little low, Ross flubbed it, and the Bears recovered, setting up a field goal that put Chicago right back in the game.
In the end, the Packers held on to win, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not happy with Green Bay’s coaching staff. Rodgers told Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network today that he thought it was a stupid call.
“I wasn’t thrilled about the call, to be honest with you,” Rodgers said. “At that point, I think it was 7:57 on the clock, we’re up two scores, we’ve been moving the ball pretty well. Maybe not the right call in that situation. . . . Just not a very intelligent call at that point in the game.”
Rodgers is right about that: The call, which Packers coach Mike McCarthy sheepishly described as “not the highlight of my coaching career,” was boneheaded. If the Packers were losing by 11 points in the fourth quarter, a trick play like that might have made sense. But when trying to nurse a lead, McCarthy would be wise to let Rodgers be the only one to throw the ball.