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Should the Packers have gone for two?

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Three days later, the sports world continues to buzz about the epic Packers-Cardinals playoff game. And one of the many questions that continues to bubble up from time to time is this: Should the Packers have gone for two after scoring on a :00 Hail Mary pass?

In hindsight, absolutely. But if coach Mike McCarthy had opted to go for two and if his team had failed to convert, he would have become a pin cushion for criticism in the aftermath of what would have become his team’s latest failure in a playoff game. Apart from the fact that coaches who do the conventional and fail get a pass while those who do the unconventional and fail don’t, a McCarthy decision to go for two would have been directly responsible for the fifth straight failure to get to the Super Bowl despite having one of the best quarterbacks of the Super Bowl era on his team.

Indeed, McCarthy arrived a decade ago with a deck more stacked at quarterback than any team since the Montana/Young 49ers. McCarthy had Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. And McCarthy has been to the Super Bowl only 10 percent of his time with the team. With only 15 other teams in the NFC chase each year (and with plenty of them not having good quarterbacks), McCarthy’s inability to get to the NFL title game more than once becomes more and more glaring with each passing year.

Going for two and failing could have been the tipping point for McCarthy, providing yet another vacancy after all seven in the current hiring cycle had been filled.

His decision to call out running back Eddie Lacy publicly on Monday possibly flows from the reality that McCarthy knows that he’s now on the hot seat himself, and that another sluggish 2016 regular season capped by a fairly quick exit in the playoffs will be enough to get the Packers to lure a bigger name for the final five years or so of Rodgers’ run.

Considering McCarthy’s potential tenuous status, it’s understandable that he didn’t go for two. If he had, it easily could have worked. Spread the defense out, get in shotgun, and give Rodgers the option to make a quick throw or run a quarterback draw depending on the alignment of the defense.

As Rodney Harrison of NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk said last night, the Arizona defense would have been on its heels and on the ropes, with the Packers having all the momentum and the chance to deliver a knockout blow. But McCarthy doesn’t get fired if he plays it safe, even if kicker Mason Crosby had missed the extra point. If McCarthy had opted to go for the win and emerges with a loss, he possibly would have soon been packing his knick knacks into cardboard boxes.

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118 Responses to “Should the Packers have gone for two?”
  1. ariani1985 says: Jan 19, 2016 10:36 AM

    Then what? Another epic NFCCG choke job?

  2. mrwoodles says: Jan 19, 2016 10:39 AM

    This guy just doesn’t seem to get it.

  3. greenmtnboy31 says: Jan 19, 2016 10:39 AM

    He should have gone for the two points and I was stunned when he didn’t. But, perhaps McCarthy realizes his QB isn’t what everyone says he is and his running back, well he’s more interested in seconds than anything else.

  4. tokyosandblaster says: Jan 19, 2016 10:40 AM

    The Packers had all the momentum. You play the odds. The defense looked great most of the game. They just decided to look like the Vikings in overtime.

    >

  5. gassiusclay says: Jan 19, 2016 10:40 AM

    Hindsight is 20/20, and no, they shouldn’t have gone for 2. It would have been very gutsy, but if they didn’t convert the internet would explode about how boneheaded of a move it was based on the fact that a magical hail mary was wasted.

  6. chicagobtech says: Jan 19, 2016 10:42 AM

    Can’t believe I’m defending the Packers, but let’s be honest here – losing your second playoff game is not a quick exit in the NFL. Doubly-so when the game goes into overtime.

  7. therealtrenches says: Jan 19, 2016 10:43 AM

    It’s always tough call. But if there was ever a moment to do it, I think that was it.

  8. peopletrains says: Jan 19, 2016 10:43 AM

    Rodney Harrison is not a genius. He is dirty, ultra-biased, knucklehead.

    That being said, McCarthy did not get lost in the moment and made the right call. With the exception of maybe Abbrederis, Jones/Janis/Rodgers/Perillo were not going to be beat the guy covering them.

  9. emoney826 says: Jan 19, 2016 10:43 AM

    Ariani,
    At least it’s not a wild card choke job by those division chumps, I mean, champs. SKOLOLOLOLOLOL!

    Enjoy your fluke division title.

  10. exoneratedbyscience says: Jan 19, 2016 10:44 AM

    I can’t believe anyone could talk about Rodgers in the same breath as the great and all-powerful Tom Brady, best of all time, bless his name, amen. He’s an epic playoff choker, soon to eclipse Peyton, who is more HGH than human now and will probably live to be 117 with all that stuff he’s pumped into his body. How many playoff collapses before we call a spade a spade and take him off the pedestal? He’s more concerned with doing commercials than winning games, apparently. Meanwhile, Brady keeps winning. Take away draft picks, he wins. Take away his top receivers, he wins. Take away his top two running backs, he wins. You all are witnesses to greatness, the man-god, Tom Brady. Recognize it, bow before it, worship it!

  11. texansfan82 says: Jan 19, 2016 10:45 AM

    That would be an incredibly tough call. To tie the game up was miraculous enough, with a 4th and 20 that they converted for 60 yards, and then the hail mary at the end of the game. In my opinion the decision to go for 2 versus the tie is one that is used only in extreme situations when the opposing offense has been crushing your defense and you don’t think that your defense can stop them in overtime. In this case the Cardinals were very fortunate to score the go-ahead TD, and the Packers defense was playing quite well. So yes, the Cardinals defense would have been on its heels, but they would have been on their heels if the Packers had won the coin-toss in overtime and marched the ball.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but I don’t see any reason to second guess taking this game into overtime.

  12. rosstuckershair says: Jan 19, 2016 10:46 AM

    Last year it seems they were kicking field goals from the 2 yard line. With Lacey leading the charge he would have run out of gas at the 1…

    They didn’t have a power game to make it..

  13. laces out says: Jan 19, 2016 10:46 AM

    John Madden would argue that if they went for two and converted, it would have been a good idea; if they went for it and missed, it would have been a bad idea.

  14. rosstuckershair says: Jan 19, 2016 10:48 AM

    emoney826 says:
    Jan 19, 2016 10:43 AM
    Ariani,
    At least it’s not a wild card choke job by those division chumps, I mean, champs. SKOLOLOLOLOLOL!

    Enjoy your fluke division title.

    Minnesota Vikings 2015 NFC North Champs

    Do you think the last two quickest overtime losses by the Green Bay Rodgers were top two in NFL history? There might be a trophy for that..

  15. laces out says: Jan 19, 2016 10:48 AM

    a better hindsight question would be: “Should the Packers have called heads instead of tails?”

  16. crik911 says: Jan 19, 2016 10:50 AM

    Bear’s Fan here:

    My original thought during the drive was, if they get the TD are they going to go for the ‘Boise-State Statue Of Liberty’ play.

    I was like nahhhh they’ll kick it, but he should be considering it, what if he doesn’t win the coin toss….

  17. ruvelligwebuike says: Jan 19, 2016 10:51 AM

    If the Packers fire McCarthy, I can almost guarantee you a Chargers-like existence from then until eternity. When Marty S. ran that team, they went 14-2 and 13-3, didn’t win in the playoffs, so they fired him. The Chargers organization has gone straight south ever since.

    McCarthy developed Rodgers, in fact completely re-made his delivery and built an offense to his strengths. He’s won a Super Bowl. He has a 15-1 season under his belt. He has the second most wins in the league since he came in, behind Belichick. His season records by year are:

    8-8
    13-3
    6-10
    11-5
    10-6 Won Super Bowl
    15-1
    12-4
    8-7-1
    12-4
    10-6

    Literally every organization in the league other than the Patriots and maybe the Steelers come even close to that level of sustained success.

    I know I can be an arrogant Packers fan myself sometimes, but winning the Super Bowl is not our birthright.

  18. coltzfan166 says: Jan 19, 2016 10:52 AM

    You either have a 50/50 shot at winning the game then, or you can play it “safe,” kick the XP, and go to OT, where you again have a 50/50 chance of winning. With the momentum they had, I would’ve gone for 2.

  19. intrafinesse says: Jan 19, 2016 10:52 AM

    Anytime a team loses in overtime, the losing teams HC is an idiot for not having gone for 2 at some point during regulation.

    See how smart I am. Mr. MMQB I am.

  20. Teddy Bustwater....The Next Failed QB in Minnesota says: Jan 19, 2016 10:53 AM

    Do you think the last two quickest overtime losses by the Green Bay Rodgers were top two in NFL history? There might be a trophy for that..
    ————–
    So you are agreeing that they need to fix the overtime rules to be like college where both teams get a possession in OT no matter what? Sounds reasonable.

  21. lawdigger says: Jan 19, 2016 10:53 AM

    I doubt if McCarthy’s seat is even warm, much less hot.

  22. yyc2phx says: Jan 19, 2016 10:54 AM

    Yes get rid of him…..650 coaching record….You tie the game and take chances in OT..

  23. Teddy Bustwater....The Next Failed QB in Minnesota says: Jan 19, 2016 10:55 AM

    I know I can be an arrogant Packers fan myself sometimes, but winning the Super Bowl is not our birthright.
    ————–
    One thing we know for sure……losing the Super Bowl is the birthright for Vikings fans!

  24. jfrogwi says: Jan 19, 2016 10:57 AM

    Packer fan here.

    During the tv timeout, this was a conversation we had in the room. Most everyone thought you play for overtime. I thought the odds were more in the packers favor going for two. Compare the odds of one play with the momentum you got during that drive to needing to win the toss and do what you just did marching down the field again. The packers had a hard time getting the ball into the end zone all game, and the entire fourth quarter Arizona was doing a much better job on offense than the packers. I say they should have gone for the win in regulation. I’m actually surprised that McCarthy, known for heavy inclusion of analytics, thought his odds were better going to OT.

    I’m not in the fire MM or TT crowd. But sometimes McCarthy goes overboard with analytics and doesn’t have a feel for the emotional factor. It’s like he has a mathematical formula and if he follows it he wins. And Thompson doesn’t do enough to help build the roster. I think he’s a good GM, better than many teams have. But I wish he’d be a little more willing to make a deal. The window for Rodgers is closing. We should be in win now mode, not trying to sustain playoff eligibility indefinitely mode.

  25. maestro1899 says: Jan 19, 2016 10:57 AM

    GB should NOT have gone for 2.

    The Cardinals offense was not playing very well, and Carson Palmner survived a few Red Zone passes that should’ve been picked off. The Cardinals were also struggling to run the ball.

    In my opinion, the chances appeared to be high that the Cardinals wouldn’t have scored a TD on their first possession (if they won the toss), and with the way the Packers offense was moving it, I would’ve bet they would score on their first possession.

    Not everything works out the way you want it to, but that doesn’t mean that you should “do the opposite” (unless your George Costanza).

  26. robf2010 says: Jan 19, 2016 10:58 AM

    Going for two should be the no-brainer. Why risk overtime? The ball is in your hands at the 2yd line. What more could you want?

  27. dasboat says: Jan 19, 2016 10:59 AM

    McCarthy’s comments about Lacy’s weight underscore what a bunch of BS these coaches spout during the regular season. There is nearly zero value listening to anything they say, yet we eagerly sop up every nugget. We’re morons.

  28. thegr8rayfinkle says: Jan 19, 2016 11:00 AM

    Does Nick Saban have any dogs? If he does he should get rid of them before the 2017 season starts.

  29. immafubared says: Jan 19, 2016 11:00 AM

    realistically no. Don’t forget, these coaches know who writes their checks. Take the idiot in Denver, no way he takes a chance on Osweiller. He puts Manning back in to save his job. they won’t take chances because they are afraid of losing alright but not just the game.

  30. skittlesareyum says: Jan 19, 2016 11:01 AM

    There are two arguments, one on each side.

    Going for two is right call if you’re the underdog. You don’t want to give the “better” team more plays. To put it to an extreme (obviously the Packers are better than the Bronws), what are the Browns more likely to win: a 60 minute game versus the Patriots or a game versus the Patriots consisting of a single play from the two-yard line?

    However, the Packers have been awful in this situation all year. It’s possible McCarthy didn’t have any play he had any confidence in. This is really the only valid reason to go for 1. If I’m the GM and I find out my coach didn’t go for 2 because he’s trying to not lose or he’s worried about blowback, I’d fire him on the spot. Do what has the best chance to win the game, not what talking heads and PFT trolls think.

  31. cowboysallday says: Jan 19, 2016 11:01 AM

    They definitely should of gone for two. The cardinals just had the life sucked out of them and they have a 400 pound running back.

  32. Teddy Bustwater....The Next Failed QB in Minnesota says: Jan 19, 2016 11:03 AM

    Going for two should be the no-brainer. Why risk overtime? The ball is in your hands at the 2yd line. What more could you want?
    ———-
    Why risk the entire game on a single play? They only had 3 WR’s and things get pretty tight for an offense operating from the 2 yard line. If they go for it and don’t make it, the coach gets slaughtered. Hindsight is pretty neat though.

  33. lurch61 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:07 AM

    ruvelligwebuike says:
    Jan 19, 2016 10:51 AM
    8-8
    13-3
    6-10
    11-5
    10-6 Won Super Bowl
    15-1
    12-4
    8-7-1
    12-4
    10-6

    Literally every organization in the league other than the Patriots and maybe the Steelers come even close to that level of sustained success……….
    HMMMMM HOW ABOUT BILL WALSH AND THE NINERS CIRCA 1980’S——–RECORDS

    13-3
    3-6
    10-6
    15-1
    10-6
    10-5-1
    13-2
    10-6

    With 3 Super Bowl win during that timespan.

  34. williamannand says: Jan 19, 2016 11:08 AM

    This article is a textbook case of second guessing, a luxury afforded to the media but not to NFL coaches who make real-time decisions.

    Had McCarthy elected to go for two, he would have reduced his team’s season to one play. He chose not to do so because he believed in his team’s ability to compete into overtime. It didn’t work out.

    Coaches are aware that others — especially media talking heads and poison pen scribes — will evaluate their decisions through a rear-view mirror, but they do what they believe gives their team the best opportunity to succeed.

  35. rosstuckershair says: Jan 19, 2016 11:10 AM

    So you are agreeing that they need to fix the overtime rules to be like college where both teams get a possession in OT no matter what? Sounds reasonable.

    No, I am not an advocate for change. I am just saying the Rodgers defense for the second year in a row…let them down.

  36. screamingyellowzonkers says: Jan 19, 2016 11:11 AM

    The Packers have choked more than the Vikings over the last 5 years. EPIC choke last year and this year. The superbowl darlings of 2015 couldn’t even win a division against the worst franchise in NFL history. (according to Packer fans) (and now some packer fans are already predicting they will win superbowl the next 2 years.) LMFAO

    But I don’t think he should have gone for two. It’s to risky. Defense was playing good for most of the game.

  37. dohczeppelin says: Jan 19, 2016 11:13 AM

    Watching the game I paused to consider if they should roll the dice and go for 2 (especially considering how efficiently the Cardinals obliterated them a couple weeks ago), but ultimately I agreed with the decision to go into OT instead.

    Yes, Rodgers is amazing, but his receiving corp. is not. And their RB situation is not very impressive either. So to voluntarily put the whole season on the line and have it hinge on an average-to-below-average skill player who has generally come up short all season long would be absurd. Was better to play it safe and count on a team effort in OT (which of course also came up short, but the odds were better).

    That being said, it would have been cool to see a team goes balls to the wall like that and go for two. The Packers just don’t have the offensive consistency this year to risk it though. Seahawks/Panthers/Steelers/etc. though? Oh yeah. In that situation they definitely should have gone for the death blow (and they probably would have) instead of risking it getting back into Palmer’s hands.

  38. robf2010 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:13 AM

    “Why risk the entire game on a single play?”

    Because it’s better than risking it on a coin flip.

  39. zvikes says: Jan 19, 2016 11:14 AM

    It’s the classic conflict. It’s better for the team to go for two. It’s better for the coach’s career to go for one.

  40. TheDPR says: Jan 19, 2016 11:16 AM

    He’s not a bad coach because he kicked the XP. That was the correct decision.

    He’s not a bad coach. He’s just not a great coach, either. There are times when you get the impression the team would be better with a different coach but when you look around and ask, “who?” you come back to thinking the Packers are better off staying pat. He’ll never be legendary but he’s the best they’re going to do for the time being.

  41. screamingyellowzonkers says: Jan 19, 2016 11:16 AM

    On second thought…….

    Since Rodgers claimed he would’ve called heads rather than tails if wasn’t screwed by the coin flip operator, then logic says that McCarthy is an idiot for not going for two points.

  42. jolink653 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:18 AM

    Stop it. No way do they go for two there. They scored on a Hail Mary and the smart thing to do is kick the extra point and take it to overtime on the momentum of the tying score. The Packers defense had been playing pretty well and there was no reason to think Arizona would just storm down the field like they did. If they had gotten a stop, they get the ball back and only need a field goal to win. Saying they should have gone for two is really just being stupid and using hindsight based on how the game played out. They had no way of knowing how overtime would go

  43. PokeSalad says: Jan 19, 2016 11:18 AM

    McCarthy always goes for two at Country Corral.

  44. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 19, 2016 11:20 AM

    Speaking of hindsight, pack would love a redo on the high draft picks of Rodgers and Lacy.

  45. jonathankrobinson424 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:20 AM

    ……..the question isn’t why didn’t the Packers go for 2….the question is WHY wasn’t the Packers D covering Fitzgerald?……even when the Cardinals play was breaking down?

  46. mogogo1 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:21 AM

    Can you imagine the PFT article if they’d went for two and not gotten it? “With Rodgers looking unstoppable and the Cardinals reeling the Packers inexplicably risked it all on a single play rather than riding their momentum into overtime….”

  47. bridgeh2o says: Jan 19, 2016 11:23 AM

    When the “going for 2” idea was brought up to McCarthy, he actually said “sure”.

    Problem was, he was thinking of going for 2 quick overtime exits in back to back years.

    He was successful at that-get off his back.

  48. vikesfan320 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:25 AM

    Should’ve gone for two. Kicking the extra point is playing not to lose instead of playing to win.

    If you play for overtime, you need a number of things to go your way – coin toss, possible defensive stops, maybe a lucky bounce on a fumble, not to mention you need your kicker to make the no longer automatic extra point to get you there. If you go for 2, you need your MVP-caliber QB to get you two yards. There shouldn’t be any question.

    The issue is kicking the XP typically leaves coaches free of criticism at it is the safe “smart” play. Now we’re talking about changing OT rules instead of talking about McCarthy yet again losing the playoffs in poor fashion.

    But this shouldn’t be a surprise. He showed an incredible lack of testicular fortitude in the NFCCG last year, so why would we expect anything less this year?

  49. vikesfan320 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:28 AM

    Let’s put it this way: if you go to overtime, you’re best bet is a 50-50 coin toss just to have the best chance to win. I’d say your odds of Rodgers scoring from the 2-yard line has to be at least 50-50.

  50. tridecagon says: Jan 19, 2016 11:28 AM

    This is the one downside of the new extra point rule. It’d be the perfect time to trot out your field goal team and then run a fake, while the defense is thinking about getting a block for the win. Doesn’t work when the XP is back at the 15.

  51. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Jan 19, 2016 11:31 AM

    We don’t take risks in the little town. That would take guts, and imagination. We don’t have that here. We have Mike McCarthy. But he isn’t enough.

  52. vikesfan320 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:34 AM

    To all the people saying the Packers offensive injuries meant they shouldn’t have gone for two – you’re making the exact opposite point of what you thinking you’re making. What are the better odds – that the Packers receivers would consistently get open in overtime enough to move the ball down the field for a TD or FG, or that the Packers could have one play at the goal line when the receivers ran a pick or something and got open, or Rodgers extended the play long enough to get two yards? This isn’t second-guessing, this is first-guessing. In the moment he should’ve gone for two, and in hindsight he obviously should have.

  53. Teddy Bustwater....The Next Failed QB in Minnesota says: Jan 19, 2016 11:35 AM

    Now we’re talking about changing OT rules instead of talking about McCarthy yet again losing the playoffs in poor fashion.
    —————
    It’s been a stupid rule and criticized for years now. Your season should not be decided by a coin flip.

    The odds of winning a game is lower when you have but one play to determine whether you win or lose. It’s common sense. But Vikings fans lack that, so it is understandable.

  54. jets4thewin says: Jan 19, 2016 11:35 AM

    Florio this makes no sense. Despite the packers having a sub par defense their D actually did well the past few drives of stopping Palmer.

    The packers just came off of missing a 4th and short on the previous drive and the last time they were that close to the endzone Peterson picked Rodgers off for a pick 6.

  55. silvernblacksabbath says: Jan 19, 2016 11:36 AM

    Of course they should’ve gone for 2. That would’ve been a better decision than going for it on 4th down at your own 20 yard line with 2:45 left in the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. jjackwagon says: Jan 19, 2016 11:39 AM

    On the road, with a chance to win in regulation…that is the very definition of when you should go for 2.

    If you don’t make it, you get crushed but no worse than the way they are getting crushed now.

  57. realfootballfan says: Jan 19, 2016 11:47 AM

    Yeah, says the guys whose whole season doesn’t hinge on 1 play when you could get multiple plays to get it right in overtime. Fitzgerald just made a play. Stop with this silly second guessing. If McCarthy or any coach for that reason makes that call with everything that goes into a season and they miss it with no time left, you risk losing your whole locker room going forward because how can people who have sacrificed all year trust that you’re going to make a sound decision for all of us in the heat of battle?

  58. purpleguy says: Jan 19, 2016 11:48 AM

    Statheads like Barnwell have pointed out the success rates and win-probability ratios greatly favor going for two; however, it’s hard to trash MM for going for the tie given the way his defense had been playing up to that point (not to mention his QB is Aaron Rodgers). Even this Viking fan has a hard time trashing MM for that move — he actually planned and called a good game Sunday.

    About the only thing I can fault MM for is having the nerve to call another person (Lacy) fat and out of shape.

  59. leatherface2012 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:48 AM

    packer fans are buying tickets to Carolina, because they still think they must be in the playoffs…..lol at the idiot packer fans that bought 36k worth of tickets at az before finding out it was a complete scam..hysterical..bwhahahaha

  60. skinsgal4life says: Jan 19, 2016 11:52 AM

    I know a lot of people will argue with me, but I truly believe that NFL overtime should be like college’s. I’ve heard all the pros and cons each way. It just seems fairer that each team should have an equal chance at scoring a TOUCHDOWN. The winner of the coin flip still has an advantage.

  61. cymbaline6 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:52 AM

    I think more teams should go for 2 in such situations.

    Kick the extra point – which is not quite as automatic these days – and you have a coin flip that will determine whether or not you start with the ball in your offense’s hands. If you get the ball, you probably have to drive at least 50 yards and kick a long field goal (which might not win you the game) or drive 80 yards for a TD that will win you the game. If you don’t get the ball, you have to stop the other team from getting a TD, and then you have to do more or less the same thing – long march and score.

    If you go for two, you have one play in which you must get 2 yards. Less to accomplish, less chances to do it, but you already have the ball in your hands on the two yard line with the game on the line. Why give the ball to the refs and have a chance that you’ll never get it back? Do you want control over the outcome of the game or do you want to hand at least part of that control to chance?

  62. linemanguy74 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:54 AM

    maybe he thought he couldn’t be lucky 3 times in the same series of plays that got them the td

  63. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 19, 2016 11:55 AM

    tokyosandblaster says:
    Jan 19, 2016 10:40 AM

    The Packers had all the momentum. You play the odds. The defense looked great most of the game. They just decided to look like the Vikings in overtime.
    _________

    Given that the Packers have cornered the market on losing overtime playoff games, wouldn’t you say the Packers decided to look like themselves?

  64. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 19, 2016 11:57 AM

    The only reason to go for two is if you don’t have confidence in your team’s ability to stop the other team in overtime. So if you’re McCarthy, you go for two. If you’re the coach of a requisite NFL football team, you go to overtime.

  65. Frum Slum says: Jan 19, 2016 11:58 AM

    In that situation I say go for 2 every time. Why tie and hope for a good coin toss? Even if you do win the toss you still have to put together a long drive to score a TD.

    Why not run one play from inside the 5 yard line when you already have momentum from scoring? You have the best field position you could possibly have at that point.

    Too many coaches play scared.

  66. otheirony says: Jan 19, 2016 11:59 AM

    Absolutely go for 2. You are undermanned, you are on the road, you are the underdog, and you really have no business being 2 1/2 yards away from victory. There is no guarantee you’ll make the kick, no guarantee you’ll get the ball in overtime.

    This reminded me a lot of the Boise St. vs. Oklahoma bowl game a few years ago. GB had em on the ropes. Overtime and the delay to the restart helped AZ regain composure.

    For me it’s simple….every time you get a chance to WIN the game you take it. Kicking the point was playing not to lose.

    A Packers Fan

  67. bridgeh2o says: Jan 19, 2016 12:01 PM

    2 coin flips, 2 overtime losses in a row…….soon to follow will be 2 runner-up NFC North finishes.

    Too humiliating for gbay fans 2 comprehend.

  68. otheirony says: Jan 19, 2016 12:02 PM

    OT should be sudden death in my opinion. Not in favor of the original change. Each team has had 60 minutes to win the game.

    Since when did political correctness start regulating competitive sports? Each team should get a chance? Stop whining and stop them.

    This participation trophy line of thinking has got to stop.

    No game is decided by the flip of a coin. You make plays or you don’t. GB didn’t. Congrats to AZ.

    A Packers Fan

  69. ariani1985 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:12 PM

    Nobody circles the playoff OT drain faster than the packers!

  70. justafanofitall says: Jan 19, 2016 12:13 PM

    No he should not have. But should have gone for 2 after first touchdown…making the score 14-7 not 13-7. But that being said. McCarthy and TT have had the two best of the QBs in league history and a 7-6 playoff record with AR(4 of 6 wins coming SB year). That is terrible. Somebody needs to be held accountable whether it is McCarthy, TT or coaches on the staff as well as the players.

  71. skittlesareyum says: Jan 19, 2016 12:14 PM

    The odds of winning a game is lower when you have but one play to determine whether you win or lose. It’s common sense.

    ——————–

    Only if you are accurately favored strongly to win normally. The Patriots won’t ever agree to let the Browns try a single two-point conversion instead of playing 60 minutes, but you bet the Browns would jump at that chance.

    More time and plays favors the better team. Shorter sample sizes significantly reduce that advantage. I’m a Packers fan, by the way.

  72. fmc651 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:16 PM

    packer fans like to put everything on MM. The defense let your team down two years in a row. Stop giving up TD’s in OT. Don’t blame the coach. Did you notice Fabio jogging after Larry Fitz in OT? Nice effort, all for the price tag of $12.8 a year. Does it increase this coming year?

  73. allight59 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:16 PM

    Erin Rogers 0-7 in overtime….NO!PACK!NO…you go for 2 when you’re the obvious inferior team…..enjoy your last playoff game in a very long time….

  74. olskool711 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:18 PM

    Florio,

    Your last sentence says it all. Sums it up.

    But, the first thing that crossed my mind off the hail mary was…

    just go for two.

  75. razzlejag says: Jan 19, 2016 12:22 PM

    If someone said to me, “Let’s skip the game and we’ll give you the ball on their 2 yard line, one play win or lose.” I would take that offer- on the road against the #1 seed in the NFC and probably 2nd best team in the NFL.

    Or look at it this way- you win the coin flip and likely have to drive the length of the field to win or you lose the coin flip and have to defend them for the length of the field and then drive most of it yourself or…you can take the ball on their 2 yard line and run one play win or lose.

    I’d go for 2 every time.

  76. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 12:25 PM

    About the only thing I can fault MM for is having the nerve to call another person (Lacy) fat and out of shape.
    —————
    This sentiment is such a common theme here and it is so ridiculous I’m starting to question the intelligence of our society in general.

    MM’s job isn’t to run the football in the NFL. He didn’t call Lacy fat for vanity purposes. He called him out after the season because he knows that it affected his JOB PERFORMANCE this season. That’s a huge difference.

    And kudos for him for dodging the questions all season when constantly asked about it by reporters. It served no purpose to call him out during the season when there was nothing that could be done about it in the off season.

  77. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 12:27 PM

    Erin Rogers 0-7 in overtime….NO!PACK!NO
    ————-
    Weird that you call out Rodgers. The last 2 playoff defeats in overtime, he never even saw the field. Sometimes you have to use your brain to make sense.

  78. tundra67 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:28 PM

    The time to possibly go for two was on the 1st Janis TD.

    If they did convert it, kicking the XP after the Hail Mary would have been for the WIN.

    If they had not converted and it was 12-7, w/all things going the same way from there, then they would obviously be going for it at the end to TIE anyway.

    Regardless > They put up a great and entertaining fight.

  79. akaodoyle says: Jan 19, 2016 12:29 PM

    This is a ridiculous argument. Guarantee you that there was not a single word said about trying the 2 point conversion there. There are only 2 coaches that may have tried that, and in only very very rare circumstances. To me, there are only two reasons to ever go for two there. Your kicker blew out his knee, or you have a Ben/Stafford situation where the QB cannot throw, but has enough for one more shot. Otherwise, it is both game and career suicide.

  80. jeydrade says: Jan 19, 2016 12:32 PM

    MM made the right decision by percentages, yes. You hinge your hopes on your team, rather than 1 play.

    Hindsight is 20/20 as usual. If they get 2, everyone calls it a great call. If they don’t, it’s a bonehead call and cost the team.

    Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. It is one of the of those things that attributes to ones legacy. If you want to be great, sometimes you have to make those calls and have them go right for you. If it were me, I might have gone for it. I am not, and do not want to be a NFL HC. It is easy for fans to say what they would or would not do, but when its actually you on the line, you might think different.

    In the end, he made the best call for GB. It was not the ambitious one, however.

    Either way, he didn’t lose the game.

  81. corduroy88 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:37 PM

    Rodney Harrison is who we thought he was…not very bright.

  82. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 12:39 PM

    MM’s explanation made perfect sense. He didn’t think he had the personnel to even consider going for it. Considering they only had 3 WR’s left and they were their #5, #6, #7 on depth chart, there is no money person that you can count on in that situation, especially when you can’t spread the defense out with at least 4 WR’s.

  83. stealthscorpio says: Jan 19, 2016 12:40 PM

    Not a pack fan but think MM is a hell of a coach…making it to the super bowl is hard and takes luck…fire him and who would you hire that guarantees better results?

    That said he should have gone for two according to the old rule…play for OT at home, go for win on the road…

    I detest that it is in coaches best interests to play it safe…I can’t imagine he was trying to do anything but win, but it does come into play way to often…I much prefer the Arians, Tomlin, Carroll, and Belicheat approach…

  84. blakeden says: Jan 19, 2016 12:54 PM

    General rule of thumb: You play for the tie on the road and the win at home…..I’m not sure the GB even has a two point play, they try so seldom….

  85. hilamonster says: Jan 19, 2016 1:05 PM

    That’s like asking if the Seahawks should have run the ball instead of passing in the Super Bowl.

    We know how well that went…

    I thought the Packers did the right thing by going for the tie and sending it into OT. If McCarthy went for two and they didn’t make it…

    Again, it is easy to become the arm chair QB.

  86. packergator says: Jan 19, 2016 1:12 PM

    MM is an O-coordinator trying to be a HC; he chronically mismanages big games and puts everything on Aaron Rodgers’ shoulders. He’s stubborn about his offensive schemes and refuses to replace Dom Capers, whose defenses have underperformed the last few years, especially against the run. TT has also been content to sit back and not make any FA moves except to sign the Packers’ own players.

    This complacency has repeatedly undermined a team that should have done a whole lot more in the playoffs with a future HoF QB.

  87. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 19, 2016 1:15 PM

    If you need an extra point from Blair Walsh to send it to overtime, you go for two.

  88. kcflake says: Jan 19, 2016 1:20 PM

    Always, Drop a Deuce.

  89. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 1:20 PM

    If you need an extra point from Blair Walsh to send it to overtime, you go for two.
    ———-
    Especially when you have a bad long snapper and holder.

  90. egwern says: Jan 19, 2016 1:32 PM

    Look, there are many reasons to dislike MM as a coach: the nonsense that comes out of his mouth which is usually contradicted later by reality, terrible play calling, inability to make in-game adjustments, etc… Let’s be honest, the man was a poor offensive coordinator (who during his tenure at the 49ers passed on drafting Aaron Rodgers) who stumbled into being a head coach of a team with TWO hall of fame quarterbacks. Anytime he is required to do anything but rely on his quarterbacks he is exposed as a mediocre to bad coach. Seriously, in the Cardinals game the Packers get the ball back with little time, needing to drive the field for a tie. What does MM call on first and second down? Fullback screen to Kuhn and a running play with Lacy up the gut! Genius. Rodgers ended up bailing him out with two miraculous tosses at the end. My point: there are tons of reasons to not like MM, going for two at the end is the most debatable.

  91. packergator says: Jan 19, 2016 1:34 PM

    MM is gutless, pure and simple; he always looks for ways to pin GB’s failures on someone else. He also knows that Packer management is complacent and doesn’t seem interested in making changes – at coach and in FA – to make the team better.

  92. skins99 says: Jan 19, 2016 1:36 PM

    There is not a coach in the league who would have had the balls to go for 2 in that spot.

  93. wiscobear says: Jan 19, 2016 1:42 PM

    So far the arc of Rodgers’ career has been a lot like Favre’s. MVP awards, winning one Super Bowl early with the help of a stud free agent signing on defense (Reggie White / Charles Woodson), high expectations for more Super Bowl trophies but never again reaching that pinnacle achieved at age 26. Now that Rodgers started piling up interceptions this year, his coach is on the hot seat, and his contract prevents the team from signing top FAs or acquiring needed depth, you might see the arc completed when the Packers draft Rodgers’ successor in 2-3 years and a messy Rodgers-Packers divorce ensues.

  94. deltaoracle says: Jan 19, 2016 1:42 PM

    Yeah, the Packers probably would have fired him if he’d gone for two and failed.
    Right.
    Sheesh.

  95. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 2:23 PM

    Now that Rodgers started piling up interceptions this year, his coach is on the hot seat, and his contract prevents the team from signing top FAs or acquiring needed depth, you might see the arc completed when the Packers draft Rodgers’ successor in 2-3 years and a messy Rodgers-Packers divorce ensues.
    ———
    Couldn’t help but LOL at this!

    Piling up INT’s??? 2015- 8 INT’s (In other words…an un-attainalble dream season for Cutler)

    Contract prevents team from signing top FA’s? The Packers were $14 million under the cap for most of the year until they signed Daniels to a well deserved extension.

    2015 Cap hit

    Rodgers- $18.25 million
    Cutler- $16.5 million

    Now you tell me if Cutler is worth being paid only $1.75 million less than Cutler. That contract kills the Bears, not because of the amount, but because of the value they get from the position making Rodgers a steal by comparison.

  96. dragonfly99 says: Jan 19, 2016 2:23 PM

    It is difficult to spread the defense out when you have only three available wide receivers and you are missing your best receiver Randall Cobb. It would have been difficult for the remaining receivers to beat their man to get open. Plus having to rush the two point conversion when you are missing players in certain packages due to injuries is difficult. If Green Bay would have had the right players in the right packages and had the time to plan and execute a two point try then McCarthy may have attempted it but suggesting McCarthy is on the hot seat for this is ridiculous.

  97. wiscobear says: Jan 19, 2016 3:12 PM

    Now you tell me if Cutler is worth being paid only $1.75 million less than Cutler. That contract kills the Bears, not because of the amount, but because of the value they get from the position making Rodgers a steal by comparison.
    ————
    Yep, Rodgers is better than Cutler, I admit it. But see how your expectations have lowered? Seems like you’re content just being better than the Bears. Well at least half the time they played each other this year anyway.

  98. stellarperformance says: Jan 19, 2016 3:26 PM

    Nobody knows post-season losing like the Vikings. They have the record of twenty-eight post-season losses since the merger in 1970…..which is their preferred reference timeline for success.

  99. hawks52 says: Jan 19, 2016 3:35 PM

    Tough call to go for two in that situation. While I thought it could work, it never occurred to me (or MM) that GB would never see the ball in OT.

    Tougher argument – is Rodgers being wasted by bad management and/or bad coaching? Russell Wilson has been to more Super Bowls than Aaron Rodgers. Either Cam Newton or Carson Palmer will make the same number of Super Bowls. And has been pointed out – the NFC doesn’t exactly have the equivalent of the Patriots.

    He’s got a lot of years left and for we know they could end up going to 3-4 more. But if I were a GB fan, I’d be thinking “just when is this run going to get going?”

    If you set your comparisons low enough (like the rest of the NFCN) then the Packers are doing great. But by any real measurement they are wasting a very talented person at the game’s most important position.

    You do have to wonder if someone like Gruden (who clearly doesn’t want to coach) would be doing better. I suspect so.

  100. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 4:03 PM

    Yep, Rodgers is better than Cutler, I admit it. But see how your expectations have lowered? Seems like you’re content just being better than the Bears. Well at least half the time they played each other this year anyway.
    ————–
    That’s all you got? Really? Of course nobody is content with being better than the Bears. It’s been that way for going on a decade.

    As you well know….when the Packers not only beat the Bears to make the playoffs, but then ended up beating them in the NFCCG at the Soldier Dump. BTW….they went on to actually WIN the Super Bowl that year.

    As a Bears fan, that had to really sting. Most of my friends who are unfortunate enough to be Bears fans went radio silent for like a year.

  101. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 4:09 PM

    Russell Wilson has been to more Super Bowls than Aaron Rodgers.
    ———————-
    And Rodgers has never had the benefit of having the #1 ranked scoring D two years in a row. Big difference.

    When he had the #2 scoring defense, he won the Super Bowl.

    You’ll find out soon enough that a lot of the Hawks success came at a time when they could afford to sign a lot of players because they were paying Wilson peanuts. Now that Wilson’s cap hit climbs from $7 to almost $19 million, you will see the impact when they can’t sign everyone they would prefer to and have to cut guys to stay under the cap. Good luck!

  102. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 19, 2016 4:19 PM

    Hard to believe that the coach who kicked two field goals from inside the one-yard line against Seattle last year wouldn’t have the guts to go for two to win the game.

  103. hawks52 says: Jan 19, 2016 4:22 PM

    “As you well know….when the Packers not only beat the Bears to make the playoffs, but then ended up beating them in the NFCCG at the Soldier Dump. BTW….they went on to actually WIN the Super Bowl that year.”

    And of course that was the only Super Bowl Rodgers was ever in. He needed to beat the Bears twice (supposedly no big deal) to do it.

    “And Rodgers has never had the benefit of having the #1 ranked scoring D two years in a row. Big difference.”

    I think that’s the point. TT won’t spend to improve his team while Rodgers is on the team. Year after year (except for when he had the benefit of playing the Bears twice in a playoff run) there is always some reason he doesn’t get in.

    It’s not Rodgers – he is one of the best ever (no sarcasm). It’s either coaching or management.

  104. stellarperformance says: Jan 19, 2016 4:57 PM

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    Jan 19, 2016 4:19 PM
    Hard to believe that the coach who kicked two field goals from inside the one-yard line against Seattle last year wouldn’t have the guts to go for two to win the game.
    /////////////////////////////////

    I finally agree with you.

  105. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 5:20 PM

    I think that’s the point. TT won’t spend to improve his team while Rodgers is on the team. Year after year (except for when he had the benefit of playing the Bears twice in a playoff run) there is always some reason he doesn’t get in.
    —————–
    Wow. Qualifying everything with “the Bears” makes you look foolish. They were good back then. You should know this first hand after they easily beat your sorry team in the Playoffs. Just because they suck now doesn’t mean they sucked then. Like I said…when your team has to make the tough decisions after having to commit big $$$ to the QB position, you’ll see what I’m talking about. And I say that as a friend of your of someone in the Seahawks front office who wants to see him be successful.

  106. Teddy B's House of Noodles says: Jan 19, 2016 5:23 PM

    Seahawks only Super Bowl win in their history has to be qualified. They only had to beat the Saints, Niners and the Broncos of all teams to actually win the SB.

  107. filthymcnasty3 says: Jan 19, 2016 5:45 PM

    Green Bay has much higher expectations than other teams. It is a heavy burden, but I think McCarthy is up to it.

  108. wiscobear says: Jan 19, 2016 6:20 PM

    “Title Town” is merely “Playoff Town” now. Trust me — unless Aaron & McCarthy can win another SB together next year, every Packer fan will be wanting McCarthy gone. Soon after that Aaron will be looking to greener pastures just as Brett did. Packers fans win a SB as a wild card team and immediately start calling themselves a dynasty. They complain about their receivers who catch Hail Marys every other week. They call other teams lucky and complain about refs, but the Packers win on miracle plays or questionable Dez Bryant non-catches. At least Bears and Hawks fans appreciate when they have something good going. Packers fans are intolerably delusional and ungrateful.

  109. gm19cal says: Jan 19, 2016 6:30 PM

    I sent a reply on this yesterday. I was wondering why none of the writers were talking about this the next morning. Of course he should have gone for the win. You just scored an unbelievable touchdown. If we were shocked how do u think the Cardinals felt. We hit them with a left hook and needed to follow up with a hard right. There would have been no better circumstance to go for 2. They were in disarray and we let our chances fizzle . You have Rodgers as your QB, a hot receiver in Janis and 2 big backs. The offensive line was outstanding. Every situation pointed to a 2 pointer. Sure u may fail but show some guts and faith in ur team to finish it. Additionally u are on the road. To leave ur chances of winning on a coin toss is not the sign of a confident coach. He can say it wasn’t the right option but I say not in hindsight it was the wrong decision. Personally I would have had more respect for him if he chose to go for sudden victory . We were so not even thought of in this game . The moment called for a coach to believe in his team.

  110. h0metownzero says: Jan 19, 2016 6:35 PM

    I like that everyone around the league expects the Packers to win the Super Bowl every year. It’s a complement. It really is.

  111. gm19cal says: Jan 19, 2016 6:42 PM

    I know the one who brought up the 2 field goals instead of touchdown tries from the 1 yard line last year against Seattle might not be a Packer fan as I am but he was right . I thought he should have played to win and not to lose . He had zero guts then also. He makes one of those conversions he scores 7 instead of 6. Would have won in regulation. When u are playing to get in the Super Bowl you better be willing to score 7 and not be satisfied with 3. Go big or stay at home. Both times he was bit in the butt. McCarthy has no balls. I believe those players wanted to win that game at that moment when there was 0:00 on the clock.

  112. ebdug says: Jan 19, 2016 10:57 PM

    No. You don’t go for two, take the tie. You want your opponent to screw up before you do. It’s why golfers elect to let their opponent tee up first in a playoff. The drive may be so bad he can pull out an iron. Don’t put pressure on yourself, make the other guy do it.

  113. sgtcook1959 says: Jan 20, 2016 11:23 AM

    What’s the old saying… at home play for a tie, on the road play for the win. Regardless, the Packers defense had played well for most of 3 quarters. In the forth, they began losing coverage on Larry Fitzgerald and again in overtime. None of that matters though. The Packers had numerous opportunities to end Cardinal drives via the INT, but let the ball hit the turf. The game is 60 minutes, not forty five. When opportunity knocks, you have to capitalize. The team didn’t and it was another bitter loss for the team and its fans. I’m now looking forward to the NFL Draft. It will be interesting to see what Green Bay prioritizes. I have to believe they will pick up a wide receiver to replace Jones, if they don’t keep him. They have to get a physical middle linebacker if they plan to move Clay back outside. They need to think about the offensive line and they can’t be totally sold at TE.

  114. dustyhombre says: Jan 20, 2016 12:14 PM

    Personally, I think going for 2 was the right move, but with the way the OT rules are in the NFL, I can kind of understand. The Packers were undermanned. Their defense had played very well overall, but had been on the field a lot in the 4th quarter. They were getting worn down. I didn’t feel great about our prospects in overtime. But you might win the coin toss and get the ball. If you have a good drive there, take some time off the clock and get some points. The defense could maybe get a break and allow them to make a stop. That’s about the only scenario where I see the Packers winning in OT. You also have to have a play that you feel good about for the 2 point conversion. Cobb was out. It could be that most of their 2 point plays were planned around using him.

  115. bridgeh2o says: Jan 20, 2016 1:51 PM

    Packers lost.

    Their window is shutting, and McCarthy and TT is wasting Rodger’s career away.

    Tough for any packer to see that happen in clear view.

    Please re-sign McCarthy to an extension!!!!!!

  116. conormacleodisloosebutthole says: Jan 21, 2016 4:32 AM

    This Packer fan says given McCarthy’s OT record (1-10) he should consider ALWAYS playing for the win.

  117. Frum Slum says: Jan 21, 2016 9:56 AM

    ebdug says:
    Jan 19, 2016 10:57 PM
    No. You don’t go for two, take the tie. You want your opponent to screw up before you do. It’s why golfers elect to let their opponent tee up first in a playoff. The drive may be so bad he can pull out an iron. Don’t put pressure on yourself, make the other guy do it.
    ——————————————————————————————————————

    You have a loser’s mentality

  118. Frum Slum says: Jan 21, 2016 10:35 AM

    maestro1899 says:
    Jan 19, 2016 10:57 AM
    GB should NOT have gone for 2.

    “…and with the way the Packers offense was moving it, I would’ve bet they would score on their first possession.”
    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    That is exactly why I think they SHOULD have gone for two. If their offense is moving the ball, why wouldn’t they be able to make a 2 yards play?

    Besides, before that, on another play they put it all on the line with a 4th down play deep in their own territory, so what’s the difference?

    The difference is that was a play to simply survive. But a play from the 2 yard line is a play to win. It’s as simple as that. NOT going for 2 is playing not to lose. That works in regular season when teams are vying for a playoff spot. But once you get in the playoffs, you have to play to win. Period.

    Regular season is for regular teams.

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