McCarthy further explains his decision to not let the Bears score

Packers coach Mike McCarthy has faced intense scrutiny for his decision not to allow the Bears to score a touchdown late in Monday night’s loss at Soldier Field.

McCarthy didn’t help himself by initially explaining that he didn’t let the Bears score because he thought Bears kicker Robbie Gould would miss a 19-yard field goal.

McCarthy elaborated on the situation during a Thursday afternoon interview with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of The Sirius Blitz on Sirius NFL Radio.

“It was definitely an option,” McCarthy said.  “You have two options there and we chose to play defense.  And I understand when you make decisions in key situations in games and it doesn’t work out in your favor you are judged accordingly.   But you have two options in that particular situation and we chose to play defense.”

Gannon then offered up what would have been a much better explanation from McCarthy.  “Just for your information,” Gannon said, “Coach Madden was on your side.  He talked about it.  He said everything in your fabric, in your DNA as a coach, tells you to go out and stop them, not let them score.”

“Well, no question,” McCarthy said, “but I do understand the percentages of your other option, in particular with Aaron Rodgers and our offense. It’s definitely something that you have to consider. . . .  If you go back and look at the whole time frame it really falls right in that area.  Two timeouts, after the pass interference, and then they take the ball down to the I guess it was the one or two yard line, you make a decision there I think you’d have been close to almost between 50 seconds to a minute left.  We were definitely in the time range as far as making that decision.”

So why wasn’t the decision made?  Part of the problem is that, when the events are unfolding in real time, coaches don’t always think as clearly as they otherwise could or should.  Fear of criticism also can be a significant factor.

And we keep coming back to Madden’s rationale for not allowing the other team to score.  It cuts against the grain of everything every player or coach ever learns.  Even when it’s the right thing to do, there’s still something about it that seems wrong.

But not nearly as wrong as suggesting with a straight face a coach believes a reliable kicker would miss a 19-yard field goal.

63 responses to “McCarthy further explains his decision to not let the Bears score

  1. Belichick took a safety to get the ball in better field position to come back and win a game in Denver.
    But he did the same stupid thing McCarthy did in the against the Colts last year in the “4th and 2” game. Although there it was worse because the Colts were hardly being slowed down by the Patriots, whereas the Bears could just have easily fumbled the ball as scored.

  2. The real mistake was challenging the fumble. If he hadn’t, he would have had an extra timeout and he could have made them kick and get the ball back with some time. It was pretty clear on reply right away the ball stayed in bounds. Bad challenge and then he compounded the problem.

  3. Given the momentum of the game at the time it would have been foolish to assume the Bears defense would have allowed Rodgers to streak up the field again. The defense just caused a turnover, and allowing the offense to score a TD would have given all the momentum to the Bears. You don’t dare a highly motivated defense, at home, at the end of the game, to lose the game, especially when they just did their job getting the turnover.

  4. As I was watching this game, I said the Bears should have taken a couple QB kneels then kicked the FG- just to be sure GB didn’t get the ball back.

  5. I prefer his initial statement when he said “We talked about it, but we didn’t consider it.” Do you know what “consider” means Coach McCarthy? Talking about something would mean you considered it, even if you decided against it.

  6. The Packers are just who we thought they were… complete frauds. The Vikings are gonna wallop these idiots two more times this year!

  7. He made the wrong decision. End of story.
    He made a terrible challenge (which he’s done before) and then didn’t take advantage of the Bears’ stupidity.
    If I were a Packer fan I would have been infuriated.

  8. The defense had a chance to force a turnover. The special teams unit had a chance to block the FG. In 59 minutes of football GB had scored 2 TDs. Hindsight is always 20/20. The media would have killed him if he let them score. He couldn’t have won either way. This is coming from a Bears fan.

  9. why not prepare for your next game there slick instead of talking about how you blew the last one

  10. To his defence, if he had let them score and you still lost you’d still be saying “Why did you let him score? We could of blocked it!”.

  11. # Love_Boat_Scandal says: September 30, 2010 7:55 PM
    Florio–the dead horse just called. He said you can stop beating it now.
    ——————————
    mike loves beating it.

  12. Even if McCarthy thought he would miss such a short field goal, he should have let them score. There is an equal chance the kicker would miss the extra point, which would have given the Packers 50 seconds with a shot to win the game rather than overtime if it were a missed field goal.

  13. I wish they would just fire this idiot. Maybe someone can explain the challenge system to him and he wouldn’t have burned a TO and Rodgers still would have had 50 seconds.
    Fire this clown.

  14. The bigger issue for McCarthy is that he is starting to seem incapable of getting a team- no matter how talented- mentally prepared for big games.

  15. @Dial a cliche
    Wow, ur f**kn delusional. At this point your quarterback is in Pampers. Your coach sucks a**. Your o line and d line or in d cline. You picked up Mr. Kendra Wilkinson to help your useless recieving core and you think your gonna sweep us…That is too f**kn funny man. Good luck with Wett Fart the Graybeard and the rest of the degenerates on ur piss poor excuse for a football team. U horn blowin jackoff!

  16. The bigger question is why the heck did Lovie not take a knee and run the clock down for the FG. Instead, he handed off and didn’t score. Could have been a fumble, or a TD and Rogers gets it back.

  17. Love Boat Scandal – so classic & so true! That horse looks like Joe Pesci & his brother in the cornfield in Casino.

  18. I will agree with most saying the bigger issue is why did he challenge it when the ball clearly didnt go out of bonds from James Jones. He threw hte flag after they played the replayand it was blatantly obvious it was in bounds.
    Like osme have mentioned Bill Belichick did the same thing last year….and is anyone going to say there is a better football coach than this guy?
    MM messed up….The pack will have to live with him this year and he’ll have to improve….or he’ll hopefully be down the road if he doesnt adjust…
    Stay Classy MN…..LMFAO

  19. He didn’t want to see his team bumble and fumble again. Every drive GB took all game was long drives, the long ball wasn’t there for them and he knew he’d be crucified for letting the Bears walk in and have his offense tuen the ball over again.

  20. jibbers34:
    Pardon me if I’m missing something, but Da Bearz DID score, right??? Worse (depending on your vantage point), Da Bearz scored with no time left on the clock.
    I think a guy would be hard-pressed to find a defense in this league that could have completely shut down an ensuing Green Bay drive, had they put themselves in that position.
    The worst aspect of the final few minutes was the challenge, obviously. Without it, Green Bay would have gotten the ball back and then you ponder how the Bears would chosen to kick off – squib kick it ensuring Green Bay taking over at the 40, where they’d need only 30 yards for a tying field goal? Take their chances against a decent Green Bay kickoff return unit?
    One thing is certain: Big Mac flubbed it. He’s got enough experience under that belt at this point where we shouldn’t be witnessing rookie mistakes.

  21. My take is…if GB hadn’t given away the game with so many ‘penalties’ there would never have been a need to allow or not allow the Bears to score. Bottom line, GB has a good team on both sides of the ball but the same thing is happening this year as last….. their defense lacks discipline… that issue must be corrected or the result will be the same, an unnecessary loss.

  22. “Even when it’s the right thing to do, there’s still something about it that seems wrong.”
    *******************************************
    18 penalties is what was “wrong” with the Packers. What a horseshit excuse for a professional football team! If they’re supposed to be the class of the NFC north, then I’m the f**kn tooth fairy! GO BEARS!

  23. BringinTheWood!Son says:
    @Dial a cliche
    Wow, ur f**kn delusional. At this point your quarterback is in Pampers. Your coach sucks a**. Your o line and d line or in d cline. You picked up Mr. Kendra Wilkinson to help your useless recieving core and you think your gonna sweep us…That is too f**kn funny man. Good luck with Wett Fart the Graybeard and the rest of the degenerates on ur piss poor excuse for a football team. U horn blowin jackoff!
    ________
    Yeeee hawww, the trailer was a rockin’ last Monday night and you were abusing your blow-up sheep. While you were in a rage, we we’re laughing at the Packer game plan; penalty … penalty ….penalty … penalty ….penalty … penalty ….penalty … penalty ….penalty … penalty… penalty…….penalty … penalty ….penalty … penalty ….penalty … penalty ….penalty … penalty ….penalty … penalty…
    Freakin’ brilliant! Kept waitin’ for Tauscher to be replaced by the Beached Beluga Bust, but why humiliate the kid.
    You think anybody fears the Packers after that debacles? Keep dreamin’ Jethro, you were spoutin’ off last year too and what happened…? That’s right Pack-tard, the fraudulent Packers got SWEPT! You know, bitch slapped TWICE -as in lost both games – 2 losses to Brett Favre while the nation tuned in and LAUGHED!
    Thankfully the laughs won’t be ending soon because Comedy Central is planning a comedy roast of the hottest comedy troup in America, the Green Packer running backs hosted by America’s favorite dolt Mike “challengend” McCarthy… I hear the first one on the mic is going to be Pervy…
    Get ready to laugh, jizz breath!

  24. # superb owl says: September 30, 2010 9:27 PM
    reverse of holmgren decision in sb vs denver
    if it works, was the right call. if not, not.
    _________________________________
    I disagree. The right call is the right call. A coach should make the decision that gives his team the best odds of winning. The league wide odds of missing a fg from that range is about 4%. League wide average for scoring on a last minute drive is around 10%. To make matters worse, Gould is 39 of 39 on fg kicks of 30 yards or less, meaning the odds of him missing are actually lower than the average of 4%. Also, the Packers have an explosive offense, meaning that their odds of scoring are probably better than 10%. Yes, the Bears defense had done pretty well before that, but if you remember the Pats-Giants SB, the defenses dominated that game, up until late in the 4th quarter when there were back to back TD drives. Letting the Bears score was clearly the best option. Then again, the Bears messed up big time by not taking a knee. Everything worked out fine in the end, but it was still an unnecessary risk. So, even though running plays instead of taking a knee worked out in the end, it was the wrong decision. Besides, it’s not like it put them in any better position.

  25. What else can one expect from a Packer coach or Packer fan?They are not the brightest bulb on the tree.This is what happens when the Packers play a team that has all it’s starters or at least most of em,THEY LOSE!!!!.The Packers can only win when the team they play has major starters out otherwise they are no better then most high school teams.
    It must really suck to live in the past when they have nothing to look forward to in the present or future.

  26. And if he had let them score and the Packers couldn’t have marched down the field and scored, then you’d be saying, “why did he let them score?” Can’t we just let it rest now and if it happens again, let them score and see what happens. Enough already.

  27. Just like a Bears fan to be delusional. There was only one defense on the field Monday night and it wasn’t Da Bears. Da Bears’ offense had to rely on almost 160 yards of penalties, about 60 yards shy of their ENTIRE offensive output in order to even BE in that game. Not mention, that vaunted Bears defense never once stopped the Packers all night long. It was the Packers who stopped the Packers. Da Bears defense forces one turnover, oh yeah, they got the pick at the end of the half on a hail mary, of which, had the refs been calling the game fair, could have applied the same rules for pass interference as they had all game long on the Packers and called PI on that play. If it weren’t for 18 penalties, special teams, and MULTIPLE, yes MULTIPLE dropped or INTs taken away by penalty, plus at least one TD taken away because of penalty, Da Bears would have been BLOWN OUT! Let’s see if Da Bears are even still in it come last game of the year when they travel to Lambeau. Brrrr… Better yet. Will Lovie still have a job??

  28. Wow, Dial-A-Cliche is talking a lot of trash for a fan of a team that’s 1-2 – that goes for you too, packerhater28. I’d turn that critical eye inward if I were you, and look at the huge problems your own team has.
    Like I said yesterday, I don’t see why you guys are so excited about the rise of the Bears – all that means for you is that the Vikings are now the third-best team in the NFC North rather than the second-best.

  29. To me it looked like the Bears wern’t really trying to score. The running back looked like he went down on first contact the last two times he had the ball. Taking a knee would have been safer!

  30. packerhater28 says:
    September 30, 2010 10:18 PM
    What else can one expect from a Packer coach or Packer fan?They are not the brightest bulb on the tree.This is what happens when the Packers play a team that has all it’s starters or at least most of em,THEY LOSE!!!!.The Packers can only win when the team they play has major starters out otherwise they are no better then most high school teams.
    It must really suck to live in the past when they have nothing to look forward to in the present or future.
    _____________
    Wow…pure brilliance here…you make vike fans look bad…..yes i just said that….

  31. Dial-A-Cliche, you are a complete joke…do the rest of us a favor and quit wasting space on here so we can read the very few posts on here that actually have some football knowledge and fact behind them.

  32. Yeah…Madden would have picked to play defense…..in the video game. Get a life McCarthy. Douche.
    DA BEARS!!!!!!!!

  33. Just like a delusional Packers fan to talk down to a Bears fan as delusional when their precious p*ss and puke colored d**chebags just got beat. Coulda, shoulda, woulda my friend. The end result is a Bears victory and a Packers loss. The specifics and statistics mean nothing at the end of the day. All that matters right now is that the Bears are undefeated and the Packers well…aren’t. Eat sh*t buddy!

  34. 1mge says:
    September 30, 2010 8:18 PM
    Vikings are 1-2
    Hilarious.
    Bringinthewood!son-
    You sort of stole by vikings blown horn bit.

  35. Dude it is now October first they people are still talkin about this…that game is over move on the packers need to focus on beating the lions and The bears need to focus on beating the giants this sunday night….its pretty funny Mccarthy is still dwelling on this

  36. Holmgren did it in the SB and I lost all respect for him. Im critical of some of MM’s moves but not this one. This is football, not baseball.

  37. Not a McCarthy fan but he’s right when he says “you make decisions in key situations in games and it doesn’t work out in your favor you are judged accordingly.”. Analysts and fans are great strategists after the fact. If the Packers had blocked the kick we’d be talking about what a great move it was for having such confidence for his special teams. Just like if the Pats had gotten the first down against the Colts on 4th and 2, it would’ve been a brilliant call by Belichick.
    In the end the Bears won their Super Bowl. Everyone knows they’ll be watching the playoffs from their couches.

  38. It is NEVER the right move to let the other team score…EVER. In the Super Bowl the APck did it and lost.
    Against Dallas, Washington played Defense in a game they Clearly should have lost, and guess what? Troy Vincent blocked the only kick of his high school, college, and pro career, Sean Taylor goes the other way, then gets a facemask, Washington wins…..
    I have never seen a team allow an intentional score and then win..name an instance for me, please????

  39. What a joke. McCarthy is a principled guy. Stop’em is principled football.
    So he gets diced up by the New Age football generation who have no principles.
    Just what are the odds of blocking the kick against scoring a td from your own 20 with less than a minute geniuses?

  40. The Packers were obviously terrified of Julius Peppers so they held him on 30+ plays which lead to all of those penalties. The guy that they were afraid would beat them did.

  41. If he lets the other guys score, his defense knows the coach quit on them.
    It’s not in the team’s DNA.
    Just a game. They’ll use this as a motivator to get better on defense.

  42. If a team is willing to lie down and give up on their defense and special teams in the hopes the offense can rush in to save the day, they simply don’t deserve to win the game.
    I agree McCarthy is a bit of a melonhead when it comes to challenges, but I give him credit for having faith in his defense to be able to do it’s job. In football, you take points when you can get them and you try your best to prevent the opponent from scoring every time without exception. Anything else is in direct opposition to why you are playing the game in the first place!

  43. Who says that the Bears would have tried to score a TD if the Packers would have let them? Everyone is assuming that they would have ran the ball in untouched versus flopping at the one and downing the ball. The Bears coaches are just as aware as the Green Bay staff that Rodgers could have led the Packers right back down the field for a tying TD if given enough time.

  44. The real problem was the penaltys and lack of running game what put too much pressure on the OL. How in hell you dress only two running backs for a game like this? I played football on the DL and I loved when all i had to do was to rush the QB. Back to the running game, we dressed a fullback as a running back!?!? Lol… Is it me or branden Jackson Should be playing in th UFL?!?! The packers don’t miss much but we missed on RB Branden Jackson and DT Justin harrel. TRADE FOR A REAL RB PLEASE BECAUSE JACKSON AND KHON IS JUST NOT CUTTING IT!!!!!

  45. the pckers probly would’ve lost either way, it was the challenge that screwed them tho. it seemed like mcfatboy was drunk tho.

  46. PackAttack says:
    October 1, 2010 9:18 AM
    Who says that the Bears would have tried to score a TD if the Packers would have let them? Everyone is assuming that they would have ran the ball in untouched versus flopping at the one and downing the ball. The Bears coaches are just as aware as the Green Bay staff that Rodgers could have led the Packers right back down the field for a tying TD if given enough time.
    ————
    Sure, sure. Now go back and look at the way Forte was running that ball and you tell me he could’ve stopped if he even wanted to. There’s no doubt they were trying to score. If your plan is to run out the clock, you don’t run headlong into a throng of players trying to strip the ball from you. Unnecessary risks. The Bears wanted to score, and McCarthy was too stupid to let them do it quickly.

  47. ChicagoJo says:
    October 1, 2010 9:13 AM
    Packers > Vikings
    Get over it
    ————-
    Let me fix that for you….there you go
    Packers

  48. Hauschild
    Yes, the bears DID score. But going into it i’m sure McCarthy was expecting his defense or special teams to make a play.
    Yes, everyone respects the GB offense. It is great. If you watched the game their drives were long with tons of short passes. The bears tackled well and didn’t allow big gainers. Depending on field position GB would have had to go 65-75 yards in 50 or so seconds. . . dinking and dunking with no timeouts. Peppers was dominating the packers’ Oline. I serously doubt GB would have scored a TD in 50 seconds unless they got a very good return on the kickoff.
    i still contend that hindsight is 20/20. The only way he is celebrated the next day is if they find a way to get to OT. Either way the media is killing him if they don’t. . .and odds say they wouldn’t have either way.

  49. Contra says:
    ChicagoJo says:
    Packers > Vikings
    Get over it
    ————-
    Let me fix that for you….there you go
    Packers
    Try not to get swept again this year.
    Hahahaha, fix what? What does your post even mean?
    I’m a Bears fan, it’s no longer possible to be swept by the Pack and the Vikings did not sweep the Bears last year. Check yo facts.
    I have equal reason to dislike both teams, but the Packers are just better. Better defense better offense. much better coach. get over it… please?

  50. ChicagoJo says:
    October 1, 2010 1:14 PM
    Contra says:
    ChicagoJo says:
    Packers > Vikings
    Get over it
    ————-
    Let me fix that for you….there you go
    Packers
    Try not to get swept again this year.
    Hahahaha, fix what? What does your post even mean?
    I’m a Bears fan, it’s no longer possible to be swept by the Pack and the Vikings did not sweep the Bears last year. Check yo facts.
    I have equal reason to dislike both teams, but the Packers are just better. Better defense better offense. much better coach. get over it… please?
    ———
    Hmm…my post didnt include what I want to put on. Here is what I meant :
    Packers

  51. DSC says:
    Dial-A-Cliche, you are a complete joke…do the rest of us a favor and quit wasting space on here so we can read the very few posts on here that actually have some football knowledge and fact behind them.
    _____________
    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, you don’t like the situation in Toilet Town? Guess what, you better get used to it. Your team sucks and is in serious trouble. Can you smell it, taste it and feel it – the wheels are coming off.
    Think the Lions are the solution to your problems? You’ll be lucky if Suh and the Lions don’t rip Rodgers’ head off. Clifton and Tauscher are old, broken down plow horses who can’t block and your 1st round draft pick Beluga is a bust.
    Let’s talk about the Packer running game… oh wait, holy crap, the Packers don’t even have a running game! Guess you’ll have to out-coach other teams bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… good luck, you’ll need a lot more challenges !
    For months you idiots have been talkin’ Superbowl because of Rice and Harvin’s health issues. And I have to admit, it has been amusing, Packer idiots admitting the fear they have for Favre when he has those two players.
    Now it’s your turn…
    Superbowl talk disappears and real palpable fear replaces it. NO RUNNING GAME means the Packers are going to get swept not only by the Vikings (again this year) but also by the Bears. After the Lions beat the Packers this weekend the floodgates will open and we’ll all be knee deep in your excuses.
    Can’t wait for Brett to school the Packers twice again this year – gonna be more fun than a Minnetonka boat cruise.

  52. McCarthy need to explains why we can’t get a real running back and cut Jackson.
    Go pack go!!!

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