Mike McCarthy: I’m not questioning my play calling

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Packers coach Mike McCarthy met the media after watching his team go from holding 16-0 and 19-7 leads to losing 28-22 in overtime and he faced questions about his play calling during the scrum.

McCarthy’s calls to kick field goals on two fourth-and-1’s in the first quarter and the team’s cautious offensive approach while they were ahead in the second half were both up for debate. On the field goals, McCarthy said he “frankly” would have liked to have gone for it but “just felt that you had to take points” after what he saw from his offense on second and third down. In general, McCarthy wasn’t rethinking his calls.

“If you want to question my play calling … I’m not questioning it,” McCarthy said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I came in here to run the ball. The one statistic I had has as far as a target to hit was 20 rushing attempts in the second half, I thought that would be a very important target to hit for our offense.”

The most critical series of the game for the offense came after Morgan Burnett intercepted Russell Wilson with five minutes left to play. A first down wouldn’t have iced the game, but it would have raised the probability of a Green Bay win significantly. Three Eddie Lacy runs failed to get 10 yards (the second straight three-and-out for the Green Bay offense), though, and the Packers punted the ball away.

That’s when the Seahawks offense finally caught fire and a game the Packers had firmly in hand slipped through their fingers. McCarthy called it a “hard one to swallow,” something that feels like an understatement given how wrong things wound up going for his team.

114 responses to “Mike McCarthy: I’m not questioning my play calling

  1. You don’t need to because everyone else will do it for you. Absolutely gutless. You don’t win in Seattle against the defending champs by kicking a field goal on 4th and a half-yard. No confidence in his offense or his defense.

  2. Um…

    Well, the rest of the world is Mike.

    4th and inches on the 1 yard line, and you decide to kick a field goal?

    Run it 3 times in a row, when you have one of the best QB’s in the NFL on your side?

    All the conservative playcalling lost you the game.

    Horrible coach.

  3. I thought the Packers were unstoppable?

    And that it was “Better Football for Better people”?

    Good joke, Delusional Packer fans.

    The Green Bay Packers are exactly what everybody thought they were.

    A complete fluke.

    Biggest Choke Job in NFL History.

  4. I’m sorry Mike, but in 40+ years of watching NFL football, that had to be one of the most egregious instances of giving away a gift-wrapped victory.

  5. Maybe he was conservative, but that game plan had the Pack up by 16 at halftime and Wilson looking like Christian Ponder most of the game. Maybe MM deserves grief for conservative play at the beginning and end of the game, but it looked like a pretty good overall game plan to me.

  6. “I came in here to run the ball. The one statistic I had has as far as a target to hit was 20 rushing attempts in the second half, I thought that would be a very important target to hit for our offense.”

    Classic NFL coach. Can you see Belichick coming into a game, “We are going to try to hit 20 rushes in the game!”. No, if the running game works, you keep running. If not, you change your strategy. You don’t just run to run, for the arbitrary number of rushes you deem important.

  7. This game was lost due to failing to make the big easy plays. Clinton Dix drops a sure interception that would have killed a drive in the 4 th quarter. Rogers doesnt catch the onside kick. The 2 point conversion that was not knocked down. This has nothing to do with the play calling. It has to do with not making the plays that were in front of them and unfortunately the Hawks did in the end.

  8. Remember when this fraudulent fat idiot was mouthing off about how “he believed in his heart of hearts the Packers were not underdogs and were going to prove it and whip the Seahawks”?


    Enjoy the offseason, you knuckle-dragging cheesehead bandwagoners. R-E-L-O-L

  9. I don’t have a problem with the 4th down field goals. But the way he went conservative in the fourth with the run plays…..no Bueno. As someone else mentioned, you have Aaron freaking Rodgers. Pass the ball. Do it conservatively maybe, but pass the ball.

  10. Why in the hell did the Packers refuse to take advantage of Richard Sherman’s gimp factor?????

    So many chances. So many blown opportunities.

    Ouch in Packer Land. Major Ouch.

  11. He can’t win either way. Because if Seattle stuffs them on both 4th down attempts he would still get heat.

  12. Nice to know HE’S not. Pretty much everybody else who’s ever watched a football game is, though.

  13. Why did Morgan Burnett go to the ground after his interception with an open field ahead of him and minutes left in the game? SMH

  14. Seriously? Who is questioning him running the ball to burn clock time in a situation where most would have? He had a two score lead when he ran the ball at that time. You take points when you play Seattle as well. You don’t go for it just because Troy Aikmen says you should. Seattle has a defense that can stop a goaline stand. The game changed with the onside kick. Heck, the packers drove right down the field to tie it after that. All McCarthy play calls. Then the secondary went to sleep in overtime. I see nothing wrong with what McCarthy did in offense. Typical over reaction by the packer fans. But go ahead, fire a coach who continually gets you to the playoffs and won a Super Bowl. Morons.

  15. So he’s saying that he would play not to lose all over again if given the chance?

  16. McCarthy: “If you want to question my play calling … I’m not questioning it”… Seriously!?!?!?! What a joke!! My spouse and I were both saying they were going to lose the game when they were still up 16-7. You could see the instant that McCarthy went into “conservative mode” aka lets play not to lose instead of play to win. We’ve watched this joke of a coach for years and we said it would happen even before he did it, and we could tell the instant he changed the mode of play. So maddening that he cannot see how stupid that is. You know darn well that Carroll knew the second he did it as well. And Rogers without without blame either. You could see in his demeanor even before halftime that he was smug and had lost his edge and his concentration because he thought they had it won even then… McCarthy should not even be allowed to board the plane and they should can him immediately!

  17. You are right Mike. The better strategy would be to put a hand over each ear and say the following: “LaLaLaLaLa I’m not listening. LaLaLaLaLa.”

  18. When it was needed, Russell Wilson in true championship fashion, dropped dimes to Baldwin and Kearse to win the game.

    GAME OVER! Stop stealing from Wilson & the Hawks moment by blaming the coach or Boykin. The champs rose to the top. Give them some credit.

  19. LOL. Vike fans jealousy is awesome. It was an awesome game, in the end the Hawks made more plays and deserve their shot at repeating, meanwhile Vikes still suck and their fans are the worst in all of NFL.

  20. I assume McCarthy thought our D was going to play as well in the 2nd half as they did in the first. Didn’t happen and they didn’t adjust. For all the fans of teams that have been out of it for weeks how do you have the gall to come in here talking smack….looking at you poet. We were 3 min from the SB…..what did your team do? Moron.

  21. He played the NFL coaches by the book end of the game tactics and it cost him..In the words of The Grateful Dead

    “Truckin like the Dooda man, once told me you got to play your hand, sometimes the cards ain’t worth a damn if you lay em down.”

  22. I’ll give him some slack because of the loss but Rogers presser after the game was totally classless. Not one mention of the Seahawks fighting back or even a canned response of they played hard. Jerk!

  23. I thought the play calling and time management were impeccable……

    Andy Reid

  24. Couldn’t have happened to a better group of fans eh gerbschmidt firestarter and tokyosandblaster . your decline is on the way its back to the 70s and 80s for this team and their arrogant fans lol .

  25. While I do question the calls, McCarthy is still a great coach who has been a big part of Green Bay’s success. He obviousy knows a whole lot more about football than the fickle second guessers on here

  26. 1:20 left, 3 timeouts & the greatest quarterback in the NFL (according to espn and everyone in Wisconsin), and you play for overtime?? And you wonder why people question your playcalling? Just a guess, but I think Brady, Manning, Brees, or ANY other QB with pair of stones would’ve tried to WIN the game! Sherman was playing on 1 arm & you still couldn’t get it done.

  27. Bad play calling for sure. I’m not talking about the field goals. After the Burnett int he just falls to the ground instead of running it back. There was no one around him. There is still over 5 min left in the game. After that they call three run plays in a row. It was 3rd in 16 and they run it trying to kill time off the clock. There was over 5 min left! Instead of playing to win they were playing to lock the score where it was. It’s all on the coach. That series of plays is what lost it for Green Bay.

  28. The used to be a weekly article on ESPN, and the guy forget his name said if you usually play conservative, you end up loosing Packers choked plain and simple.

  29. I saw the stupid prevent at 3-19 on the first td-drive. The rest was players not making plays that was there to be made (bostic, aj Hawk, ha ha Clinton fix etc. Greenbay played great until 4th quarter – also thanks to a god gameplan.

  30. All you idiots talk crap about Garrett needing help from other coaches Kinda looks like fat MIKE could use a little help. One of the biggest chokes ever.lol gonna be cold winter in Wisconsin burrrrr for the fans the players are smart enough to not live there………enjoy your cheese with your wine…..ing

    Cowboys rule

  31. I don’t have a problem with running the ball with a 2 score lead with 4 minutes left in the game. I didn’t agree with kicking a fg on 4th and inches against the reigning SB team. I also don’t know what Burnett was doing sliding with 20 yds of open field and 4 minutes left in the game and did Dix get confused and forget what he was doing looking into the lights for 20 seconds before the ball game down? Seriously how do you not make a play on that ball.

  32. what a total fail by McCarthy his conservative play calling especially in the last 5 mins cost Green Bay the game and he needs to be held accountable

  33. But but but…Lacy is the best RB ever! But but but…Rodgers is the best QB on one leg! But but but…McCarthy is the coach of the year!!!

    Tell me another lie Packer fans. I can’t think of a more embarrassing loss and way to lose a game in my lifetime.

  34. You may not be questioning your calls, but the Packer nation is. 5 minutes to go in the game and you go conservative. The FG’s in the first half were okay, points on the board, granted a TD would have been better, but if Seattle would have stuffed the offense, a FG is better than nothing.
    But 3 straight running plays did not have a chance to close out the game. Seattle made the adjustments and started to show some life and YOU chose to be conservative. Pathetic coaching. And if you don’t fire Slocum as special teams coach then you have no clue as to how important special teams are to the game.

  35. I’m questioning why tbe GB defender slide down after making tbe last nterception witb over 4 min left . who does that ? Try to get as many yards as possible and put your team in scoring position . That could have sealed it

  36. In the regular season you can play the percentages and kick field goals. In the playoffs you have to go out and win the games. McCarthy pulled a Marty Schottenheimer by not going for it on the 1/2 yard line.

  37. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jan 18, 2015 8:03 PM

    LOL. Vike fans jealousy is awesome. It was an awesome game, in the end the Hawks made more plays and deserve their shot at repeating, meanwhile Vikes still suck and their fans are the worst in all of NFL.

    bridgeh2o says:

    The difference between us Carl is that we call out our coach when it is deserved.

    You have Rodgers on your team.Mr MVP, and you don’t utilize him on 4th and inches, and another 4th and short?

    Then you need ONE first down to nearly ice the game, and your MVP is NOT allowed to throw the ball ONE time??!!!

    Makes no sense.

    But hey dude, if you think he made great decisions today…..awesome!!!!!

    The Green Bay packers are now proud owners of the biggest point choke and loss in NFC Championship history!!!!

    The thing about it is you also had 5 turnovers, AND YOU LOST!!!!!

    Karma sucks Carl…….

    -Viking FANS everywhere

  38. poorcranium2112 crying so hard you have to go after Vikings fans . lmao how low can ya go tool

  39. Jan 18, 2015 9:27 PM
    In many of the games I watched this season where the Pack had the lead and Rodgers, McCarthy and Nelson were laughing and mocking the opposition from the sideline. That was truly classless. They were doing it today to Seattle when they were up 16-0 in the 4th.

    How’s it feel now Rodgers, Nelson, McCarthy?
    Couldn’t happen to a better bunch !

    Thanks Seattle !

    Bear fan

  40. Why were the Packers playing a prevent defense in the third quarter? They rushed three guys on a 3rd and 19 giving Wilson all day to throw a 25 yard completion.

  41. All you hates can say what you want, esp you vikings choke fans. Coaching lost this game. Can’t give up 14 points and possession with 2 minutes left

  42. corvusrex96 says:
    Jan 18, 2015 8:46 PM
    I’m questioning why tbe GB defender slide down after making tbe last nterception witb over 4 min left . who does that ? Try to get as many yards as possible and put your team in scoring position . That could have sealed it.


    Great catch corvusex96…..agree 100 percent. I was saying the same thing. That play cost the Pack a Superbowl berth, not Bostic missing the on side kick. If he doesn’t slide, Bostic is moot.

  43. Scared Mike McCarthy does it again. He nearly cost the Packers the SB against Pittsburgh with his gutless and conservative play calling. I’m sorry but when you have a big back like Lacy and it’s 4th down at the half yard line and you settle for a FG you are basically saying you have no faith in your team. Well deserved loss for Green Bay for continuing to employ Scared Mike.

  44. Straight up McCarthy the fans are questioning your lax play calling. Too many years of the same wimpy play calls gets you the same results. I believe Both McCarthy and that old defensive scheme caller Capers should be gone. For sure Capers and at least a warning for McCarthy. 16-0 lead and to just lay down in the 4th and celibate on the sidelines while your fans watch in disbelief and horror is enough for me 2 years in a row.

  45. I’m sure the majority of cheesebay “novelty stock owners” challenge McCarthy’s play calling.
    Although, calling for his head is ridiculous. Please keep him. We all need a good laugh once in a while.

  46. 4th down calls tell you everything you need to know about Eddie Lacy. McCarthy sees him in practice everyday, though he’s likely busy daydreaming about having Le’Veon.

  47. Some of you hate the GB coach. They had a great game plan. The problem in the end, was that the Hawks never stop and they also did not commit turnovers like they did in the first half. Hawks made a few play changes and it was all over. GB is a very good team, but they did not finish the game and the Hawks always say….it is how you finish! Good luck and see GB next year! Go Hawks!

  48. From this day forward, McCarthy will never be given the benefit of the doubt, and the clock is ticking on his future in Green Bay. One word describes this loss: INEXCUSABLE.

    — A Packers Shareholder and Season Ticket Holder

  49. The NFC turned out how it should have – the Seahawks were the best team. And the Packers were the second best team … a very good team, just not as good as the Seahawks. They went into the playoffs 1 and 2 and that’s how they finished. Not a surprising result at all. It’s just math.

  50. seahawkgary ..GB gave the game away. If not for not not catching that on side kick and giving Seattle that TD pass it would have been a much different outcome. Oh and btw, Seattle turned the ball over at least 4 times so there goes that theory.

  51. McCarthy lost me when he made the team return from the locker room for the final seconds after the infamous ‘Fail Mary’.
    Read between the lines of Aaron’s post-game comments. He’s finally had it with MM, too. But, it’s Wisconsin…too nice…make a success one time and they love you forever.

  52. Seriously, to everyone who keeps calling the packers “choke” artists (I’m guessing probably viking fans) just remember which team made it to the NFC Championship game and which team is sitting at home doing nothing. Definitely have no room to call them anything except a better team then your team.

  53. In the first half, so there goes that comment! Hawks took control and it took 5 minutes to win the game. Giving, giving? The Hawks scored it and that is fact. Hawks earned their points. GB scored off of Hawk errors. You need to watch the game again. Hawks turnovers in their end of the field GAVE GB 10 points. back to my point, Seattle in the 2nd half made changes. So, read again and watch the game again!

  54. this ditch pickle is just dumb of course you wouldn’t second guess your self thats what everyone else will be doing but you blew it and the only thing that would have been better is well think of something bad about the packers then know i will say something 10 times worse

  55. Lots of missed plays could have turned the game. But on two 4th and one’s, McCarthy settles for field goals. On a fourth and 10, Carroll has the balls to go for it on a fake field goal. Scared money don’t make none. That gutsy play started Seattle’s momentum all the way to the Super Bowl.

  56. “If you want to question my play calling … I’m not questioning it,” McCarthy said

    You’re the only one……

    It’s clear if he didn’t have Aaron Rodgers he’d be Norv Turner…….at best.

  57. But I bet more than half of you gave up on the Seahawks way to early, so don’t pretend your a real fan.

  58. My God, you Packer fans just HAVE to put the blame on someone!
    It is either the Refs , OR
    the other Team Cheated, OR
    The Coach…
    Have you ever thought the Players let down?
    They thought they had it won, The Seahawks Played for the full Game+

  59. Right, what happens is that when you hit your 20th rush in a half, you are awarded 5 points, so it’s a great way to pad your lead if you have the courage to go for it. Very smart approach from Mike McCarthy, you want to get those 5 points for 20 rushes.

    Look the game was over when: that idiot Morgan Burnett slid with about 8-10 yards of open field in front of him. It meant that GB thought there was 1 minute left on the clock instead of 5 minutes and that Seattle would have an uncontested opportunity to score at will for 5 minutes. That is probably the stupidest play of the season. Anyone can botch coverage on a fake punt or onside kick. But it takes a special amount of stupid as a defensive player to do a QB slide when you play at a position that prizes the pick 6 as the greatest fulfillment of defensive ambition.

  60. Well McCarthy may not be questioning his stupid play calling, but everyone else in the football world sure is. They GAVE Seattle this game by playing so conservatively, and at the end so STUPIDLY! And what’s up with that early slide after the interception? This team should be called the Green Back Lackers for the frightened way they played the last quarter! No other coach in the world would have been this conservative, going for field goals instead of TD’s in the CHAMPIONSHIP GAME? Gutless! They deserved to lose, and did, because of McCarthy’s moronic play calling!

  61. So ya go for it on 4th and 1 and don’t make it; come away with 0 points. Is that better? If they had won the game, then people would say he was right to take the field goals. What they needed was better goal line offense so they don’t run into that kind of decision. Eliminate the errors and they win the game.

    Errors doomed them; you have to play error free football in big games. That is what doomed them.

  62. What should have been first and goal at the five turned out to be taunting (STUPIDITY) ball on the twenty. Should have scored touchdown but had to settle for a field goal due to stupidity. A 4 point difference, due the math this is what caused the Packers to loose the game. I guess players will never learn you are going to be penalized for taunting. Stupidity, you just can not fix it, I said that penalty would come back and haunt the Packers. Guess what it did, and it cost them a trip to the Supper Bowl. When you have players who continue to act that way, you deserve to loose.

  63. McCarthy’s play calling for the most part was quite good.

    There’s little rational reason he should be questioning it.

  64. Nice one thepftpoet!

    It’s too bad that your statement is marred by the fact that the ‘Skol’ Vikings have had a long history of choking in the playoffs.

    Why don’t you do yourself a favor and take a trip to Lambeau to see what 4 Super Bowl trophies look like? I know that your trophy case is a little lacking.

  65. 2 things. Ball to the face onside kick lol & sliding after a pick with 5 minutes left.

    Anyone watch Revis trying to pick-6 in the process of a total blowout? let alone sliding down with a marginal lead?

  66. Very Jim Caldwell-ian. Seems like the Packers’ season-long lack of success in short yardage (especially on the goal line) led him to lose his nerve.

    There are no guarantees, MM; you have to show some guts late in playoff games and lean on your strengths.

  67. Mike McCarthy can now take his seat with the hundreds of other mediocre coaches who can’t see past their own arrogance. 2011 was a SB victory ONLY because Mac didn’t know what he was doing and his control freakishness was not able to keep great players from making unscripted great plays. The prime of A-rod and Clay wasted in pursuit of managed losses instead of full out fearless victory.

  68. McCarthy will never become a better coach if he doesn’t admit when he is wrong. Otherwise he is the sole definition of the word insanity.

  69. We have had the Music City Miracle,
    Immaculate Reception, Ice Bowl.
    Now we have the: Drum Roll Please…..Ready?….
    The Great, “Green Bay Giveaway”
    There was even a PFT post on here with the Title Green Bay Going to the Super Bowl!
    You talk about ultimate high, then low in a span of about 15 minutes!!!
    How can you NOT put the Hands team on the field on an obvious Onside Kick!, Run the ball conservative
    plays that weren’t even executed or Blocked properly
    3 freeking plays in a row!!!!!
    Then not Blitz on the last play!!!!!
    Don’t EVEN Troll on Vikings Stories ever again about choking……

  70. Total team collapse that starts from the very top.

    God awful playcalling and game management.
    Offense wasting multiple chances.
    Epic special teams blunders.
    Meltdown on defense.

  71. The Green Bay Packers will never recover under McCarthy, he would have to Fired Slocum at the very least, fire Capers for letting Seahawks get a first down on third and nineteen as a principal, trade or release Bocstick, there must be consequences for failure and rewards for success. Quarles (tight end) traded or released, unreliable. McCarthy must apologize to his team for play calling and failure to make adjustments as needed, otherwise players see this stubborness as a weakness. PLAYERS ARE A REFLECTION OF THEIR COACHES!

  72. McCarthy should be fired. He is the most overrated coach in the NFL. He showed how much of a play calling genius he is the last two seasons with Rodgers and Nelson out. Not a single in-game adjustment, can’t manage the clock, and same lame defensive mistakes. 2 HOF QB’s have saved this bum. I could win games with Favre and Rodgers. Outcoached everytime the Packers play a winning team. Thompson should be out too. 25 defensive draft picks not a single big play maker outside Matthews. Do White and Woodson ring a bell sign a free agent win a Super bowl. Yet he does nothing. Sam Shields his big signing a modern day Terrell Buckley. Sean Payton or Jon Gruden would’ve won at least 3 SB’s with Rodgers.

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