Mike McCarthy on the hot seat after punting away Packers’ last chance

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Packers head coach Mike McCarthy’s job security has been a story all season, but the final chapter may have begun with Thursday night’s loss in Seattle.

Specifically, McCarthy’s decision to punt on fourth-and-2 with the Packers trailing 27-24 with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter is being heavily scrutinized after the Seahawks ran out the clock from there and won the game. Although McCarthy said after the game that he “played the numbers” when he decided to punt, it’s hard to imagine what numbers he was thinking of. Anyone with a passing understanding of analytics would say he should have gone for it.

The Packers were down to one timeout at the time, and McCarthy blowing his timeouts early in the game has been a longstanding issue. Perhaps if the Packers still had all three timeouts, punting would have been more justifiable. But with one timeout, the decision was inexcusable.

McCarthy acknowledged that it was a game the 4-5-1 Packers needed.

“I think it’s obvious. We have five losses and we have not won on the road yet,” McCarthy said.

This may have been the loss that sealed McCarthy’s fate.

105 responses to “Mike McCarthy on the hot seat after punting away Packers’ last chance

  1. Maybe Rodgers shouldn’t miss an open receiver on 3rd down? But here come the excuses to put the lose on anyone other than discount double choke.

  2. McCarthy will be gone and rightfully so, but Rodgers needs to adapt and start taking the checkdowns and short stuff where his playmakers have space to make plays. No point in bringing in a new offensive mind if he’s going to keep looking for the homerun ball every time. Take what they give you, but I guess that doesn’t look pretty on paper.

  3. Rodgers threw the ball into the ground on the play before when he had a wide open receiver in the flat for a first down. Rodgers had been doing that all season and I think he is doing it on purpose to get McCarthy fired. Rodgers doesn’t like McCarthy and figures throwing the season will get him fired. Rodgers still gets his stats, but he is willing to lose if that is what it takes to get his way. Maybe Rodgers has something worked into his deal where he gets to.pick the next head coach or something. I know one thing. Rodgers doesn’t miss that throw and a half a dozen others he has missed this season in critical situations. Blame McCarthy all we want. He can’t throw an easy, wide.open pass for a first down on a drive that should lead to at least a tie.

  4. Burning through timeouts, not challenging a dropped pass, not going for it on 4th and 2… coaches need to put their teams in a position to win. McCarthy didn’t last night.

  5. Hey, don’t forget his terrible misuse of timeouts, and only challenging calls that are clearly not going his way, while not challenging calls that would clearly go his way. Also his offense that’s stuck 10 years in the past. McCarthy’s seat should have been warm for years.

  6. The fourth down decision is bad, but the whole team is bad, receivers who run their routes and then stand around, also do not block when they should be. Poorly designed offense with receivers who don’t know how to run routes. Defense that has maybe 8 players worth keeping.

    That was just hard to watch, I had hope at first, then the forty yard run and all that went through my mind is “Well that didn’t last long. Couldn’t understand why Mathews is on the field for any play where a running play may occurs. He has on trick, rush the passer and he is not very good at that.

    There are some bright spots for next year. Gilbert and Fackerell would make a nice pair of ends in a 4-3. There is Daniels, Clark, Lowry, and Alexander. The rest should be looking for jobs next year. I include Martinez in that group, yes he makes a lot of tackles after a four yard gain. He does not fill holes at the line of scrimmage and he is just awful in pass coverage. Look at the last TD scored by Seattle, that was on him. He has the same problem al GB linebackers have, small and slow.

  7. PFT demands this sacrifice for the gods to protect the health of it’s goat. It’s all McCarthy’s fault that the world doesn’t accept Rodgers is the undisputed GOAT. Despite the fact that McCarthy’s total W-L record of .627 (.618 inc playoffs) is better than some top coaches Andy Reid, Pete Carroll and Sean Payton, and past greats like Bill Cowher, Tom Coughlin, Bill Parcells. And he does have one ring. But oh he’s terrible because he’s the reason why Aaron isn’t already universally seen as the GOAT. The season isn’t going great so now’s the chance to sacrifice coach now.

  8. Here is what I don’t get. Rodgers was throwing the ball to Adams all night ignoring the other WRs. The two rookies were barely targeted, but with the game on the line you try to go to the rookie? Is that on McCarthy or on Rodgers?

  9. “Specifically, McCarthy’s decision to punt on fourth-and-2 with the Packers trailing 27-24 with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter is being heavily scrutinized after the Seahawks ran out the clock from there and won the game.”

    McCarthy had just witnessed Rodgers bouncing a two yard pass a yard short of his receiver on 3rd and 2.

    What would make a coach have confidence in a QB that can’t throw a 2 yard pass in the air?

  10. “With Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady or Drew Brees at QB you almost always go for it.”

    With Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethliberger, Patrick Mahome, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Russel Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Phillip Rivers, Drew Brees, or maybe even Joe Flacco at QB you almost always go for it.

    Fixed that for you.

  11. “Anyone with a passing understanding of analytics would say he should have gone for it.”

    There were over 4 minutes left in the game. If Rodgers throws another clunker (very possible), It’s first and goal at the Packers 33 (or worse).

    If that happens, Seattle most likely scores another TD and the Packers are down two scores.

    McCarthy was hoping to get gifted another TD with a Seahawk fumble by punting – but the ball went into the endzone (“awesome” 67 yard punt – but a 60 yard punt would have been better) and so the punt returner didn’t even have to touch the ball.

  12. Well, I’m certainly disappointed. Not so much because they lost, but because they’re just not as good as I thought they were. I really felt they were coming together and ready to leave their mark. They had chances, but they were never in control. They aren’t mathematically eliminated yet so there’s still reason to pay attention, but…….McCarthy has got to go. Got to. He’s out-coached every……single…….game. Enough is enough. Keep Pettine. Move on. The sooner the better.

  13. shlort says:
    November 16, 2018 at 6:23 am
    Rodgers threw the ball into the ground on the play before when he had a wide open receiver in the flat for a first down. Rodgers had been doing that all season and I think he is doing it on purpose to get McCarthy

    ——

    How exactly do you know this? Have you sat down and had a conversation with Aaron about his feelings for McCarthy?

  14. McCarthy’s coaching like he wants to get fired. He’s done after this year and he knows it. I think now he wants fired before the end of the season so he can pursue the Cleveland job.

  15. The time has come to move on to a different HC. He’s a good guy, but the whole thing has gone stale. He has had a long run, but all runs come to an end. Time to move on and try and get another title with Rodgers.

  16. McCarthy is a great coach that has won a Super Bowl. People need to cut him a lot of slack. Its not his fault some guys got hurt or that Rodgers missed that 3rd down pass.

  17. McCarthy has ALWAYS played to not lose- never plays to win!

    This is a reoccurring issue with him, he’s not aggressive at all. Never goes for the kill.

    Pretty disappointing loss- which us packer fans are used to by now!

  18. Green Bay will be the most coveted HC gigs in a long time. I hate to say it (don’t want to lose him), but McDaniels w/Rodgers would be scary.

  19. They finally have a really good run game and don’t go for it on 4th and 2 late in the game? They don’t challenge Lockett’s non-catch, which surely would have been overturned on review…there’s too many screw-ups to list. Then again, my team got blown out by the Titans, so what do I know?

  20. The mystery of the century is how he has kept his job this long? Oh, wait. 25 years of legendary QB play and only 2 Super Bowls. The “owners” have been happy with mediocrity for for a long time now.

  21. Mike McCarthy you have the Greatest quarterback in the game on 4th and 2 what do you do?…. UMmmmmmm no I don’t, we’re punting….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  22. I don’t agree with almost every decision Mike McCarthy makes but the “non challenge” was correct, he needed it for that non existent final drive. But he should have went for it on 4th down. The defense just wasn’t good enough all night to stop them, how were they going to do it in the last few minuets?

  23. The challenge – he has people upstairs telling him what the video shows and whether they recommend it…that isn’t on him. He has to go by what people viewing the monitors tell him. Maybe he should fire them. Maybe.

    Go for it on 4th down from you own…what …was it the 30?…and 2 yrds…and Aaron jones was getting stuffed as a runner? He had what, all of 40 yrds for the game? with a 3.6avg?

    No…4th and 2 from that deep you punt, when you have 4+ minutes left. It didn’t work out but it was the right thing to do. Can you imagine the comments if they went and DIDN’T make it?

  24. Getting fired with a QB as great as Aaron Rodgers really is difficult to pull off, but I’m pretty sure Mike McCarthy is going to be able to pull it off.

  25. I’m not about to defend Mac, but maybe he didn’t challenge because he saw that non-catch get REVERSED by the refs earlier and didn’t think he could risk it.

  26. McCarthy has been leading that team to the low end of expectations every season. Yes, it does involve a Super Bowl ring, but that team should have at least two more Super Bowl appearances during his tenure.

  27. McCarthy is not a capable coach, period. He’s just a guy getting a fat check and hoping no one wises up.

  28. PoliticalCorrectnessBelongsInTheKitchen says:

    Let’s not forget the phantom call on a 50+ yard kick return….. bad luck and bad calls have cost the packers 3 in a row against very good teams.
    ###

    Don’t want to listen to the whining.

    And since when are the Seahawks considered to be a “very good” team this year. They were below .500 before they defeated your Green Bay Packers last night.

  29. One thing I admire about Packer fans…They are a group of front runners, when things are going well they buy worthless stock love there team coach is the greatest. Lose some games and they turn in a minute, that’s true team loyalty….GO PACK GO..

  30. dpdonny says:

    Green Bay will be the most coveted HC gigs in a long time. I hate to say it (don’t want to lose him), but McDaniels w/Rodgers would be scary.
    ###

    A passive aggressive, aging, injury prone, overpaid QB and a swiss cheese defense is not a coveted roster for a new coach.

    Might just as well make Rodgers a player coach because he’s already being paid for both jobs.

  31. On the other hand, had they gone for it and not made it all the stories would be about how they went for it instead of punting it.

  32. Why delay the inevitable? After McCarthy is fired, just name Rodgers player/coach. And while they’re at it, they should make him GM as well.

  33. One time out and it was just two yards. Legit game management coaches don’t punt in this situation!!! They understand that if they don’t make the two yards they still have to hold the other team to a three and out, with only difference being the qb gets the game winning opportunity down 6 instead of down 3. How many times is this coach going to force Rodgers to be on sidelines at game’s end of loss?

  34. Horrible Clock Management….
    What happened to the run?
    Outreached….
    Outplayed….

    Need to get back to fundamental football… run and pass

    As a Packer fan I’m hoping the Vikings hand out a good whooping next Sunday. The more embarrassing the better. Change is needed.

  35. As a fan, I never want to see the ball in Rodgers’ hands at the end of any game. On a relatively short 4th down play, it would likely have been the right call to put it in his hands, probably on a play that also gave him an option to run for the first down. But, those arguing that nearly every team should go for it in that spot is a little ridiculous. With a great D, a punt isn’t a horrible call. But, the Packers do not have a great D, and Seattle just zipped down the field on their previous drive.

    As far as those complaining about not challenging the call on the Lockett catch, I don’t think it would have been overturned. Yes, Joe Buck is in love with Rodgers and the Packers, so he went on and on about how it was “obviously” not a catch. But, the ball can touch the ground and still be a catch. I didn’t see the ball moving around. Some may say they saw that, but I don’t think it was incontrovertible evidence that would have forced a replay. Had McCarthy challenged and lost, you same people would be whining today about him wasting another timeout on the challenge.

  36. There was no risk in going for it on 4th and 2. If you fail, you have to hold the Seahawks to a FG…which is what you’re assuming you’re capable of if you punt. Should’ve gone for it.

  37. MM and AR are equally responsible. Aaron is just not the player he was. Simple as that. And MM has failed to scheme guys open and expects them to win every one on one. His TO management is worthy of ridicule. Add to that the fact that either Aaron’s pride is getting in the way (“Im better than Mahomes, Goff….”) and he’s forcing downfield throws or he simply has lost his vision and isn’t seeing guys open for shorter, chain-moving completions.

    This season isn’t on the young players who are gaining valuable experience. It’s on the two old timers who refuse to or cannot adjust.

  38. Can’t figure out why Stella isn’t here defending his coach and QB…he assured us they were they team to beat and getting better each and every week.

  39. That was McCarthy’s curtain call and so it was fitting that the loss could be pinned on his regular stable of mishaps; (in no particular order) bad playcalling, misusing time outs, clueless challenges or not using a challenge and failure to go for it on a 4th down.

    He wouldn’t be missed.

  40. Safe to say we had two coaches coaching last night that make questionable decisions when the game is on the line….

  41. Chad A says:
    November 16, 2018 at 8:22 am
    I don’t agree with almost every decision Mike McCarthy makes but the “non challenge” was correct, he needed it for that non existent final drive. But he should have went for it on 4th down. The defense just wasn’t good enough all night to stop them, how were they going to do it in the last few minuets?

    If he wouldn’t have blown timeouts earlier, he’d have had enough to challenge and still have one or two in his pocket for the offense.

  42. PoliticalCorrectnessBelongsInTheKitchen says:
    November 16, 2018 at 7:34 am
    Let’s not forget the phantom call on a 50+ yard kick return….. bad luck and bad calls have cost the packers 3 in a row against very good teams. U can’t win against top teams without a few things going your way.
    ///////////////////////
    On the TD pass to Jones your left tackle jumped before the snap. No flag. No whistle. You were literally gifted 7 points on that play. How many other calls do you want to go your way? And, btw, the Seahawks were tied for 21st in the NFL before last night. I guess you can’t play the bottom 10 every week and hope for a win.

  43. Green Bay will be the most coveted HC gigs in a long time. I hate to say it (don’t want to lose him), but McDaniels w/Rodgers would be scary.
    =====

    After what he pulled on the Colts.

    After his nuke job in Denver.

    NO THANK YOU.

  44. stellarperformance says:
    November 16, 2018 at 7:16 am
    Well, I’m certainly disappointed. Not so much because they lost, but because they’re just not as good as I thought they were.
    ///////////
    We have all been there before. Thinking our team was better than they really are. Your team simply is not very good, let alone as good as you thought. Perhaps after Sunday night I find that out as well. But for now, the humble pie gets served up to Packer fans today.

  45. dpdonny says:
    November 16, 2018 at 7:56 am
    Green Bay will be the most coveted HC gigs in a long time.
    /////////////
    Will it though? Sure, any assistant will take the job if given the chance. Hell, they keep taking the Browns job. But think about it. You walk into a situation where the QB thinks he owns the team, the QB thinks he’s the best, but that same QB is like 0-37 in comeback wins against winning teams. And the defense is improved, but still is maybe middle of the road in the NFL. You have no WR’s that are any good and healthy. I guess the one thing that could lure a coach there is the salary cap. You dump several guys like Matthews and you have yourself a lot of money to work with. Oh, and the fact that the Packers simply don’t fire coaches is a good thing if you get hired.

  46. tajuara says:
    November 16, 2018 at 6:56 am
    Here is what I don’t get. Rodgers was throwing the ball to Adams all night ignoring the other WRs. The two rookies were barely targeted, but with the game on the line you try to go to the rookie? Is that on McCarthy or on Rodgers?

    When TB does it they call it Brady Lock. Guess it’s contagious. Or maybe it’s situational, like pretty much everything in life.

  47. I agree with the sentiment that if he had gone for it on forth down and turned the ball over on the 33, everyone would be screaming for his head, just like they are now. I don’t know how much Ted Thompson had to do with his team’s failures in the past. They never brought in free agents back then, but that isn’t why his clock management is so shaky. I don’t think he’s a defensive kind of guy, that is way early in his career he brought in Dom capers and kept him long after capers schemes were outdated. He has to rely on his DC too much and for years that unit has let us down. a new GM almost always wants their own coach, so I think McCarthy is toast. He doesn’t need to get fired for all the conspiracy people who think he’s trying. After the last couple years he just needs to ask for his release. The new GM will grant it happily.

  48. Dear Green Bay Packers management,

    Please keep Mike McCarthy as your head coach. In fact, please sign him to a lifetime contract. He clearly deserves it.

    Sincerely,

    The rest of the NFC North

  49. Ever since the kick off boner in the playoffs (what is that 3 years?) the Packers have seemed disheveled. Perhaps it is time for a fresh perspective. Aaron is getting older. Need to strike when you can.

  50. Dear NFC North,

    Be grateful the Packer retained Mike McCarthy long enough to expose himself for what he is.

    Otherwise, he may have been YOUR head coach.

    Sincerely,
    Long suffering Packers fans

  51. On the TD pass to Jones your left tackle jumped before the snap. No flag. No whistle. You were literally gifted 7 points on that play. How many other calls do you want to go your way?
    ======

    Oh c’mon. Surely you can do better??!!

    How bout Clay pile driving another QB???……..

  52. atlantablewa28to3lead says:
    November 16, 2018 at 5:56 am

    I can’t believe he put more faith in that “defense” than in the one player who’s allowed him to keep his job (ARod)
    =======

    Most spot-on post about McCarthy I have seen. He’s a glorified OC who will never coach in the NFL again — because every GM out there sees he cannot win a game without Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has to be perfect week in and week out because the Packers perennially under McCarthy are a poorly-coached, young (by design), and ridiculously vanilla team which has squandered Rodgers’ career. Ted Thompson and that bungling front office has not fixed a defense, broken since 2011, and McCarthy has not game-planned to play a more traditional WC offense based on slants and getting the ball out quickly. Now the front office is set up in such a ludicrous fashion that the GM cannot fire McCarthy, only the ribbon-cutting marketing guy Mark Murphy, who is masquerading as a football president.

  53. aarons444 says:
    November 16, 2018 at 11:36 am
    On the TD pass to Jones your left tackle jumped before the snap. No flag. No whistle. You were literally gifted 7 points on that play. How many other calls do you want to go your way?
    ======

    Oh c’mon. Surely you can do better??!!

    How bout Clay pile driving another QB???……..

    =============

    Win a title. Then boast.

    You’ve done nothing.

  54. It’s Peyton Manning with the Colts all over again – an all-time-great QB squandered by mediocre/timid coaching, roster-assembling, and general poor team leadership.

    I’m glad he has his SB ring, so he won’t wind up in that “almost but not quite” category with Marino, Fouts, etc.

    But it’s ridiculous. That this team has only one ring with Rodgers is absurd.

  55. If MM goes for it and doesn’t make it – every single one of you GB fans is here today killing him for not punting. Plus, he had just watched his QB short-hop a 2 yard pass – does that inspire confidence for trying it again on 4th down?

    Congrats again on claiming the SB in the pre-season, hope it keeps you warm until next season starts.

  56. He should be fired. Terrible clock management. He didn’t even challenge that catch. He should have gone for it.

  57. McCarthy felt really, really bad for Jason Garrett so he decided to not go for it on 4th down with the game on the line.

  58. Lots of mistakes to go around, but perhaps the reason McCarthy didn’t go for it on fourth down was because the Seahawk defense had been stuffing the Packers and forcing punts the last few times they had the ball. That third down pass from Rodgers on the play before the punt didn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence.

    We all saw what the Packers were without Rodgers last season; a sub-.500 team. When a defense steps up and stops Rodgers (which happens to all QBs at times, no matter how great), the Packers look lost.

  59. fwippel says:
    November 16, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    We all saw what the Packers were without Rodgers last season; a sub-.500 team.
    /////////////////
    Ummmmm…..they’re a sub .500 team right now…..

  60. Recently I say Zimmer do a presser and he was mad as hell. He said, anytime you call a time out while your on offense you wasted a time out. one that should have been used at the end of the half or game to save time and put points on the board. Zimmer almost always has three time outs left at the end of the game to make that two minutes into 5 minutes to drive downfield.

    Mac waste them away by arguing with Rodgers on the play being called. Rodgers should be able to check off mikes play and call a new one but keep it going dont waste time outs. They done this all season long and havent learned a thing

  61. One analyst pointed out that he thought Rodgers has lost the zip on his passes. He said he noticed that those darts he used to throw were missing this year. I too noticed that either his arm strength or something is wrong with his throwing.
    The analyst did say it could have been his knee prevented him from planting his foot properly for leverage?
    He just isnt throwing darts anymore.

  62. Ok the team was steamed with the guy two weeks ago for running it out. they had two minutes left for rodgers to work his majic so they got rid of the guy.
    Hey last night Rodgers have 4:10 seconds to work his magic, either a td or tying field goal. He flopped. Totally flopped. maybe they should trade him now too.

  63. All the offense needed the entire second half was one more sustained drive. Nobody seems to remember that two of the receivers out there were rookies and out tight end was out. On the other side of the ball, Nick Perry’s absence was a huge factor. The game came down to more then just a choice of punting or not…….

  64. Why would anyone covet the GB job? Rodgers is an uncoachable me first diva, their roster is marginal at best, and they play in a dumpy old high school stadium. There will be many better opportunities!

  65. As much as I hate the Packers as a Vikings fan, I think there is MUCH being made of nothing here.
    They lost a game.
    On the Road.
    To a Good team.
    Rodgers was not his usual brilliant self.

    It happens. If you truly think that Rodgers is “washed up” because the Packers lost on the road by three points, you don’t watch much football.

    I hate that he’s on the Packers, but he really is one of the best to every play. And if you are trying to say that he is not, you really have not been watching his career.

  66. Was that a U-Haul I saw parked in front of Mike McCarthy’s house?

    I’m pretty sure that house was his; because it had a sign in the front yard that read, “For Sale by Owner.”

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