The Packers’ loss to the Vikings on Sunday night dealt a huge blow to their playoff hopes, and if they miss the playoffs they’re likely to fire head coach Mike McCarthy. After the game, McCarthy sounded like he’s beginning to accept the inevitable.
McCarthy was asked about his own performance and acknowledged it needs to improve.
“I understand why you’re asking the questions. That’s part of the deal. We’re about winning football games. We didn’t do enough. I didn’t do enough. I need to coach better,” McCarthy said.
Fourth downs continue to be an area where McCarthy needs to coach better. He remains too quick to punt when he ought to trust Aaron Rodgers to pick up a first down, and when he does go for it on fourth down, his playcalling is laughably predictable, as the run that went nowhere on fourth-and-inches on Sunday night showed.
That sequence was particularly bad: The Packers were stopped just short on third down. Instead of quickly getting a fourth-down play called, the Packers dawdled and ended up wasting a timeout. At that point, if McCarthy was going to waste a timeout anyway, he should have challenged the spot of the third down, which was close enough that it was worth another look. And then, even with extra time to call the play after the timeout, his run up the middle was the obvious call, which the Vikings’ defense saw coming and stopped easily.
McCarthy does need to coach better. But at this point, it may be too late to save his job.