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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Mike McCarthy completely butchers end of loss to Seahawks

Mike McCarthy

The Green Bay Packers now face a major uphill battle to reach the NFL playoffs, and they have Mike McCarthy’s terrible management at the end of Thursday night’s 27-24 loss to Seattle to blame.

McCarthy completely butchered the end of the game with his failure to use a challenge, and his awful decision to punt instead of going for it on 4th down.

The first big mistake came when McCarthy declined to challenge a catch by Tyler Lockett with 6:41 remaining in the fourth quarter. The catch came on a 1st-and-10 by Seattle at midfield and went for 34 yards, taking the Seahawks to Green Bay’s 16. The Packers were up 24-20 at the time, so the catch almost ensured the Seahawks would end up with points on the drive.

Replay showed that the ball hit the ground as Lockett was rolling over, indicating there would have been a good chance of the call being overturned. The Seahawks ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive, which was the game-winner.

Why didn’t McCarthy challenge the catch? Probably because he only had one timeout left after burning two earlier in the half.

The Packers were late getting a play in/lining up at the line of scrimmage for a 3rd-and-3 at the Seattle 43 and burned a timeout in the third quarter. They ended up taking a sack after the timeout and punting. They took another timeout earlier in the fourth quarter following a long completion to Davante Adams. That seemed like a totally wasted timeout.

Then McCarthy put the kiss of death on his team by electing to punt with 4:20 left and the Packers facing a 4th-and-2 from their 33 down 27-24. McCarthy calculated that he liked the odds of his defense getting a 3-and-out better than he liked the odds of Aaron Rodgers converting a 4th-and-2, so he punted. Keep in mind he only had 1 timeout and the 2-minute warning to stop the clock, and Green Bay was missing some of its best run stoppers. The Packers defense, which had just allowed a touchdown drive on the previous possession, allowed two first downs, which was enough to put the Seahawks in position to kneel out the clock.

Oh, and let’s add this in: If he’s so confident in his defense, then that’s even more reason to go for it because he’d bank on his defense forcing a field goal if they failed to convert on fourth down, which would give the ball back to his offense.

Let me repeat: McCarthy wagered on his defense forcing a 3-and-out rather than Aaron Rodgers converting a 4th-and-2. His offense never got the ball back and they lost 27-24. Great going, Mike.



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