|Packers coach Mike McCarthy talks to referee Jeff Triplette about a review call during Sunday's game. (AP)|
Coach Mike McCarthy was in no mood to talk about officiating on Monday, one day after questionable calls nearly cost the Packers another game.
Following the replacement-ref debacle in Seattle last week, McCarthy mostly stuck to the company line of moving on and looking forward to the Saints. When he was asked about a challenge that he lost -- when a ruling that New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham caught a ball that looked like it moved when it hit the ground was confirmed -- McCarthy became a little bit frustrated.
“Why are you asking me these questions about officials?” he asked. “I'd think I'd get a pass on that kind of stuff.”
McCarthy said he regretted an earlier decision, which he made entirely on his own, challenging a Jordy Nelson catch that was ruled incomplete.
“I saw a picture, I did it totally on my own,” he said. “I saw a clean picture on the jumbotron from an angle where the ball did not hit the ground and I challenged it. I saw the second picture and I knew it wasn't going to be overturned because when he extended the catch part of the ball hit the ground.”
After losing that challenge, McCarthy said he discussed with the team at halftime how he only had one challenge remaining. So, when he contested the Graham catch, he knew that even if he won it, he wouldn't be able to throw the red flag again.
“Even with Jimmy Graham's catch I was very hesitant to throw the challenge,” he said. “And it was a good challenge. My regret was over challenging Jordy Nelson's, because even if I had won the Jimmy Graham challenge we would have been out of challenges.
“So that's why I threw it so late, but as far as, do I think it was right or wrong? I mean, obviously I thought it was the right challenge or I wouldn't have challenged it. But to me, that was a big management decision that really could have hurt us because we obviously needed it later on the Sproles fumble and that's football.”
The “Sproles fumble” could have been game-altering. On a fourth-quarter kickoff, Saints returner Darren Sproles was hit by OLB Dezman Moses, who knocked the ball out of Sproles' possession. But the referees ruled that Sproles was down by contact, and McCarthy couldn't challenge the play.
“There was a ton of communication right there, and it was about getting it right,” McCarthy said. “They wanted to talk about whistles and all that other stuff but it was about getting it right. That was an obvious fumble that was blown dead. That happens. If I had the challenge I think the result would have been different.
“[Moses] clearly had the ball.”
The Packers also saw one of their defensive backs shoved in the end zone for the second consecutive game with no flag. Saints WR Marques Colston pushed S Morgan Burnett down and caught a first-quarter touchdown, but no offensive pass interference was called. Last week, Seahawks WR Golden Tate pushed CB Sam Shields down in the end zone on the now-infamous Goldengate Hail Mary play.
Follow Packers reporter James Carlton on Twitter @CBSPackers and @jimmycarlton88.