Packers coach explains why he didn’t go for it with Aaron Rodgers on critical fourth down
Mike McCarthy is under fire for not going for it on a key fourth down in the fourth quarter
With the Packers trailing 27-24 and facing a fourth-and-2 from their own 33-yard line, McCarthy had the option of keeping Aaron Rodgers on the field to go for it or he could punt.
Of course, this is Mike McCarthy we're talking about, so you probably already know what he did. The Packers ended up punting the ball to the Seahawks, who then proceeded to melt away the final 4:11 of the game to.
With the Packers trailing by three points and only holding one timeout, the choice here seemed pretty simple: You put the ball in Rodgers' hands with the expectation that he can get two yards. If you're going to gamble, it makes sense to gamble on one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Rodgers had thrown for 332 yards up to that point and the Packers were averaging an impressive 7.5 yards per play.
Instead, McCarty decided to gamble on his defense, which was a weird decision for two reasons: The Packers hadn't been able to stop the run the entire game, and they were going to have to play the final drive without two of their star defensive linemen -- Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark -- who both left the game with an injury. With those two out, the Seahawks ran for 24 yards on four carries to ice the game.
After the loss, McCarthy was asked if he thought about going for it on fourth down.
"We have the injuries to Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, so yeah, it was definitely a consideration there," McCarthy said, via the team's Twitter account. "But with the one timeout and the ability to stop the clock at the two-minute [warning], we played the numbers."
McCarthy might want to re-think his numbers, because they don't add up. Also, let's not forget that if the Packers had gone for it, McCarthy was apparently going to use the team's final timeout to think things over.
"We considered taking a timeout there and going for it on fourth-and-2," McCarthy said.
Obviously, you want to make sure you get the right call on the field for a fourth down, but you probably don't want to waste your final timeout in that situation, especially with 4:20 still left in the game. That would have left the Packers unable to stop the clock or challenge anything for 2:20.
It's almost fitting that McCarthy was thinking about blowing a timeout because the Packers didn't do a great job with their timeouts during the entire second half. They used one in the third quarter and they used one with 10:31 left in the game, which left them with just one timeout for the final stretch of the game.
Packers fans were definitely upset with the way McCarthy coached in Seattle, and it seems he might have finally run out of goodwill. After the loss McCarthy was trending on Twitter, and it was mostly because fans really want to see him fired.
After 12 and a half seasons, it seems that McCarthy might have finally worn out his welcome in Green Bay.
Listen to Bryant McFadden and Will Brinson discuss the decision and more from the Thursday night game on the Pick Six Podcast:
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