Pete Carroll was 'a little relieved' when Packers chose to punt on crucial fourth down
Mike McCarthy punted on fourth-and-2 and the Packers never got the ball back
Trailing 27-24 with just over four minutes left in the game, the Green Bay Packers faced a fourth-and-2 from their own 33-yard line. They'd just given up a go-ahead touchdown drive to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, and Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark -- the team's two best run defenders -- had each left the game with an injury. The Packers also had just one timeout left at the time and, well, they have Aaron Rodgers.
Still, Packers coach Mike McCarthy chose to punt the ball back to the Seahawks, hoping his defense would get a stop and get Rodgers the ball back for one last attempt at a game-tying or game-winning drive. Instead, the Seahawks ran out the clock on the ground.
For his part, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was thrilled that the Packers chose to punt rather than go for it on fourth down.
"I was a little relieved," Carroll said in his postgame press conference. "I really did like that they punted the ball to us right there, because we knew we had a shot to kill the game if we could, and kill the clock, and we did it. The thing about that that's important is our belief in the running game, and we get the ball in that situation. It was like, oh here we go, this is our time. It's four-minute time. Thrilled to see that happen. The mentality that's coming around in those guys up front and the runners and all that, it's really important, it's obviously really valuable too, and it's great to see that happen."
McCarthy, meanwhile, gave a nonsensical explanation of why he decided to punt, saying he "played the numbers" by punting with two yards to go for a first down, stating that because he had a timeout and the two-minute warning, it made sense to do so.
"We have the injuries to Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, so yeah, [going for it] was definitely a consideration there," McCarthy said, per the team's official Twitter account. "But with the one timeout and the ability to stop the clock at the two-minute [warning], we played the numbers."
Not only that but McCarthy also said he considered burning the team's final timeout in order to go for it on fourth down, which, just, no. Just go for it if you're going to go for it, Mike. The Packers dropped their record to 4-5-1 with the loss, and it appears time may be running out for McCarthy in Green Bay. When you consistently make decisions that the opposing team's coaches are happy about, it's probably time to go anyway.
Listen to Bryant McFadden and Will Brinson discuss the decision to punt and more from the Thursday night game on the Pick Six Podcast:
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