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Mike McCarthy completely butchers end of loss to Seahawks

Larry Brown Sports logo Larry Brown Sports 11/16/2018 Larry Brown Sports
a man wearing a hat © Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

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 fourth 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 Packers would end up with points.

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 one timeout and the two-minute warning to stop the clock. 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.

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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