Blame Mike McCarthy For What’s Wrong With the Packers

Embarrassing.

That is the word Mike McCarthy used to describe the Packers’ 40-10 loss to the Lions in front of a nationally televised audience.

Embarrassing.

The Packers had not lost a game in this dramatic a fashion since McCarthy’s rookie season at the helm, a 35-0 disaster to the Patriots. Many will remember that game was a disaster by many accounts.

Embarrassing? Most definitely. But no where near as bad compared to what happened yesterday. Not even close.

In front of the entire NFL world yesterday, the Packers got exposed for being what they really are: one of the worst teams in the league when Aaron Rodgers is not on the field.

Even worse, the man leading the team on the field got exposed as perhaps one of the worst coaches in the league when Rodgers is not on the field. And that is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Removing Rodgers from the field has left McCarthy scrambling for answers on offense. This would be true for any coach in the league. Not having the best player in the league on the field is going to leave some opportunity for the offense to try and bridge the gap until his return.

So how has McCarthy responded to this adversity? Poorly, and that is being kind.

Lacy run, Lacy run, pass, punt. Lacy run, Lacy run, pass, punt. That has been the Packers offense for the past five weeks minus Rodgers. For a former offensive coordinator and supposed offensive genius like McCarthy is supposed to be, his play calling has become so predictable that high school teams could stop the Packers offense.

But the problems on the field go much deeper than predictable play calling. And they are all revealing limitations about McCarthy’s ability to not only run the offense.

The quarterback situation minus Rodgers is a joke. Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, and Matt Flynn have all failed to do what they were asked to do-win a game while quarterbacking this team. Isn’t McCarthy supposed to be a QB guru? Then why have all three of them failed at doing the job they were asked to do?

Eddie Lacy’s performance the past four weeks has been underwhelming to say the least: 73 carries, 226 yards, 3.1 average. Think opposing defenses are keying on Lacy because of the QB shortcomings in Green Bay and predictable playcalling? Absolutely. Think it also has something to do with the offensive line not being able to open any holes for him to run through? Absolutely.

As the Head Coach and playcaller, is McCarthy responsible for making adjustments in an effort to move the ball? Absolutely.

These past five weeks have revealed McCarthy to be what he is on the offensive side of the ball: with one of the best QBs in the league, he is viewed as a genius. Whether the QBs name is Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre, as long as a future hall of famer is leading the team offensively, everything is hunky dory. Take that away, and he is clueless.

It should be noted that McCarthy is working with the pieces that he has been given by Ted Thompson, and that is an entirely different conversation to be had. But the fact is that McCarthy has failed on the offensive side of the ball from the second Aaron Rodgers left the game against Chicago. At some point the the subsequent weeks, he should have been able to formulate a game plan which would have resulted in a victory, and he has yet to do this. That is a failure of epic proportions.

You want someone to blame for what is going on with the Packers right now? Blame Mike McCarthy. His offense-his pride and joy-is an outright disaster right now. And with a defense that is playing poorly-and that is putting it mildly-the Packers will not win another game until Mike McCarthy takes a long look in the mirror and realizes that the offensive plan he has constructed is not working.

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John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.

He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.

You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at johnrehor@yahoo.com.

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  • Wayne Crannell

    “…he should have been able to formulate a game plan which would have resulted in a victory.”

    Victory? I’d take “just close” at this point. As I posted on Twitter yesterday, this was like a game between Baylor and the Julliard School of Music.

    • I don’t want to laugh following yesterday’s Debacle in Detroit, but the Julliard comment is awesome. Well done! And thanks for reading!

  • The play calling has been high school like…but for a reason. THE REASON IS MCCARTHY DIDN’T BRING TOLZIEN OR FLYNN IN DURING THE PRESEASON. They weren’t knowledgeable in the offense or familiar with the players. The offense was simplified and not as effective. THIS IS ALSO MCCARTHY’S FAULT. The last several years he has refused to bring in a competent backup qb. The offensive line has been mediocre to poor for years.

    • Was it MM’s responsibility to bring Tolzien or Wallace to the team before the season started? No. That falls squarely on Ted Thompson. But is it MM’s responsibility to construct a game plan and call plays which will be successful, regardless of who the QB is? Absolutely.

      Sure the offense is going to look different with Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines. But McCarthy’s playcalling has been predictable since AR went out, and to some degree before. The playcalling is his baby, and it’s been terrible the past five weeks.

      As for the offensive line-if teams know your passing game is going to struggle, the defense is going to load the box and take the running game away. But again, MM continues to follow the run-run-pass-punt method and not deviate from it. It’s terrible.

      • Uncle Jake

        re: Wallace & Tolzien, I believe they were both jettisoned by SF in the final cutdowns. GBP actually did have both in before the start of the season…by a few days. Didn’t have the option earlier as they were under contract. Neither went through McM’s “QB Camp” but, because back-ups get limited snaps in regular season practice, there has to be a way to bring these late comers up to speed without needing to make the playbook so painfully remedial when the issue forces itself.

  • Art

    How would the Packers as a team be without ARod and instead with average QB’s like Manning (Eli),Ponder, McCown, Stafford and Foles, five QB’s the Packers made to look like Pro Bowlers? They all beat the Packers telling me that the Packers as a team is not as good as any of the last five teams they played.

  • Ed Ballou

    In as much as I will agree that McCarthy and his offense fell on its ass Thursday. I will argue that our inability to win a game is solely on the defense, a defense that hasn’t shown up in 3 years. When was the last time the defense protected a lead and won the game. In 2011 we went 15-1 in the regular season with the worst defense in the league. We have consistently leaned on our offense when it comes to winning games and that is just wrong, defense wins games. We had the bears on the 1 yard line and couldn’t stop them. Our defense with all its number 1 picks can’t stop anybody, even Minnesota. Dom Capers has got to go.

  • Brad

    It’s about time someone calls out coach Mike, it’s been evident to me since the second game that AROD has been out. How many times can he continue to drop back his quarterback in an unstable pocket again and again, watching Detroit manhandle the Pack it was obvious, after the first series off the Defensive TD, I new there was no way that Green Bay would generate an offensive TD. Has Mike ever thought of moving the pocket? Roll out or Sprint out pass plays, none have been used since Rogers went down, what do these coaches do when they watch game film the two days after the game before the team comes in for practice? Genius, hell no, more like insanity, doing the same damn drop back pass and either a sack or knock down or hurry! McCarthy has been exposed as just another over-paid figure head for an iconic money making organization, more concerned about merchandise, ticket, revenue then the product on the field or the leader of the Pack, I think the packers now have had one of the worst runs of coaching of any franchise in the league, Rhodes, Sherman and now McCarthy….. Without Favre and Rogers the packers would still be stuck in the Lombardi era. No doubt Ted”s biggest mistake of tenure is not hiring a veteran NFL second string QB, but with McCarthy calling plays it might not have mattered anyway. Hey by the way Coach if you want some inspiration on expanding your angles on the field let me know, I have plenty of groundbreaking pass routes that are waiting to be run, revolutionary routes that will change the way pass receivers get OPEN and the way the game is played. The measure of a Coach is how he can WIN even when the odds are stacked against him, his ability to lead in the face of adversity has been miserable at best.

    • jrehor

      My goal was not so much to call out MM, but simply to point out that he, as much as anyone associated with the team, has as much to blame for the current state of the team. As Head Coach, he is not exempt from blame, and in many cases deserves more than anyone else because he is the one leading the team.

      Your last sentence sums things up perfectly IMO.

      Thanks for reading!