Welcome Back, Mike McCarthy’s Team

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Devin Hester

Devin Hester puts the Bears up on his punt return touchdown.

Let’s be realistic. The better team did not win on Monday Night Football.

Forget that the Green Bay Packers have no running game. Forget that the defense played their usual bend-but-don’t-break brand of football.

The Green Bay Packers lost to the Chicago Bears 20-17 on Monday night because they exhibited the same stupid, aggravating play they have throughout coach Mike McCarthy’s tenure with the team. It’s something that seemed to be over with, judging by the first two games of the season and the Packers 2-0 start, but came back on the national stage.

The Packers lost to the Bears because they committed a team record 18 penalties, which is both inexcusable and a trademark of the Packers under McCarthy.

Another trademark, at least in the past two seasons, is poor special teams play and the Packers again lived up to their billing as one of the worst special teams units in the NFL, giving up an average of 30 yards on three kickoff returns and 31 yards on three punt returns.

The game turned, and the Bears took their first lead on Devin Hester’s 62-yard punt return in the fourth quarter — Hester’s first such return in two years. The Packers special teams play was solid in their first two games, but in prime time, they were atrocious.

Simply, the Packers loss looked like a bad flashback of everything that was wrong with last year’s team, minus the terrible pass defense.

It’s not time to panic, but on Monday night the Packers were simply undisciplined and out-coached. Not only that, but they were out-coached by Lovie Smith, who, next to Brad Childress is possibly the dumbest son of a bitch in the NFL coaching ranks.

If you don’t believe it, consider McCarthy’s decision to challenge James Jones’ fumble late in the fourth quarter. The replay showed Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher clearly knocked the ball out of Jones’ hands and defensive back Tim Jennings clearly recovered it in bounds, but McCarthy inexplicably challenged the call, lost and cost the Packers a time out.

Had McCarthy saved the time out, he would have been able to take it inside the two-minute warning and given the Packers a shot at a tying field goal or better. The time out would have meant the Packers would have gotten the ball back with around one minute left on the clock, rather than the five seconds they eventually did get it back with, when they were down a field goal.

Certainly, McCarthy is not entirely to blame for the Packers debacle, but his team was completely unprepared for what was obviously a lesser opponent on Monday night. It’s the reason many people, myself included, feel like the Packers would be better off with another coach.

That’s not the only story, though.

Most of the reason the Packers running game looks like a joke is because of the offensive line. Brandon Jackson gained only 12 yards on seven carries (1.7 yard average).

A big part of the problem was left tackle Chad Clifton, who has been battling an injured knee all season. Clifton hasn’t played well at all this year and while he held up in pass protection, he was terrible in the run game. McCarthy had an opportunity to replace him with Bryan Bulaga this week, but decided not to do so. You have to wonder why.

Another problem was right tackle Mark Tauscher, who didn’t play well in either phase of the game. Both of the Packers tackles look old and guess what? They are.

The highlight of the running game was fullback John Kuhn, who somehow ground out 31 yards on six carries (5.1 yard average). The Packers short passing game is essentially their running game, but you would think Kuhn is going to get more carries or the team is going to trade for someone who can serve as a lead back.

On the positive side, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was on all night long, hitting 34-of-45 for 316 yards and a touchdown. The Packers defense held the Bears rushing attack in check, as well. Lead back Matt Forte ran for only 29 yards on 11 carries (2.6 yard average).

In the end, that wasn’t enough to overcome boneheaded play after boneheaded play.

It’s unfortunate, but for at least one game this season, the Packers have again become a reflection of Mike McCarthy and given the Bears the pole position in the NFC North at 3-0.


About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

21 Comments on "Welcome Back, Mike McCarthy’s Team"

  1. MAD City Packer Fan

    Wow I am not thinking about the running game I am thinking about all those @#!$@#$ penalites! That is what cost us the game. We are way better than the gay Bears without Grant. Ahhhhhh clean it up guys!

  2. Vijay

    Two words…Marshawn Lynch. Either the Pack trade and/or give up draft picks for him…or the season will come to a dramatic halt somewhere around week 15-17…and yes, I’m including a playoff possible appearance in there.

    You must have a balance attack (see Super Bowl champs any year) to compete for the title. If Ted Thompson does nothing, this will be the greatest waste of talent in the annals of Packers history. Nuff said.

  3. chitter

    McCarthy is an idiot. We haven’t had an intelligent coach since Mike Holmgren. Remember when Mike Holmgren let the Broncos score in the Super Bowl because it was our only chance to win? Well dumbfuck McNutty can’t even make that decision in a regular season game.

    He did not cost us the game, but he is worthless. Let’s find a website Monty and buy that fucker. Somehow I think http://www.firemikemccarthy.com could be a big winner.

    You suck Big Head!

  4. Johnny Appleseed

    No such thing as a moral W…but after 18 penalties, a couple dropped INTS by guys who won’t drop another one all season, horrible special teams, and a couple questionable calls, the Packers only lost by 3. They dominated all game, and were in countless positions to win the game, but shot themselves in the foot. The Bears won because the Packers gave it to them. If the Bears are really our greatest competition in the North, I feel pretty good about our chances.

  5. Justin

    Before tonight, Hester hasn’t returned a punt since 2007 and it’s pretty clear that he is no where near his 2007 form. I hate our special teams and our O-line as well. We really need invest in some decent linemen to protect our greatest assest Aaron Rodgers before it’s too late. Go Pack!

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  7. lebowski

    So last year TJ Lang played better than Colledge while replacing Clifton at left tackle, and was touted as one of the proverbial ‘best 5 guys’ on the line, just needed to decide if he’d be better used at tackle or guard…. and now, with both our tackles SUCKING and Colledge continuing to be Colledge, Lang can’t even be ACTIVATED on game day?????!

  8. Re: Fire McCarthy

    Mike McCarthy, post game press conference:

    (Did you consider letting them score on their last drive to give your offense time on the clock to come back?)

    “No I did not. I did not consider letting them score at the end. I felt that if they missed the field goal, we’d win the game. It was talked about, but that was not the decision I went with.

    Bears kicker Robbie Gould’s career stats:
    FG from 29 yards or fewer: 40 for 40
    PATs: 179 for 180

    I am a Steelers fan, but I feel for you guys. It is not easy to out-dumb Lovie Smith.

  9. Nick

    True story. I was at a Chicago resturant on Sunday night where 4 or 5 Bears were having dinner together. In walks Aaron Rogers and his family/friends.

    The bears players introduce themselves. And, believe it or not, Rogers buys them dinner!!! I couldn’t hear the whole convo but I did hear a quote from the bears player “that bitch just bought us dinner”…”don’t you only do that after you lose?”

    I get the gentleman thing, but damn Aaron, don’t buy your biggest rivals/enemies dinner before the game.

  10. chitter

    (What did you see on James Jones’ fumble that led you to challenge the play?)

    I was standing right there and I had a pretty good indication of what happened. I did see the defensive back’s foot swing out of bounds, so I was just hopeful that the officials maybe saw that his foot may have hit. It was 2:18 [left to play], I had two challenges left, and that was obviously a huge play in the game that maybe we could swing our way.

    Follow up question that should have been asked:

    So you saw what happened and hoped that under slow motion instant replay, that the replay official might see something that didn’t happen? Did you consider how important that time out you were wasting was….you fucking assclown.

    (Did you consider letting them score on their last drive to give your offense time on the clock to come back?)

    No I did not. I did not consider letting them score at the end. I felt that if they missed the field goal, we’d win the game. It was talked about, but that was not the decision I went with.

    Follow up question: So what you’re saying is that you think the probability of Robbie Gould missing an extra point-length field goal, is greater than your offense’s chances of taking the ball the length of the field with over a minute left? You fucking sorry sack of shit.

    Fucking reporters are candyass too.


  11. jeremy

    MM is great at developing talent but he is a poor on the field leader because he is to busy calling plays to lead his team. The thing that pisses me off is that everyone but him knows it. I don’t understand why he doesn’t hand off the play calling to Philbin or get an assistant to advise him when to call a time out, challenge a play, or remove a player from the field for unprofessional play.

  12. titletown96

    ..This game showed that the Packers are also lacking resiliency. They just completely fell apart in the second half of the game when Chicago started doing their thing… Disgusting.

  13. Shawn iltarion

    I just want to point out a couple things.

    The special teams played well against Philly and Buffalo. Yeah, they were horrendous against the Bears, but they always seem to be in Soldier Field for some reason. Regardless, it still is 2 good games and one terrible game. Not the end of the world.

    The Packers had nearly 400 yards of offense and completely dominated the clock without running the football. You can’t really criticism the Packers’ running game because the Pack barely attempted to run. This game does nothing to prove the Packers need another RB or a stronger running game. Actually, this game would do the EXACT opposite.

    The Colts were 14-0 last year and made the SB with the 31st ranked rushing offense in football.

    Granted, they do play in a dome. It is logical to have concerns about the offense when the weather turns bad.

    The Packers had few penalties in the 1st two games. So, again, terrible game against Chicago, but it might be an aberration, not the norm.

    The Packers need Bulaga and Lang as their tackles. Sometimes the future comes sooner than you expect. The time is now.

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