SEATTLE — It will have been daring — probably the most daring selections of his 13-year teaching tenure — however Mike McCarthy stared the second within the face, contemplated it after which punted.
• Finest receivers on secret behind huge play
• The David Johnson we have been ready for
• Fournette’s return provides Jags identification again
• Inside friendship of Brees and Jenkins
• Stafford’s struggles are difficult
• Harbaugh not sweating on scorching seat
The Green Bay Packers coach determined to give the ball again to the Seattle Seahawks with 4 minutes and 20 seconds left on Thursday night time at CenturyLink Subject. In his thoughts, one timeout plus the 2-minute warning with a depleted protection gave his group a greater chance to win than going for it on fourth-and-2 from his personal 33-yard line.
His reasoning: “We performed the numbers.”
These numbers got here up: Seattle 27, Green Bay 24.
The scoreboard learn the identical when McCarthy’s quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, inexplicably threw the ball into the turf, effectively in need of receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on third-and-2. It was one of many worst throws Rodgers has ever made and he was below stress typically (he was sacked 5 instances), however he did throw for 332 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-30 passing and had a scorching receiver in Davante Adams (10 catches for 166 yards).
By now, everybody is aware of that the Packers’ protection — already with out two starters within the secondary, Kevin King and Kentrell Brice, plus beginning outdoors linebacker Nick Perry and ravaged by in-sport accidents to Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Bashaud Breeland and Raven Greene — allowed the Seahawks to run out these final 260 seconds to maintain the Packers winless in 5 street video games and four-5-1 total.
Afterward, Rodgers obligatorily mentioned there’s nonetheless hope for this season however within the subsequent breath mentioned “it’s going to take one galvanizing second” to flip it round.
A sport-profitable drive sparked by a daring fourth-down name might have been that second.
“If we had gotten the primary down,” Rodgers mentioned. “If not, then it’s a brief subject, and we’ve acquired to maintain them to three and we’re form of in the identical scenario.”
Even Seahawks coach Pete Carroll mentioned he was “just a little relieved” when McCarthy despatched his punt group on the sphere at that second.
“I actually did like that they punted the ball again to us proper there,” Carroll mentioned.
Not lengthy after Rodgers and McCarthy accomplished their publish-sport podium interviews, veteran defensive again Tramon Williams — the final participant within the locker room — spoke of how to save a sinking season.
Although the query to Williams made no point out of the fourth-down resolution, it’s price questioning if his reply spoke to the sensation within the locker room about McCarthy’s name.
“After we’re in video games like this, we gotta go for it, man,” Williams mentioned. “We play to win, you already know? We play to win. We’ve acquired the perfect quarterback behind heart. We performed effectively all through the sport on the defensive facet of the sphere. We’ve gotta play to win. We’ve been in too many shut video games and never come out on that facet. That’s not a superb feeling proper now.”
When requested if punting with four:20 left in a 3-level sport is taking part in to win, Williams mentioned: “You inform me.”
To Williams, there’s just one approach out of this, just one approach to save their season.
“We’ve acquired to win; that’s the one factor,” he mentioned.
Mike McCarthy says Green Bay fought onerous but it surely nonetheless has to work out how to win on the street.
The query, nonetheless, is how?
“You’ve acquired to ask the folks calling the pictures,” Williams mentioned. “We’re going on the market, we’re taking part in onerous, we’re simply developing brief. No matter that takes, we’ve acquired to get it finished. We felt like we must always’ve gotten it finished tonight. Felt like we must always’ve acquired it finished in these different video games. We simply haven’t. So if we had that reply we might’ve won already.”
There’s time, in fact. A win subsequent Sunday night time at Minnesota could be a strong begin main into 5 winnable video games to shut the season.
However even McCarthy stopped himself when he began to say there’s plenty of soccer left.
“There’s sufficient soccer,” he mentioned.
This season, nonetheless, may not present many moments that might have been extra galvanizing than a sport-profitable drive fueled by a daring fourth-down name from an aggressive head coach.
“I believe there’s been alternatives,” Rodgers mentioned. “There may be galvanizing moments whenever you capitalize on them. We had some at present. Jimmy [Graham] talked to us earlier than the sport and different guys have been talking up and speaking. The primary play of the sport, we make a fumble and we go down there and [take an early lead]. We had many moments that might have been used as moments to gravitate towards, ‘That is what it seems to be like. That is what it looks like. That is what we must be doing. That is how we must be taking part in.’
“However whenever you lose, all of that will get wiped away since you’ve acquired to transfer on to the subsequent scenario and hope that one thing sticks with any individual that may deliver us collectively shifting in the best course.”