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McCarthy Defends Botched Fourth-and-1 Play Call

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McCarthy Defends Botched Fourth-and-1 Play Call

The play in question occured with 4 minutes left in the game. The Packers, with a 3 point lead, lined up on the Bengals 30 yard line facing a 4th and 1. The Packers had a couple options, bring Mason Crosby on for a 47 yard field goal attempt, or run a play to go for the 1st down. The Packers chose to go for the 1st down by running a very green Johnathan Franklin behind the right guard straight into the stout Bengals defensive front.

Franklin not only failed to get the first down, but also fumbled on the play. The fumble was returned for a touchdown, giving the Bengals the lead.

When speaking with the press on Monday, McCarthy said the call was solid but did not go into any further detail about the call.


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (19) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Greg Johnson's picture

coach mike blew the whole game. Did not use Rogers enough and using a lightweight rookie into a stacked defense? Rogers on anyone of several receivers? Duh? Greg j

Stroh's picture

Franklin blew it by fumbling. Even if he doesnt get the 1st they would need a TD to win. The call was fine POOR execution by Franklin!

nick perry's picture

He's 5'10" and 195 LBS. Are you serious? Running Franklin into the teeth of Geno Atkins and that front 7 behind that offensive line is a good call? Sorry dude, that call hasn't worked since 2011. The offensive line got no push, Lacy wouldn't have gotten it either. McCarthy continues to run one of two plays on 3rd or 4th and 1. A 40 yard pass or that play and he fails every time! Watch the play again, there was no where to go. The offensive line was blown backwards. This offense has lacked creativity since Philbin left.

Stroh's picture

Franklin has vision and instincts doesn't he? If he saw the play was blown up he could have bounced it outside and no one would have questioned it. Its like Rodgers throwing to the open man, the RB has the ability to pick the hole or where he wants to run! His size if immaterial, if the hole is there he'll get the 1st and if its not he won't an extra 20 lbs means little in that situation, either the hole is there or its not. And if its not he should FIND a hole! Get a freakin clue!!

And No matter what it doesn't excuse the fumble when he was barely hit. Pure and simple if Franklin wants to make it in the league he has to find a way to get it done! Period!

jack in jersey city's picture

i like MM but running a little, rookie scatback up the middle with no lead blocker against (arguably) the best defensive front in the NFL is not a "solid call".

Archie's picture

That says it all! MM is far from a genius play caller. In fact, like his mentor (Marty Schottenheimer), is one of the NFl's worst play callers when his opponent can't be destroyed at will through the air.

AROD's IQ - probably > 135
MM's IQ - probably 90 at best.

Solution: Lean on AROD in meetings when formulating game plans.

some guy's picture

You're right, McCarthy's probably a drooling idiot. I mean, all he did was create the offensive system that Aaron Rodgers has flourished in.

I get that the guy isn't the best playcaller, but it's nuts to go acting like he's a flat-out moron, or like there are more than maybe a half-dozen coaches, at most, whom we'd be better off with. MM has brought such consistent success that people now think Rodgers is doing it all by himself and the coach is expendable...? You folks are too much.

Archie's picture

btw - MM is likeable in lots of ways but he is simply not a great play-caller. In fact, he is a poor play-caller. (Last I checked he was still throwing red flags on non-reviewable plays.)

JakeK's picture

Has McCarthy ever admitted to calling a "bad call"? ... If he has, I missed it.

I suppose if the call had worked then most would view it differently but it would have been great if Rodgers had pulled a little "Andrew Luck Bootleg" for a 1st down ....Got a feeling... next time he will.

MarkinMadison's picture

Boy, how often did we see Farve run that little bootleg, usually with a pass option?

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Solid? More like terrible. Sneak it!

IowaPackFan's picture

Football Outsiders noted that Rodgers is 22 of 26 converting short yardage runs. Should've ran the sneak, MM. You idiot.

denniseckersly's picture

I think we haven't run the sneak in a while. I'm sure it's a safety precaution matter. I don't think we've discarded it because we think it will be unsuccessful

Derek in CO's picture

It was far from "Solid". I saw the replay again from behind our huddle view, there was nowhere for Franklin to go. Our Oline got blown up and four Bengals were in our backfield. We got flat out destroyed on that call.

Nononsense's picture

If there was ever a time to bring in big ol BJ Raji as the FB that was it. I wouldn't put the fumble on Franklin either because 6'7" Michael Johnson put his helmet right on the ball, if he had 3 arms on that thing it would have come out.

I was yelling at the TV for McCarthy to go for it but not even I would have ran the dive there with no FB. It was a bad call I don't care what McCarthy says.

UP-Packer's picture

Used to listen to MM's pressers regularly in his first few seasons as HC. Now, it's difficult because I'm not sure if he's providing real information or just being politically correct. The openness seems gone. BTW, the play calling was never there.

hayward4president's picture

The fact that people that are "packers fans" can't spell Rodgers or Favre is hilarious to me.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I think there has been considerable (but not universal) agreement on this website over the last few years that the packers' O-line is not suited for dive plays on 3rd or 4th down and one yard to go. I counted at least 3 Bengals across the LOS waiting for Franklin. Some have suggested that there should have been a lead blocker (a TE since no FBs were available), or that Raji should have been the ball carrier. I don't think Andre the Giant could have gained yardage on that situation. Right or wrong doesn't matter: by design GB just doesn't draft maulers when picking for the OL.

Kevin Purcell's picture

Solid is an adjective I could use to describe a lot of things.
1. Turd
2. Chunks - as in those blowing forth from my mouth upon seeing that fumble
3. Bombs - as in the one that blew up in our face with that call


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