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Nauseating loss vs. Cardinals was final nail in the coffin for Packers' Mike McCarthy

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Nauseating loss vs. Cardinals was final nail in the coffin for Packers' Mike McCarthy

Sunday's appalling showing at Lambeau Field was the final nail in the coffin for Mike McCarthy.

After nearly 13 seasons as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, it simply took falling in spectacular fashion to the Arizona Cardinals in a game where his team was favored by 14 points to draw an era to an end.

The Cardinals' rookie quarterback, Josh Rosen, completed 11 of his 26 passes and threw for less than 150 yards -- but his team was credited with a 20-17 win. It was the first home loss in December for quarterback Aaron Rodgers since losing to the Houston Texans in his first year as the Packers' starter.

While the writing may have been on the wall that McCarthy's time was dwindling, very few expected the firing to happen during the season.

"We've had certain expectations and standards around here for a long time," general manager Brian Gutekunst said on Monday. "To come out at home, in this particular situation, against a team we felt we should beat. It just wasn't up to our standard and wasn't acceptable for what we want around here."

According to Gutekunst and President/CEO Mark Murphy, the loss to the Cardinals simply reinforced the team's decision to move on from McCarthy sooner than they intended to.

Pulling the trigger with four games still left to be played in 2018 is a double-ended sword.

On one end, it may seem discourteous to relieve McCarthy of his duties and relinquishing him of the opportunity to close out his tenure with the team strongly and on a more appropriate note. On the other, it gives him a head start on fielding future job opportunities from other teams and spares him from a month's worth of media speculation and slanderous rumors regarding his future.

Not long after the news broke of McCarthy's firing, rumors began circulating -- some with more merit than others -- of a possible conjoining between McCarthy and the Cleveland Browns. Much of the Browns' front office brass previously served in the Packers' organization at some point, and players such as cornerback Damarious Randall and JC Tretter previously played under McCarthy.

Regardless of how media personalities view him, McCarthy is going to be the most desirable candidate to fill some head coaching vacancies this offseason -- if he's still on the market by then.

The Packers are going to be a very desirable destination as well. Eight years worth of consecutive playoff appearances, 125 wins -- the most of any NFC coach since 2006 -- under his belt and an otherworldly quarterback at the helm, McCarthy doesn't leave the Packers in a bad shape.

His stay had just run its course, and the duo of Murphy and Gutekunst tend to agree; both consulted with each other before the decision was made to move on from him.

"This is going to be an attractive job," said Gutekunst. "This is the Green Bay Packers, this is one of the cornerstones of the National Football League, with a Hall of Fame quarterback.

"I feel very confident we're going to get the right guy in this."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (30) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Samson's picture

"His stay had just run its course."

It really is just as simple as that. -- Anyone trying to determine the fault of anyone in a case like this is just beating their drum. -- They don't know & probably will never know.

The TKstinator's picture

Hey look everybody!
There’s a whole lotta water under that there bridge!

Samson's picture

??? -- Sorry, your comment makes little sense.

The TKstinator's picture

That is often the case with me.
What I meant was, it’s all over now, and I agree, we will probably never be privy to all the details.

Samson's picture

Thanks much.

The TKstinator's picture

The TKstinator aims to please.
He often falls short.

Since '61's picture

TK we're all going to need a sense of humor around here for a while. I just hope it doesn't become a very long while. Thanks, Since '61

Lare's picture

Not sure I would describe the loss to the Cardinals "nauseating" or "appalling" as much as disappointing.

Time to move on, the next chapter of the Packers organization will be starting soon.

Since '61's picture

Nauseating is a pretty accurate choice of words. I guess it depends on either where you were sitting or what you were expecting. Thanks, Since '61

pooch's picture

Of course no one expected G.B. to fall Sunday neither

Packer Fan's picture

MM had run his course. Yep. Totally agree. This team is not very good. Rodgers getting hurt and then just losing his confidence and mojo. Lack of talent in the offensive line causing more pressure on Rodgers. High priced veterans not performing well. Huge lack of discipline. Injuries that just suck the life out of the team. Play calling that doesn't work for the talent. No pass rush. MM not giving Jones enough touches. On and on and on... Just waiting for someone smarter than me to put all this together to make the most sense of this season.

The TKstinator's picture

No pass rush other than being tied for the league lead in sacks.

Oppy's picture

I think it was pretty obvious he wasn't talking about THAT pass rush, TK.

The TKstinator's picture

Honest mistake on my part.

Since '61's picture

Pass rush? Did you say pass rush? 3rd and 23!!! What pass rush?
Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

Ok, you’re right, there have been a FEW plays this season in which Gang Green did NOT resemble the 85 Bears.

(I brought up “Gang Green”! Remember that moniker?)

Since '61's picture

That is the moniker for the NY Jets. Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

Does Dave Roller know?
Whatever happened to The New York Sack Exchange? Klecko? Gastineau?

Packers0808's picture

What was "nauseating" was watching Rodgers out there laughing and grinning when purposely missing passes imo Rodgers is purely out for himself shown by padding his number by the record throwaways!

Samson's picture

Did AR accidently run over your dog or something similar?
Oh no, wait, you cut MM's grass & now you're out of a job.
Just messing with ya.

The TKstinator's picture

Time to order another shiny hat.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nah, he is a one-issue poster: keep MM as HC. 0808 just uses whatever argument comes to mind.

Lare's picture

Just think, if McCarthy had replaced Zook and Crosby last offseason the Packers would probably be a playoff favorite right now and he would still have his job.

JohnnyLogan's picture

I'd like to see a great defensive coach who together with Pettine would turn the Packer D into one of the league's best. Hire a good young OC and a new QB coach to work with Rodgers on reshaping and modernizing the O. Then have Rodgers ask his young receivers to move in with him and throw to them all winter so he can regain his accuracy and they learn to catch the ball. Oh, have Gute draft a QB in case none of this works out.

croatpackfan's picture

You would like to see great cook who got rotten substances to make perfect meal for dinner?

Try with David Copperfield or Harry Houdini...

shmelbs's picture

Some random thoughts:

1) Thank you, CHTV, for being classy about MM's firing, and celebrating his accomplishments while also acknowledging it was simply the right time for a changing of the guard. I understand that fans have the right to be pissed off about his coaching and vent their feelings, but the dude's still a human being with a family. CHTV does a great job of illustrating the concept of "Packers People," in my opinion.

2) I'm not on social media, really, but outside of a few guarded locker room comments from Packer players, I haven't seen any big "sorry to see you go" tweets or anything from current or past Packers. I'm guessing they saw the writing on the wall, but once it was there, have the players not responded with any personal comments? Is that not strange? Maybe I just missed something. Wouldn't be the first time. (It would be the second.)

3) Was the writing not on the wall when TT was finally forced out and MM signed just a one-year extension on his contract? A one year "prove it" contract for a "highly successful" coach working with a new GM seemed odd back then, no? I'm not suggesting conspiracy theories/power plays, as exciting as those things would be to think about as we wade through the rest of this season, but still.

flackcatcher's picture

Good points all. Folks complain about Thompson, but he was a lame duck not by choice. Murphy's delay in hiring IAMGUTE put Thompson in the GM job by at least a year, and probably two, and changed the power dynamic inside 1265. As for McCarthy, he knew the score after the 2017 season. At least he had a chance, and in life as in sports that is all one can really ask for.

Pierre's picture

Those that know how solid NFL football teams operate and play this game know that as much as McCarthy’s teams won during the regular season, they sorely lacked preparation and a game plan to win big games against playoff teams. He also blew like every playoff overtime game they were involved with. Never had any confidence with McCarthy lead teams winning big games after the 2010 SB as he was usually out coached and his teams just I’ll prepared to play and finish games against good playoff teams. A better coach would have been to the SB at least 2-3 more times with Aaron Rodgers as their QB in his prime.

Oppy's picture

I wonder how you feel about that bum of a coach, Sean Payton, who squandered Drew Brees' prime years?

croatpackfan's picture

I believe they have prepared top game plan against unbeatable Rams, just one guy stopped them on the very certain way. Interesting?

1. theory - Mike McCarthy already has the Browns contract in the pocket and he, on purpose, did not sent clear massage to the Ty Montgomery regarding that particular KR...

2. theory - Aaron Rodgers wanted MM out of the Packers so he told Ty Montgomery that he would love to have ball on 40, 50 yards for the last attack...

3. theory - Brian Gutekunst send signal to Ty Montgomery that he will ship him to Baltimore Ravens if he will lose that ball on the last KR...

4. theory - Mark Murphy already decided that 2 drafts are enough for teams turnaround, so he will not need Mike McCarthy to be shield for negativity of fans, so he pull some compromising facts in front of Ty Montgomery and get him to lose the ball on the last KR...

5, theory - you are really tells me you still reading this crap? My God!

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