Mike McCarthy

USA Today

Week 13

How insane was the weekend? Chargers vs. Steelers, McCarthy, etc.

December 03, 2018 - 9:22 am

You knew it was going to be a weird NFL weekend when the Dallas Cowboys wrecked the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night. But that was just the start. That was followed by a Sunday that included:

- Cody Kessler’s Jacksonville Jaguars shutting out the red-hot Indianapolis Colts 6-0.

- Cam Newton throwing 4 interceptions in a must-win game against Tampa. And losing. And losing Greg Olsen in the process.

- Adam Thielen and Bill Belichick b-bombing each other 

Lions offensive lineman Taylor Decker doing this 

And that’s before we get to the Bears-Giants game, which was a full-blown circus. And the most amazing part, Chicago, down seven with three seconds left and no timeouts, and Matt Nagy goes legend with this call.

Holy crap. The stones on Nagy to go with a pitch to a tight end, a lateral to a running back and a pass to the end zone, with the game on the line. I honestly do not care the Bears lost in overtime. They won everything but that game and I could not love that play any more than I do. 

And even that wasn’t the most insane ending to a game. How about the Chargers going into Pittsburgh and ripping one from the Steelers. Los Angeles fell behind 23-7 and then completely turned it around. 23 straight unanswered points. Pittsburgh’s first regular season home loss when leading by 14 or more. They’d previously won 220 of those games. Until last night.  

Of course, it was kind of helped by the Steelers consistently putting a linebacker on Keenan Allen. I’m no Rod Marinelli, but that doesn’t sound like a great defensive strategy. And of course Rivers had seven completions to him when he was covered by a linebacker. 

And it was really helped by the Steelers back to back offsides. Before the Chargers game winning field goal.

Absolutely incredible win by the Chargers and an incredible meltdown by the Steelers. The Chargers are so brass to go across the country, fall behind by 16 and battle their way back for the win. The Chargers of old do not win the game game. And the Steelers of old do not lose that game. That was one of their worst losses over. Legitimately. Given when and where it happened, that is one of their worst losses ever. They completely imploded on both sides of the ball, physically and mentally. A total disaster. And if Ben Roethlisberger lit his teammates up, by name, after a bad loss to Denver, you know he wants to burn that locker room down right now. 

How insane was the weekend? I had to get through all of that before I could get to the Green Bay Packers firing head coach Mike McCarthy. Then again, that was the most logical and expected thing that happened all weekend. What’s more shocking – the Jags beating the Colts or the Packers firing a Super Bowl winning head coach?

After seeing Green Bay lose to Arizona in Green Bay and how they lost that game, it’s the Jags beating the Colts. Because the Packers have just completely fallen apart. Arizona just took it to Green Bay. And the Cardinals haven’t really taken it to anyone. 

That loss ended the Packers chances of making the playoffs and ended McCarthy’s gig, but let’s be honest, both of those were over a while ago. 

It’s the first time in the Packers history that they fired a head coach in the middle of the season. And not just some random head coach, but the guy who coached longer than anyone not named Lambeau. And won a Super Bowl. That’s pretty amazing. Yet was pretty obvious that it had to happen. 

The whole vibe around the team was bad, bordering on toxic. And it sure as hell didn’t look like anyone in that locker room was fighting to keep McCarthy around.  

The fact is, the offense had gotten stale. Actually, it got stale a while ago, yesterday it was just hideous. I think it’s technically a West Coast scheme, but let’s be honest, the offense is really just: Aaron, bail us out. Forget looking for jet sweeps, funky formations, pick plays, and guys running open, it’s just turned into: hopefully we can keep the game sort of close in the fourth quarter and then Rodgers will work a miracle. 

And that’s not actually an offense. I don’t need to go into what the team has been like this year since the season-opening win against the Bears. Because it’s been bad. And this was coming. 

Not only did it have to happen, it needed to happen now. Because if you’re going to do something eventually, you better do it now. And the team was going to fire Mike McCarthy at the end of the season, so they might as well do it now. Especially after yesterday’s game. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Mike McCarthy just fired himself after that game. Just walked into Team President Mark Murphy’s office and just said, “I’ll do it. I’m fired.”

McCarthy had a nice run and a really bad ending. And yeah, there’s a question as to whether coaching Aaron Rodgers that long and winning just one ring is an underachievement, and I’d say it is, but now the Packers have at least given themselves a chance of winning more titles while they have a transcendent quarterback. Find an offensive-minded head coach who can take pressure off Rodgers, not put more on him. Maximize the prime years Rodgers still has left. I’m not saying it’s all on McCarthy. I’m not saying Aaron Rodgers is without blame. I AM saying McCarthy had to go.  Because just days after saying they were going to need to run the table, that team laid down and was humiliated at home by a bad Arizona team. Someone was getting fired over that, and it wasn’t going to be the franchise q.b.