First, I’m just as upset as anyone over the Packers’ loss to the Lions as anyone. It shouldn’t have happened. The Packers easily were and are the better team.
With that out of the way, I’m telling my fellow fans to lay off the head coach. Mike McCarthy had an off game and made some mistakes. He is human. Had that 4th and 1 play connected, we would all be calling him a genius. So back off.
The only thing more shameful than the performance of the Packers this past week has been the conduct of some of their fans on sports talk radio and the internet.
The Packers are 8-5 and you want McCarthy canned? Really? Do you think you can do a better job? Do you want to put in all those hours that the job of an NFL coach demands?
No? Then shut up.
So many fans are willing to bash McCarthy for this and that, but when it all comes down to it, they can’t say they could do better. It seems like every time the Packers lose a game, that “McCarthy HAS to be fired! OMG!”
Excuse me. I didn’t realize we expect the Packers to go 16-0 every year. My bad.
The bottom line is the Packers should be much worse than 8-5 given all the injuries. The Packer have enough starters on IR to form a baseball team with more players on the bench.
McCarthy doesn’t need to be fired. He needs to be praised. He has done a remarkable job holding this roster together when most teams would crumble and start planning for next year.
I’ll go ahead and say it: 8-8 to me, with this many injuries, would be a successful year. Some will say I have my sights set way too low, but let’s be realistic. With this many reserves on the field, getting to a Super Bowl would be a monumental task. If McCarthy doesn’t get the Packers there this year, oh well. No need to cry like a two year old, as many a fans is doing.
Don’t get me wrong: I love Packers fans’ passion. It’s what makes us the best fans in sports. Sometimes, however, that passion leads to some pretty irrational behavior. Calling for McCarthy’s head at this point is very irrational.
Let’s also give the competition some credit. The Lions are a much improved team and a lot better than their record indicates. A few breaks going the other way and we would be talking about a three team race for the NFC North title. If they had Matthew Stafford all year, I would argue they could be in first.
If anyone saw the post-game press conference, McCarthy held himself accountable. He knows he made some mistakes. He’s not Brad Childress or Josh McDaniels in that he refuses to blame himself. McCarthy gets it without an entire fandom screaming in his face.
So let’s move on and enjoy the rest of the season. No one expects the Packers to do well against the Patriots. If the Packers can pull it off, all will likely be forgiven.
Such is the flip-flop nature of many fans. Others stick with their coach come hell or high water.
Of course, we as fans have the right to criticize the team. We wouldn’t be much for fans if we didn’t.
That said, sometimes you have to chalk things up as “stuff happens” instead of gross incompetence. If mistakes are repeated, the coach either corrects them or is fired. McCarthy is in year five and most assuredly will get year six – so he’s obviously learning.
That’s what I count last week’s game as.——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke