There is no question that Mike McCarthy had some flaws in his coaching career when it came to game and clock management and making many conservative decisions. Packers fans are among the most loyal in sports, but even they had to be troubled by the continued struggles and game management decisions of their head coach. Still, McCarthy leaves Green Bay as a Super Bowl winner (2010) with nine playoff appearances, four NFC championship games and a record of 125-77-2 in 13 seasons.
But while winning five of six NFC North titles from 2011-2016, the Packers suffered one of the greatest collapses in NFC playoff history in 2014. Leading the Seahawks 16-0 at halftime and 19-7 with just over two minutes left to play in Seattle, Green Bay was a 99.9% favorite to win the game. But disaster struck with a Russell Wilson touchdown run followed by a botched onside kick recovery. Seattle scored another touchdown to take a brief 22-19 lead before QB Aaron Rodgers rallied the Packers for a game-tying field goal in the final minute to force overtime. But Seattle took the overtime kickoff down the field and Russell Wilson connected on a 35-yard touchdown pass to send Seattle to the Super Bowl and the Packers home with another crushing defeat.
That game likely marked the beginning of the end for Mike McCarthy.
Still, when you look around the NFL and see so many incapable and more incompetent coaches on the sidelines, you know McCarthy will get a chance to lead another franchise as a head coach.
Head coaching jobs likely to be open this offseason include Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver and the New York Jets. There isn’t a playoff victory amongst any of those teams, even though Cincinnati has produced a handful of winning seasons. Even still, that’s 16 years in Cincinnati with the same head coach an no playoff wins. The others were just poor hires, which has led to much more losing. Jobs could open in Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa Bay this coming off-season. If not now they will following next season if losing continues. Will the Atlanta Falcons coach survive another season? Dallas will likely make a change if the Cowboys chock and fail to make the playoffs. A first round playoff loss at home could also send Jerry’s World into turmoil.
There were questionable head coaching hires prior to this season in Arizona, Detroit Oakland and Tennessee.
You may recall when Andy Reid was let go after a long, successful head coaching run at Philadelphia. He never won the Super Bowl, but reached the NFC Championship game four straight years and five times overall, advancing to the Super Bowl once. He won 120 games in Philadelphia with a .609 winning percentage. Reid was also never an offensive or defensive coordinator before becoming a NFL head coach. But his success and approach was also more conservative in many years including in Kansas City, where he has continued to win. Reid also started his coaching career as an assistant in Green Bay when Brett Favre arrived as quarterback in 1992.
Reid got another opportunity to be a head coach in Kansas City even after missing the playoffs during his final two years as the signal caller in Philadelphia. Green Bay has now missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons, and Mike McCarthy will get another opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL.
You can bet on it.
Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.