Magary is approaching this as a Packers hater rather than a Seahawks fan, but our tribes share a common interest, and certainly I will never get tired of watching the highlights from this game:
Never gets old. In 2016, the memory of [the muffed onside] kick is basically all I have going for me. And Mike McCarthy is still employed! Isn’t that amazing? Imagine being in charge of the Packers and watching that game and not immediately firing McCarthy into the sun. I imagine Green Bay as a cursed hamlet where the evil fairy Maleficient has put everyone into an eternal death sleep.
Mike McCarthy has never been a good in-game coach, but that game was a bad coaching masterpiece. It was the Beethoven’s Seventh of bad coaching. The ridiculous PUTTING THE POINTS ON THE BOARD IN THE NATIONAL. FOOTBALL. LEAGUE. when he had a chance to bury Seattle early. Having his team completely unprepared for one of the most obvious setups for a fake field goal you’ll ever see. The arbitrary second half rush target. The three-man-with-a-spy-on-Russell pass rushes on 3rd-and-long. It’s not easy to lose a game when you have Aaron Rodgers — OK, not a fully healthy Rodgers, but 85% of Aaron Rodgers is still a Hall of Famer — and the other team’s QB has barely more completions than picks for the first 55 minutes, but he did it. (We should also mention Jermaine Kearse here. He caught the winning TD in overtime and yet still might have had the largest negative value of any wide receiver in a single game I’ve ever seen. He was directly responsible for at least 3 of the 4 picks.) But he did it.
I suppose it’s unfair to compare McCarthy to Jeff Fisher. Not because of the Super Bowl ring — I actually don’t think winning one with Rodgers is any more impressive than being less from a yard from OT with Steve McNair as your QB, and Fisher’s team was 13-3 while McCarthy’s was 10-6 — but because of how bad Fisher’s teams have been for so long. But I really don’t understand why McCarthy still has his job. A team with that caliber of QB in today’s NFL should be better. And, yes, I realize that writing this will ensure that Rodgers puts up 450 yards against the Thomas-less Seahawks.
I also agree with Barnwell that while he’s played very well, given the line he’s running behind Elliott has not been the best running back in the league this year. But in terms of the MVP discussion it should be moot anyway. If you think even the best running back in the league is more valuable than 12 games of Tom Brady or 16 games of Derek Carr or Matt Ryan or Von Miller or Kahlil Mack, I’d send your cv to Stan Kroenke’s toupee immediately — after all, any position in the organization but owner and head coach might be up for grabs soon, and he’ll like the cut of your jib.
Lest I be accused of being too parochial, I should note that the Seattle Sounders are your MLS champions. I did almost flip over from the epochal Flames/Jets tilt I was watching (Laine and Tkachuk — hell of a rookie class this year!) to see the end, but saw it was already in fucking penalty kicks so I didn’t bother. Anyway (spoiler alert!) the Sounders won the league title despite having zero shots on goal because the league awards its league championship essentially with a coin-flipping contest. So, sorry, but my longstanding conviction that THE BEAUTIFUL GAME is by far the least interesting of the five major North American professional sports stands.