ProFootballTalk considers Mike McCarthy’s decision to settle for overtime:
Three days later, the sports world continues to buzz about the epic Packers-Cardinals playoff game. And one of the many questions that continues to bubble up from time to time is this: Should the Packers have gone for two after scoring on a :00 Hail Mary pass?
In hindsight, absolutely. But if coach Mike McCarthy had opted to go for two and if his team had failed to convert, he would have become a pin cushion for criticism in the aftermath of what would have become his team’s latest failure in a playoff game. Apart from the fact that coaches who do the conventional and fail get a pass while those who do the unconventional and fail don’t, a McCarthy decision to go for two would have been directly responsible for the fifth straight failure to get to the Super Bowl despite having one of the best quarterbacks of the Super Bowl era on his team.
It’s not hindsight. It was the obvious thing to do. In 2015, the Packers went for it 6 times and scored the conversion 4 times for a 66.7 percent success rate. The league average was 47.8 percent.
But Mcarthy’s decision is even worse than the statistics indicate. The Packers were underdogs. The underdog should ALWAYS go for the winning two-point conversion. I was at a Vikings-Cowboys game in 1995 when the Aikman-Smith-Irvin Cowboys were the defending Super Bowl champions and the dominant team in the league.
The Denny Green-coached Vikings managed to tie the game with 30 seconds left. It was a chance at a huge upset; the Cowboys were clearly the better team and the only reason we were in it was due to a very rare Emmitt Smith fumble. The two-point conversion was our one shot at winning the game.
But like Mike McCarthy, Denny Green choked, and played to continue the game rather than to win. Sound familiar?
The Cowboys won the coin toss and needed
just five plays to win the game. Smith broke through a huge hole on the
left side and outran safety Charles Mincy to the end zone just 2
minutes 26 seconds into overtime.
The players can tell when their chickenshit coach isn’t even trying to win, and they play accordingly.