Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy isn’t afraid to tell it how it is.
McCarthy’s Packers looked lost Sunday in the NFC Championship Game against the Atlanta Falcons, suffering a 44-21 whipping to bow out of the playoffs rather than charge ahead to the Super Bowl.
“We ran into a buzz saw,”McCarthy said, according to NFL.com’s Marc Sessler. “Those guys performed great. We didn’t have enough to keep up with them. We didn’t stop them at all, defensively … Their production (in first half) was a big key. We needed to keep pace with those guys … There were communication issues. There were a handful of times we couldn’t get a play in, and that’s a credit to the crowd.”
Indeed, the Falcons stormed out to a 24-0 halftime lead and didn’t ease off the gas in the second half. Green Bay made a few adjustments during the break and woke up, but three touchdowns against one interception by Aaron Rodgers simply wasn’t enough.
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan kept his MVP play going with four passing touchdowns and no turnovers, not to mention another rushing score on the ground. Julio Jones led all receivers with nine catches for 180 yards and two scores.
For the Packers, it is time for the organization to take a step back and look in the mirror. A late-season run full of lucky breaks and otherworldly plays by Rodgers didn’t hold up against a Super Bowl team, the NFL version of a buzz saw.
It has now been more than five years since Rodgers has played in a Super Bowl, so the franchise has to decide how it can better build around arguably the league’s best player or risk running right into similar problems in the future.