Senior writer jclombardi: “good vs great” issue about McCarthy era.
Packers–good vs great: The four losses do beg the question: Are the Packers, under McCarthy and Rodgers, capable of winning the close games? It is within those nip-and-tuck affairs that the good teams, as McCarthy made clear to his guys, become great. “Mike’s talked about from the beginning of training camp, really: The enemy of great is good,” Rodgers said. “Meaning that, you don’t want to be remembered as just a good team, a team that made some plays and couldn’t take that next jump to being an elite football team. I saw something written about us this week that said we were still just a ‘good’ football team. And so obviously that’s not something we want to be remembered as. We e still have a chance to accomplish all the things we set forward at the beginning of the season.” Rodgers went on to explain that close games are often decided not only by plays made as the game clock is winding down in the fourth quarter, but by plays made or not made earlier the game. “The talk to the team was the ability to go from good to great, and the factors that are involved in that,” McCarthy explained. “And it always points back to the fundamentals of football. People may get frustrated that I’m redundant, but at the end of the day, that’s how you play football. You have to block the other guy, you have to finish the block, you have to get off that block when you’re on defense, you have to tackle, you have to break tackles, you have to take the football away, you have to take care of the football. “The difference between winning and losing in this league (is), the little things turn into big things, and the little things turn into real big things when you get into December football. We’re really focused on improving ourselves, the things that we didn’t do well in the area of fundamentals, whether it was blocking, tackling, taking care of the football, taking the football away, making the proper adjustments. That’s really what we’re focused on. We just need to fine-detail our work. We’ve done a lot of positive things as a football team, but it’s the little things that have caught us in the four losses.”
Rodgers era-2 of 12 in close games: People are going to write what they want,” the Green Bay Packers quarterback said of his 2-12 record as a starter in games decided by four points or fewer. “But the game-by-game, case-by-case breakdown of that, I think, would be an interesting story.” The results? In nine of the 12 losses, Rodgers led the Packers to a tying or go-ahead score at some point in the fourth quarter. And in the other three losses, he set up a potential game-winning field goal, only to see it missed. Now, Rodgers isn’t by any means blameless. In the nine losses in which he tied the score or gave the Packers the lead in the fourth quarter, he also failed later in the quarter or in overtime to deliver the go-ahead or game-winning score. But in four of the nine losses, Rodgers forged a tie or gave the Packers the lead late.