Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy handed over the play-calling duties to Associated head coach/offense Tom Clements back in February.
The offense came out of the gates clicking, only to hit the skids for the last six to eight games. McCarthy waited as long as he could for the offense to get things together. That wait ended early in the week before the Dallas game when the coach met with his assistant and told him he was making the switch.
With four games left to play, there was still time to get the offense going and playing some of its best football entering the playoffs. McCarthy had to grab the bull by the horns and make the move.
The Packers beat the Cowboys 28-7 and it wasn’t a perfect day for the offense. But on a rainy day at Lambeau Field, McCarthy accomplished at least one thing. He got Eddie Lacy back on the horse and the running game moving the ball with a purpose.
The Packers racked up 230 yards on the ground. Lacy, who was punished for missing curfew in Detroit, felt he needed to make amends and earn his teammates trust back. He did that on Sunday, to the tune of 124 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Just as important, the Packers had been getting sloppy with the ball in previous games. Sunday in the pouring rain, they had no fumbles and no interceptions.
Not everybody was in favor of the play calling change. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is very close with Clements and after the game said the problems with the offense was a lack of execution and not the play calling.
Regardless, McCarthy is back in charge and will most likely stay there for the remainder of this season.
McCarthy didn’t use tight end Richard Rodgers much, called more screen plays and got Randall Cobb more involved, both at receiver and in the backfield. Cobb was targeted 12 times at wide receiver, catching eight passes for 81 yards.
The change was successful against the 4-8 Cowboys on Sunday. Now the Packers have back-to-back road games at Oakland and at Arizona the next two weeks. We’ll see if the Packers can build on their success from Sunday.
Green Bay improved to 9-4 on the season and have a one-game lead over the Vikings atop the N-F-C North with the tiebreaker against the Vikings in hand.