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MM puts Faith in Offense !!!

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by WinnipegPackFan, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    Posted October 23, 2006

    Chris Havel column: Aggressive McCarthy puts faith in offense


    By Chris Havel

    MIAMI — Mike McCarthy faced a key drive and a crucial decision.


    The Green Bay Packers' coach could go for the Miami Dolphins' jugular and likely seal the victory, or he could play it safe for fear of slashing his throat.


    The Dolphins had closed within three points with 11 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the game. Their offense was spending more time on the field than the officials, or so it seemed, and the heat and humidity had the Packers' defense sagging.


    McCarthy decided to trust his instincts, and his quarterback, and roll the dice.


    He dialed up a clever mix of runs and passes. He converted fourth-and-1 at Miami's 40 with an end around to Donald Driver that picked up 6 yards. He moved the chains on a third-and-1 at Miami's 25 with a keep pass to Chris Francies for 13 more.


    He didn't dilly-dally in the red zone, either. He called another pass, and Brett Favre delivered a 13-yard touchdown pass to a well-covered David Martin, giving Green Bay a 10-point lead.


    Game. Set. Match.


    The Packers won 34-24 to capture their first win over the Dolphins at Miami. It was their second road win in three tries this season.


    In a single win, McCarthy supplied evidence he put the bye week to good use, and he can adjust during halftime. Charles Woodson's interception and 23-yard touchdown return helped the Packers score 14 third-quarter points. Through the first five games, Green Bay had managed a total of seven.


    McCarthy's decision to get aggressive was impressive, but no more than his fortitude to stay aggressive. The fourth-and-1 at Miami's 40 was a gutsy call. It also was the correct call. Whatever field position the Packers might have gained by punting would have been canceled in short order by the Dolphins' offense.


    The Packers' field position, slim lead and waning defense are reminiscent of another fourth-and-1 call that didn't go so well. McCarthy's predecessor elected to punt in a similar situation in the 2003 NFC divisional playoffs at Philadelphia. It led to the Eagles' fourth-and-26 conversion, and the rest, like Mike Sherman, is history.


    Fast forward to Sunday.


    The Packers needed points, and their defense needed time to catch its breath. McCarthy gave Favre, and the offense, an opportunity to deliver both.


    "I felt like it was maybe his best mix of run-pass this year," Favre said. "The last thing we needed to do was go three-and-out."


    If you're a Packers fan, McCarthy provided several reasons for hope in a single drive.


    He displayed awareness of the big picture. He called the right plays at the right time without melting down. He started the drive aggressively, and he stayed that way, which shows decisiveness. He gave the keys of the offense to his quarterback, and he showed faith in young receivers Ruvell Martin and Francies.


    "That was a particular point in the game where it was 27-24 and the momentum was starting to swing Miami's way," McCarthy said. "That was a big drive for us."


    It chewed up almost 6 minutes in 11 plays while covering 80 yards.


    Somehow, I get the feeling the Packers, and McCarthy, are going to get a lot more mileage out of it before the season is over.


    "This is a tremendous team win for us, especially coming off the bye week," McCarthy said.


    Once again, he was right, and for that, the Packers' coach probably deserves the game ball.


    Now, if he can figure out a way to win at Lambeau Field
     
  2. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    I agree with Havel. I'm glad we came out aggressive. I remember Madden taking those same chances back in the 80s and it paying off. You have to trust your offense, especially when the defense is struggling out there. Give the D a breather.

    That fourth and one was a gutsy move, and it paid off. Hats off to MM.
     
  3. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    MM put faith in the team vs. the rams too, we went for the kill, but favre fumbled due to bad blocking(one of the few cases of bad blocking in that game).

    MM has a gameplan, and part of it is to put his players in position, and have faith in them. I like it!
     

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