The head coach of a football team will almost always be the biggest subject of criticism when the team's season wraps up. For at least the second year in a row, the Green Bay Packers' Mike McCarthy found himself criticized for conservative in-game decisions in a heartbreaking playoff loss, and more questions than ever surround his legacy and future with the franchise.
His nature is shown even more clearly when pitted against a hyper-aggressive coach like Bruce Arians, as he was on Saturday night. His decisions on which players to give playing time to (particularly at wide receiver) are thrown into question when young injury replacements like Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis step up in big games.
What is the plan moving forward? We'll discuss and learn more in time. For now, though, it seems fair to question a whole host of McCarthy's decisions, even if the answers are not easy to come by.
Is Mike McCarthy to blame for Packers' playoff failures? | JSOnline.com
This issue is riddled with questions and examples of McCarthy excelling at certain things, struggling at others, and his teams dealing with some unlucky moments and weird mistakes.
An aggressive Bruce Arians got his win and Mike McCarthy should learn from it - ESPN.com
Bill Barnwell nailed it that Arians would throw on second down with the clock running down towards the two-minute warning, but that's Arians' nature. He takes chances that most coaches do not, especially the often conservative-to-a-fault McCarthy.
Hesitant Rodgers erratic right to the end | Packersnews.com
The tape shows a handful of plays against Arizona where Rodgers' issues from all season long reared their ugly heads: passing up open receivers, getting jumpy in the pocket, and simple inaccuracy were there despite the heroics at the end.
Packers' defense had its chances | Packers.com
That one terrible play in overtime destroyed what had appeared to be a pretty darn good game for the defense, as it wasn't just the blown coverage but the missed tackles that compounded it.
Chips Report from Packers 26-20 Divisional round loss in Arizona | 247sports.com
Certainly Jeff Janis earns a blue chip. As usual, the choices for the cow chips are spot-on, with the ineffective Mike Neal and Tim Masthay earning the dishonors.
Grades for Arizona's win over Green Bay | Pro Football Focus
At least according to PFF, Sam Shields' return was a great one despite a couple of potential interceptions that ended up on the ground. B.J. Raji, on the other hand, has struggled over the second half of the season and did so again on Saturday despite a flash play or two.
2016 NFL Draft order: Division round results set top 28 - SBNation.com
The Packers had the second-best record of any losing team in the Divisional round, with the Chiefs finishing at 11-5. That puts Green Bay in slot #27, a spot where they drafted in 1996.