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Mike McCarthy’s Lack of Killer Instinct is Hurting the Packers

Blown and near-blown leads are hurting the Packers

NFL: Green Bay Packers Rookie Orientation Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

You know the saying "sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut"?

Well, former Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings finally found an acorn.

Appearing on Fox Sports 1's "Undisputed", a show notorious for outrageous and flaming hot takes, Jennings gave his opinion on why the Packers have not yet won a second Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers under center.

While many fans consistently point their fingers at defensive coordinator Dom Capers and the defense, Jennings instead thinks Capers' boss, head coach Mike McCarthy is to blame.

While many will immediately dismiss this as just another bitter cheap shot thrown at his former team by Jennings, there is no denying he might be right on this one.

Here is what he had to say via The Sporting News:

He would cuff us. ....When you watch New England play, when they have a lead, they go for your throat, they don't relax … they have a great quarterback, they have arguably the best quarterback in football, but they have no doubt about it the best head coach in football.

The Packers clearly have had issues putting opponents away. The most obvious piece of evidence is their NFC championship game collapse against the Seattle Seahawks in January 2015. Had McCarthy stayed on the gas offensively that game, this piece isn't even being written.

Take a look at some games from last season;

Week 3 vs Detroit: the Packers led 31-10 at halftime. They won the game 34-27.

Week 15 at Chicago: Green Bay led 27-10 in the fourth quarter against Matt Barkley. Green Bay still won 30-27, thanks to some late heroics by Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.

Divisional playoff game at Dallas: Green Bay led 21-3. They hung on and won 34-31 thanks to the infamous clutch throw by Rodgers and a field goal by Mason Crosby as time expired.

Had the Packers not hung on in those two regular season games, they don't make the playoffs and the Dallas game obviously doesn't happen.

You can even wind the clock all the way back to Super Bowl XLV. Green Bay led the Steelers 21-3 before winning 31-25. They were out scored 22-10 after they went up by 18. This is clearly not a new issue for the Packers under McCarthy.

So now that it's clear McCarthy likes to take his foot off the gas, the next question to answer is why he chooses to do so.

Maybe he doesn't want to be the guy running up the score when he clearly could. That's fine and dandy when it comes to sportsmanship, but all that does is show you lack a killer instinct.

McCarthy clearly likes to be respected by his peers, but when you have a defense that is clearly struggling you can't go into a shell on offense. You have to keep your foot on the opponent's throat, lest they rise and stab you in the back. Sometimes it's better to be feared than it is to be respected, especially in a league like the NFL. Bill Belichick has made a career out of embarrassing opponents. Why can't McCarthy? There really is no reason except a lack of willpower.

To be fair, the defense clearly has problems shutting teams out as well. Sometimes that's due to injury and sometimes Capers lets off the gas as well. He deserves to have his play calling questioned too, but that’s anorher argument for another day.

That's still no excuse for McCarthy, however. He's the head coach and the buck stops with him. If he wanted Capers to dial up the pressure, he easily could.

That being said, he is the offensive play caller and has the mother of all weapons in a player named Rodgers. If you have a weapon with the ability to annihilate your opponent, why would you only use 75% of its power and give your opponent even a 1% chance of a comeback when at 100% (or in football terms all four quarters) you can obliterate your enemy?

No one can say for certain. Only McCarthy himself knows the answer.

The 2017 Packers, especially on offense, have the potential to be an absolutely lethal team.

The only question is whether or not their coach will let them be one. The sooner McCarthy learns to bury an opponent, the better off the team will be.

Unfortunately, for now at least, it seems McCarthy isn't even able to use a shovel.