There’s not much need to summarize the Packers’ pitiful offensive performance from Sunday’s shutout loss to the Ravens other than to note that after the first drive, which ended with a Brett Hundley interception in the end zone, Green Bay never made it past Baltimore’s 40-yard line again. Mike McCarthy, who spoke defiantly several weeks ago about having years invested in Hundley and backup Joe Callahan and having no need to even sniff quarterbacks who were outside the building, reiterated his faith in Hundley going forward. While this may or may not be his decision to make, he’s the only one who has to face any music for it from reporters.
Longtime Packers beat writer Tom Silverstein summed up the failure of the team’s leadership after the game:
Either coach Mike McCarthy and his assistants failed completely in training backup Brett Hundley to play quarterback in their offense. Or general manager Ted Thompson has wasted a year by putting his chips on someone who can’t win throwing from the pocket.
While I’m not quite sure it’s an either/or thing because it’s probably some combination of both, Ted Thompson does not talk to the press during the season. So, it falls on the shoulders of Mike McCarthy to explain the inexplicable. When the Brian Hoyer report emerged, it was McCarthy who looked silly despite the fact that the leak had to have come from the front office.
There is nothing he could say up there other than professing outward faith in a quarterback he has no choice but to start, but how could they have this guy there for several years and feel so confident in him that they didn’t even consider bringing in a veteran backup, for a workout, right when Rodgers went down? If Joe Callahan is so bad he doesn’t get into that game after that quarterback performance from Hundley yesterday, what business does he have being on the roster?
Nevertheless, it feels like general consensus that McCarthy and Thompson are not on the hot seat, despite the fact that I believe they should be. The Packers lack an egomaniacal owner who, except in the cases of family-run franchises like the Bears and Bengals where essentially all their money comes from having inherited the football team, would rain fire and brimstone on this current administration and make them fear for their jobs.
President Mark Murphy does not seem like he has the temperament for a regime change if the Packers continue to play like this. (That being said, if the Packers did have a traditional ownership structure, it’s a real question of whether they’d still reside in Green Bay. So, live by the lack of sword, die by the lack of sword.)
The Packers sure look like they are wasting a season that started 4-1 and could’ve plausibly been salvaged with an adequate backup. I get that Aaron Rodgers is the most talented quarterback in the world and it’s never going to be like playing Candyland to replace him, but the way that offense performed Sunday at Lambeau speaks volumes about institutional incompetence. Only Mike McCarthy had to answer for it, but Ted Thompson is at least as culpable yet completely shields himself from accountability.