There’s no doubt that the Green Bay Packers have underperformed this season. They’re 3-2 and, although their losses have come against two of the league’s upstarts this season in the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys, some are beginning to question whether the Packers’ sluggish start is symptomatic of a bigger issue.
Fox Sports’ Chris Chase argues that while head coach Mike McCarthy, whose 11-year tenure in Green Bay is the NFL’s third longest behind just Bill Belichick and Marvin Lewis, has led the Packers to a victory in Super Bowl XLV and turned the team into a postseason mainstay (the Packers have only missed the playoffs twice during his time at the helm), his efforts could be growing stale. He writes:
“…The Packers haven’t looked impressive in any of their three wins. Taking out that Super Bowl year, Green Bay is 3-6 in the playoffs during the Rodgers’ era despite posting records of 15-1, 12-4 and 11-5 (twice). (The Packers were 10-6 in their championship season.) Overall, there seems to be a general feeling of malaise in Green Bay, like the team has stagnated and needs something — a big move — to reinvigorate the franchise. And since Rodgers isn’t going anywhere, all eyes are likely to shift to Mike McCarthy this offseason.”
That said, the Packers are far from peril. Aside from a few more rounds of divisional matchups with Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago, the slate holds only about three more games where they might be considered underdogs; at Philadelphia, at Atlanta and a home date with Seattle. And at second place in the NFC North behind Minnesota with more than a third of the season left to play, an about face of the sort that ends with an NFC championship is certainly not out of the question.
Still, though, Chase suggests that the Packers should get rid of McCarthy for the same reason that some other heavily tenured and accomplished head coaches have been fired recently—to breathe new life into the organization.
“It’s the same reason the New York Giants got rid of Tom Coughlin, the Eagles cut ties with Andy Reid and Les Miles is out of work after 12 years at LSU. Sometimes a team, even a great one, needs a change of scenery.”
If change for the sake of change is in fact an idea that’s being floated around in Green Bay, here’s another parallel: McCarthy, like Les Miles at the beginning of the 2016 season, is about to face more scrutiny than he ever has. And with each loss, his future with the Pack will in all likelihood come closer to meeting its end.