End could be near for Packers McCarthy

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy speaks with a referee.Photo: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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That included talking about fixing what's wrong with the offense and how the team can still make the playoffs if it wins its final five games.

"The message to the team is we're going to correct off our last contest there against the Vikings. We'll spend extra time doing that Wednesday, and then it's to beat the Cardinals at home," McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Monday. "I think our team has done a really good job keeping their eye on the target. They're fighting. They're playing hard. They're giving us everything they've got. And as their coaching staff this morning, we're just going to keep giving them everything we've got.

"We need to coach better, and we need to play better. And that's what our evaluation shows."

Outside the team, the talk is more realistic. Packers fans are probably watching the final days of McCarthy's tenure as Packers coach. After 13 seasons and one Super Bowl championship, Green Bay (4-6-1) is likely to miss the playoffs and Rodgers isn't getting any younger.

One of the lead stories on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel website Monday night was titled "Writers weigh in on potential McCarty successors."

Green Bay is currently sixth in the wild-card race behind Minnesota, Washington, Seattle, Carolina, and Philadelphia. Three of those teams (Vikings, Redskins, Seahawks) have beaten the Packers. The remaining schedule is favorable, but two games stand out. The Falcons visit Green Bay in Week 14 and the Packers travel to division leading Chicago in Week 15.

"I've got a lot more gray in the beard than I did a few years ago," Rodgers told the Journal-Sentinel. "So, I know that football mortality catches up to everybody, and you never want to lose a season. Especially when you felt great starting the season about our prospects. But we're going to battle the next five weeks and put ourselves in a position to be in the conversation."

While the Packers have won their share of games in Chicago, this year is different. Green Bay is 0-6 on the road. Their only quality win at all came in Week 1 when they beat the Bears at Lambeau.

And just making the playoffs probably doesn't save McCarthy. There were those calling for his job when Green Bay was routed in the NFC Championship Game 44-21 two years ago by the Falcons.

After Sunday's loss, McCarthy faced tough questions about the team's underperforming season.

"I understand why you're asking the questions. That's part of the deal. We're about winning football games. We didn't do enough. I didn't do enough. I need to coach better," McCarthy told reporters.

It may be too late.

--QB Aaron Rodgers completed 17 of 28 passes for 198 yards and one touchdown against the Vikings. It was his season low for completions and yardage.

--WR Davante Adams caught five passes for 69 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings. He went over the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his five-year career.

--LT David Bakhtiari left Sunday's game with a knee injury and was having tests done on Monday. "He's got a couple things going on," coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Monday.

--LG Lane Taylor left Sunday's game with quad injury.

--S Kentrell Brice left Sunday's game with an ankle injury and a concussion.