Friday's NFL: McCarthy feeling heat after Packers’ defeat
Green Bay, Wis. — Mike McCarthy knows his job is on the line.
The Green Bay Packers’ 13th-year head coach acknowledged he is aware that the team’s 4-5-1 record has led to questions about his future.
But he insisted he and the team are focused on next week’s pivotal NFC North matchup with the Vikings in Minnesota, and not the uncertainty surrounding his job security.
“That’s the job. That’s the way this business has gone,” McCarthy said Friday.
“We set a standard here the past 12 years, and it’s our responsibility to play to that standard. That’s the way we approach it.”
The 27-24 loss in Seattle on Thursday left the Packers 0-5 on the road and third in the division behind the Chicago Bears (6-3) and the Vikings (5-3-1).
A seemingly softer portion of the schedule follows next week’s showdown with Minnesota, but a loss in that game could put the Packers in a hole too deep to climb out of.
McCarthy has had teams rally late in seasons past, including in 2016, when quarterback Aaron Rodgers famously said the team could “run the table” over the final six weeks.
After starting 4-6, the Packers won eight straight games to win the NFC North and advance to conference title game, in which they fell to the Atlanta Falcons.
That was Green Bay’s fourth NFC championship game under McCarthy, who led the 2010 team to the Super Bowl title.
His Packers made the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons before missing the postseason last year, when Rodgers missed nine-plus games with a broken right collarbone.
“I have great confidence. I’ve been in this position before, so I have confidence in how we do things,” McCarthy said.
“You have to react — there’s no doubt about that — but you can’t overreact.
“So, you’ve just got to stay in tune with the specifics and the details of why we’re not getting it done in those situations.”
The Packers have lost three of their last four games, despite being in position in the fourth quarter to win on the road against the Rams, Patriots and Seahawks.
“We’re not going to turn on each other or nothing. We love each other and we stick together as a team,” defensive back Tramon Williams said.
“Is it frustrating? Yes, it’s very frustrating to come out on these types of losses when you know you should be winning these games.”
Broncos left guard Max Garcia was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament after undergoing an MRI.
Garcia is the third starting offensive lineman the Broncos have lost this season, joining guard Ronald Leary (Achilles) and center Matt Paradis, who had surgery on his broken right leg earlier this week
With right guard Connor McGovern preparing for his first NFL start at center and Elijah Wilkinson set to make his first pro start at right guard, Garcia went for an MRI.
... Titans right tackle Jack Conklin has been cleared from the concussion protocol after missing last week’s victory over the Patriots, while outside linebacker Derrick Morgan is set to return after practicing fully the past two days after missing the last three games with an injured shoulder.
... Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (left foot) and tight end Antonio Gates (knee injury) are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Broncos.
... Falcons middle linebacker Deion Jones is still not ready to play and will be inactive Sunday against Dallas.
Kicker Matt Bryant had a good week of practice and will be on Atlanta’s game-day roster after missing the last three games with a sore right hamstring.