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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Black and Blue all over: Packers forget to pass

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

We spent most of our postgame time in Chicago's locker room Monday night, but Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hit on a Green Bay point I was wondering about during the game.

Namely: Why, after attacking the Bears all evening with their passing game, did the Packers use three consecutive running plays prior to Mason Crosby's ill-fated 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter?

The plays netted four yards, moving the ball from the Bears' 24-yard line to the 20. It was another example of late-game caution from the Packers' otherwise aggressive coach, Mike McCarthy. After watching Crosby botch a 46-yarder earlier in the game, how comfortable could McCarthy have been with a 38-yard attempt?

Silverstein questions whether McCarthy went conservative or lost faith in quarterback Aaron Rodgers. McCarthy responded that he has "full confidence" in Rodgers and added:

"I have no problem calling any pass play. I think it was evident from the way we threw the ball down the field. I thought we played aggressive. I thought we played to win."

If anything, I think McCarthy is guilty of underestimating the degree of difficulty on field goals. Last month, he played for a 52-yard attempt against Minnesota. Crosby missed that long-distance kick, which would have given the Packers a last-second victory. Monday night's conditions at Soldier Field, meanwhile, dictated that no distance was a sure bet.

We'll touch on this topic later Tuesday. For now, let's take a morning spin around the division: