Last month, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy stood at the press podium and argued that he’s a highly successful NFL coach.
And the truth is, he’s right. And one of the biggest reasons why is his incredible record in the month of December. With two wins this month over the Texans and Seahawks, he is now 30-14. He’s also 14-3 within the NFC North.
That’s an impressive record and it bodes well for the Packers going forward as they try to recover from 4-6 to make the playoffs.
Last week, with the 38-10 thrashing of Seattle, the Packers again, look they are ready to go on a December roll. While some are looking ahead to the Lions and Vikings, playing the Bears, in Chicago will also pose a challenge.
Back in 2007, as heavy favorites, the Packers went to Chicago and laid an egg.
Green Bay came into the game 12-2. Chicago was 5-9. But thanks to horrendous weather, turnovers and a very bad day from Brett Favre, the Bears won 35-7.
The Bears have also beaten the Packers as heavy underdogs at Lambeau in both 2013 (game Aaron got hurt) and 2015, when surprisingly, Jay Cutler took care of the ball.
Yet, the fact that the Packers have owned Solider Field is recent years should be comforting, as is the fact, that like usual, McCarthy’s team is peaking at the right time.
Winning games in December is always tough; winning division games in December is even tougher. It’s the second time meeting. It’s hard to game plan and the teams generally don’t like each other. That formula makes for hard-fought football games.
That’s what makes McCarthy’s December win percentages of 68 overall and 82 within the division, so spectacular.
It also proves why any talk of removing McCarthy as head coach is silly. He said this Packers team would improve and it has. Many were ready to write them off, including myself.
But McCarthy didn’t. He kept saying this would be a good football team and now, with two more divisions wins in December (Bears and Vikings), he can prove it.
And hopefully, with a little help (from the Giants or Cowboys beating Detroit) the Packers will play the Lions Jan. 1 for the NFC North title.