Mike McCarthy might have been taken his tournament approach to winning the NFC North a little too literally.
In the week leading up to Sunday’s game with Pittsburgh, the Green Bay Packers coach frequently spoke on how the team was viewing its matchup with the Steelers as a semifinal game to a division championship showdown with Chicago in Week 17.
After the Packers lost 38-31, McCarthy said he didn’t provide much of a rally cry in his post-game speech drawing on the assumption Green Bay had lost, Detroit would beat the New York Giants and that would be that.
However, the Lions wound up losing 23-20 in overtime and the Bears were ran out of Pennsylvania in an embarrassing 54-11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, giving the Packers another chance.
McCarthy said he was "embarrassed" by how he addressed the team after the loss and further explained his oversight on Monday.
“It’s changed a lot. After their head coach talked to them, they thought the season was over.” said McCarthy of the vibe in the locker room following the Bears ‘loss.
“We’re excited. We’re excited about this opportunity. Obviously what transpired last night, we’re playing for the championship. We looked at yesterday’s game as a semifinal game and we were blessed to get help and now we’re playing in the finals.”
McCarthy said his post-game speech centered mostly on administrative duties in preparation for what could have been the season finale in Chicago.
He admitted it drew a few befuddled reactions.
“I wasn’t of the mindset of, hey let’s go watch the game tonight, so now I know why some of them were looking at me like, what the hell is he talking about,” McCarthy said.