Mike McCarthy thought he had the perfect play and the right moment for it.
After the Packers' third field goal cut the Jets' lead to 21-9 in the second quarter Sunday, McCarthy elected a surprise onside kick. It was a formation the Packers hadn't shown on film. McCarthy expected the element of surprise.
Instead, McCarthy said he was surprised – and a bit curious – to see the Jets were not caught off guard.
"I felt like they were in our huddle, frankly," McCarthy said. "Just the way they lined up to it is disturbing to me. It's something we've never shown. It's a formation we've never been in."
When the Jets recovered, the decision threatened to wipe out any momentum the Packers had gained to that point. New York's offense drove deep into Green Bay territory before Packers cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted Jets quarterback Geno Smith's pass at the 3-yard line, the game's turning point.
A day later, McCarthy stuck by his decision. The coach also admitted he got a little greedy.
"I kind of pushed the envelope there," McCarthy said. "I was trying to steal a series back, frankly, that we lost at the beginning of the game, and the fact that they had the ball coming out in the second half. Like a lot of times when you make those kind of decisions, a lot of those variables are looked at before the game. So you're able to react to it.
"The timing of it, I thought the risk was definitely worth it. And, frankly, if we tackle, they have the ball on the 35, 37-yard line. So I thought it was a good call."
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