I'm going to be making two different threads with my thoughts on the game. This thread is in reference to defending Mike McCarthy on his decision to go for it on 4th down in OT.
I know that there are fans upset with Mike McCarthy for this game. However, in regards to the play, I'm going to offer a defence for his decision.
- Situation – the difference between kicking the field goal and going for it was nearly negligible. If we made the field goal, then Green Bay still needs to score a TD to win or a FG to tie. If he kicks it and it's missed, then he's getting criticised for attempting a kick that gave us slightly worse field position by virtue of the miss than failing to go for it. Given the spot on the field, a missed FG was a likely outcome, especially as we didn't kick a FG all game. If he makes the 4th down, then, should a field goal become necessary later, then it's an easier field goal attempt for Maher in the cold weather of Lambeau Field.
- Elephant in the Room – Our defence wasn't playing well, and Aaron Rodgers was in the other sideline. Let's say that we make the field goal, which was far from a guarantee. Do you really think our defence is keeping Aaron Rodgers from getting at least a FG? I don't think so. Especially with how poorly we were playing on defence, I have no reason to think our defence holds up on that drive.
- Trends – Not only was our defence playing poorly, but we had gotten the first down on every 4th down attempt in the game up until that point. So, it was the correct decision, imo, to trust the offense that had been successful up until that point.
- Combining points 2 and 3, the big advantage of going for it was that, should we make it, a TD wins the game without giving Rodgers the ball back, and we were using an offense that was very good on 4th down.
In conclusion to this thread, the Mike McCarthy made the correct decision to go for it on 4th down in that situation. If we were to have kicked it, then we still give the ball back to Rodgers, and Mike, more than anyone, knows what Rodgers is capable of doing if he gets the ball back. Even with a FG, he's likely scoring a TD. So, by going for it, he gave the team a chance to try to win the game without giving Rodgers the ball back. The playcall and execution were poor. However, the decision to go for it was correct.