The Green Bay Packers have fired head coach Mike McCarthy after 13 years in charge. McCarthy’s fate was sealed after their 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, leaving his side third in the NFC North division with a poor 4-7-1 record.
The Wisconsin-based team won Super Bowl XLV in 2010 under McCarthy but have struggled in recent seasons, failing to make the play-offs last year – breaking a streak that went back to 2009.
McCarthy arrived in 2006, replacing Mike Sherman, following stints at the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints as the offensive co-ordinator. His greatest achievement didn’t happen until his third season, however, when departing quarterback Brett Favre was replaced by first-round draft pick Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers proved himself to be an incredibly influential player as he led the Packers to the Super Bowl XLV championship in 2010. He was named Super Bowl MVP as the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in the most-watched program in American television history at that time. The game is also notable for having perhaps the worst ever halftime show, performed by the Black Eyed Peas featuring Usher and Slash.
Since then, the Packers have failed to return to the Super Bowl, twice losing the NFC Championship game in 2014 and 2016. This season has been the worst under McCarthy with his side unable to win a single game on the road, as well as losing five out of their last six games.
Team president and Chief Executive Mark Murphy, therefore, made the decision, with four games of the regular season left, to fire McCarthy. “The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers,” he said. “Mike has been a terrific head coach and leader of the Packers for 13 seasons, during which time we experienced a great deal of success on and off the field.”
Offensive co-ordinator Joe Philbin has been named as the interim head coach for the final games of the season. The chances of Philbin turning this season around and gaining a spot in the playoffs is incredibly slim, with all four games needing to be won as well as favourable results everywhere else just for the chance of being a wild-card qualifier.