Why They Won: Green Bay Runs Down Dallas

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Dec 13, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) runs past Dallas Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox (27) for a first down in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports


The flashy, headline-making move that everybody surely wants to give credit for the positive change in production for the offense will be McCarthy taking back the play-calling reigns from Tom Clements.

Dec 13, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

That isn’t the main change, however.

You see, the plays being called have always been the ones McCarthy has drawn up. He’s still been in the planning sessions for deciding which would be used in any given game in whatever given situation. On gameday, he never stopped giving input to Clements, and would assuredly have had final say on any major decisions (such as going for it on 4th down).

What really changed was the execution.

Now, maybe having the head coach being the guy directly calling the plays could have attributed to that in a way. Maybe knowing the words came directly from his mouth instead of from a coordinator interpreting what he wanted instead forced his players to feel the onus of the situation better. Maybe it brought them a renewed sense of confidence, reminding them of all the previous seasons where they were consistently among the best offenses in the league behind his voice in his quarterback’s ear.

Sure, those can all be true…but the fact of the matter is it would have been for nothing had his players not managed to execute his playcalls as they were designed.

The team piled up yardage (435 total) and actually managed to control a game for only the second time since their bye week.

Give the coach credit for making a move that likely had some impact; just realize that the players managing to execute the playcalls is much more important to the equation than anything else.

Next: Lacy & Starks