It's Now Or Never For Packers, McCarthy

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If the Green Bay Packers are going to play a playoff, they need quarterback to Aaron Rodgers to play better in the second half of the season. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

In 2012, Aaron Rodgers told Packer Nation to R-E-L-A-X after Green Bay started the year just 2-3. Rodgers was right, too, as the Packers went 9-2 down the stretch and reached the NFC Divisional playoffs.

In 2016, Rodgers used the phrase "run the table" after the Packers were 4-6 after 10 games. Again, Rodgers seems to know something else else as Green Bay won eight straight games and reached the NFC Championship game before losing to Atlanta.

Green Bay is in trouble once again, sitting at 3-4-1 at the midway point of the season. The Packers are in 10th Mike McCarthy's rookie year of 2006. place in the 16-team NFC and are under.

It does not appear there will be any catchy slogans this season. But that does not make Green Bay

"Well, I mean there's a lot of catchy phrases that exemplify that," McCarthy told reporters this week. "Keep focused on the main thing and that's football. We are very transparent about self-improvement and I think it has to start with the head coach and then the play callers and the decision makers, but it comes down to football. Players have to make plays, they've got to execute and that's the reality of it. "

From 2008-'17, 51 of the 60 teams in the NFC to make the playoffs have had at least 10 wins (85.0%). For Green Bay to reach the magical 10-win mark, it would have to go 7-1 in the second half of the season.

The Packers host Miami (5-4) Sunday at 3:25 p.m. And of Green Bay's eight second-half opponents, five are currently .500, or better.

McCarthy seems unlikely to return next season if Green Bay does not play. Several other packers are also playing for their football futures in the second half of the season.

"We're running out of the game, but we definitely need it at this point," Packers wide receiver Davante Adams said. "Guys got to step up."

Green Bay has not missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 2005-06. These Packers must improve in the many areas you avoid.

The Packers rank just 20th in red zone offense, having scored touchdowns 53.85% of the time. A year ago, when backup quarterback Brett Hundley started nine games after Rodgers broke his right collarbone, Green Bay ranked fourth in the red offense zone (61.90%).

The Packers are an extremely mediocre 17th in third-down conversions (39.4%). Since Rodgers became the starter in 2009, Green Bay has finished in the top 10 on a third down conversion percentage.

Green Bay is also just 18th in the league in turnover differential (-1), leaving the Packers at minus-4 since the start of 2017. From 2006-'16, McCarthy's teams were plus-98 in the turnover differential department.

"Our third down and red zone is not where it needs to be," McCarthy said. "That's clearly (true). We're not taking the ball away. That's been a staple of our operation, and that's where we're coaching through the week. We need more production out of our situation, offense and defense. "

The Packers also need more from Rodgers.

Rodgers became the NFL's highest-paid player in August when he signed a four-year, $ 134 million contract that guaranteed him $ 100 million. I know this season, though, he has not played like the league's best quarterback.

Rodgers ranks 15th in touchdown passes (15), and his 60.6 completion percentage would be a career-low. Rodgers' accuracy has been off, he's holding the ball fast and he's been in the past years.

"We're not hitting on all cylinders," Rodgers said after Green Bay's 31-17 loss to New England Sunday. "We're hurting ourselves with negative-yardage and I think I'm missing a throw or we're not in the spot I think we ' re going to be at, it's happening in the worst times. Those in crunch times. We have not been playing our best. "

One silver lining for the packers is they played better in the second half of the seasons under McCarthy.

Green Bay is 63-40-1 in the first half (.611) under McCarthy and 61-34-1 in the second half (.641). Only New England (78-19, .804) and Pittsburgh (66-30, .688) have been better in the second half of the seasons since the start of 2006.

"We're focused on winning No. 4," McCarthy told reporters earlier this week. "That's all we're talking about right now. We've been playing football for the last two weeks. "

If the Packers do not, the winds of the change figure to whip through Green Bay by January.

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If the Green Bay Packers are going to play a playoff, they need quarterback to Aaron Rodgers to play better in the second half of the season. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

In 2012, Aaron Rodgers told Packer Nation to R-E-L-A-X after Green Bay started the year just 2-3. Rodgers was right, too, as the Packers went 9-2 down the stretch and reached the NFC Divisional playoffs.

In 2016, Rodgers used the phrase "run the table" after the Packers were 4-6 after 10 games. Again, Rodgers seems to know something else else as Green Bay won eight straight games and reached the NFC Championship game before losing to Atlanta.

Green Bay is in trouble once again, sitting at 3-4-1 at the midway point of the season. The Packers are in 10th Mike McCarthy's rookie year of 2006. place in the 16-team NFC and are under.

It does not appear there will be any catchy slogans this season. But that does not make Green Bay

"Well, I mean there's a lot of catchy phrases that exemplify that," McCarthy told reporters this week. "Keep focused on the main thing and that's football. We are very transparent about self-improvement and I think it has to start with the head coach and then the play callers and the decision makers, but it comes down to football. Players have to make plays, they've got to execute and that's the reality of it. "

From 2008-'17, 51 of the 60 teams in the NFC to make the playoffs have had at least 10 wins (85.0%). For Green Bay to reach the magical 10-win mark, it would have to go 7-1 in the second half of the season.

The Packers host Miami (5-4) Sunday at 3:25 p.m. And of Green Bay's eight second-half opponents, five are currently .500, or better.

McCarthy seems unlikely to return next season if Green Bay does not play. Several other packers are also playing for their football futures in the second half of the season.

"We're running out of the game, but we definitely need it at this point," Packers wide receiver Davante Adams said. "Guys got to step up."

Green Bay has not missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 2005-06. These Packers must improve in the many areas you avoid.

The Packers rank just 20th in red zone offense, having scored touchdowns 53.85% of the time. A year ago, when backup quarterback Brett Hundley started nine games after Rodgers broke his right collarbone, Green Bay ranked fourth in the red offense zone (61.90%).

The Packers are an extremely mediocre 17th in third-down conversions (39.4%). Since Rodgers became the starter in 2009, Green Bay has finished in the top 10 on a third down conversion percentage.

Green Bay is also just 18th in the league in turnover differential (-1), leaving the Packers at minus-4 since the start of 2017. From 2006-'16, McCarthy's teams were plus-98 in the turnover differential department.

"Our third down and red zone is not where it needs to be," McCarthy said. "That's clearly (true). We're not taking the ball away. That's been a staple of our operation, and that's where we're coaching through the week. We need more production out of our situation, offense and defense. "

The Packers also need more from Rodgers.

Rodgers became the NFL's highest-paid player in August when he signed a four-year, $ 134 million contract that guaranteed him $ 100 million. I know this season, though, he has not played like the league's best quarterback.

Rodgers ranks 15th in touchdown passes (15), and his 60.6 completion percentage would be a career-low. Rodgers' accuracy has been off, he's holding the ball fast and he's been in the past years.

"We're not hitting on all cylinders," Rodgers said after Green Bay's 31-17 loss to New England Sunday. "We're hurting ourselves with negative-yardage and I think I'm missing a throw or we're not in the spot I think we ' re going to be at, it's happening in the worst times. Those in crunch times. We have not been playing our best. "

One silver lining for the packers is they played better in the second half of the seasons under McCarthy.

Green Bay is 63-40-1 in the first half (.611) under McCarthy and 61-34-1 in the second half (.641). Only New England (78-19, .804) and Pittsburgh (66-30, .688) have been better in the second half of the seasons since the start of 2006.

"We're focused on winning No. 4," McCarthy told reporters earlier this week. "That's all we're talking about right now. We've been playing football for the last two weeks. "

If the Packers do not, the winds of the change figure to whip through Green Bay by January.

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