Wow. A week ago, I already had thoughts on what I’d be watching this game… or at least what I thought I’d be watching. As we all know, things change fast.
This week, given the new circumstances, I will be watching Mike McCarthy. I won’t physically be able to watching him of course – the camera only pans to him when he’s swearing up a storm after another terrible call – but I will be watching how he’s running his ship.
I have no doubt that he will take a stiff, tough-guy, no-excuses, Pittsburgh approach to things like he always does (and I appreciate), but I’ll really be watching to see if his team takes to it.
He let it be known that he was not happy with his teams performance last week. Does the team respect him enough, care enough, to step up and respond?
Will they come out, pumped, ready to play, and truly believing they can win?
Will the they keep battling when Brees drops a couple 50 yard TDs on them?
Will they keep pushing when they’re down three scores in the fourth quarter?
I expect to lose this game. It’s a young, inexperienced quarterbacks first start. They have had six days to re-tailor the offense. They’re playing a hot team with a high flying offense and they have a banged up secondary. The crowd will probably be pretty quiet.
But I don’t believe the season is over. Hundley has the tools to succeed. This team has plenty of talent when healthy. The league is filled with parity and their schedule does not look impossible.
Football is a game played by men, it is the ultimate team sport. It’s a game where a group of men can pull together and beat any other group of men (see 2013, heck look at those losses in 2011). This team can absolutely make the playoffs.
But only if they believe in their coach.
Win or lose the game, McCarthy can’t afford to lose his team. That’s the key to the season. That’s what I’ll be watching this week,