A lot of bad things happened after Mike McCarthy decided to accept a penalty and eschew a fourth-and-one situation near the goal line during the second quarter of the Packers’ loss to the 49ers on Sunday.
The decision gave the 49ers another crack at converting on third down — six yards away from the first down marker. Chaos ensued:
- Colin Kapernick was forced out of bounds two yards short of the first-down
- Clay Matthews launched himself at Kaepernick and drilled him after he stepped out of bounds, drawing a 15-yard penalty
- Joe Staley went after Matthews, earning a 15-yard penalty himself
- Matthews appeared to throw a punch at Staley and is lucky he didn’t get ejected
- A bunch of other players got involved and had a mini Royal Rumble
- The refs screwed up the offsetting penalty calls and wrongly replayed third down
- The 49ers took advantage of the extra opportunity and scored a touchdown
Whew. Got all that? Life would have been so much easier if McCarthy just declined the original penalty and made Jim Harbaugh decide to go for it or kick a field goal on fourth-and-one, right?
In hindsight, probably. But we don’t judge on hindsight around here. I agreed with McCarthy’s decision to accept the penalty and push the 49ers back, even if it meant giving them another crack at converting on third down.