This article is part of our NFL Reactions series.
It's too bad that it took until Week 13 of the 2018 season for the Packers front office to reach the realization, but an almost inconceivable Lambeau Field loss to the previously 2-8 Cardinals finally convinced Green Bay to move on from Mike McCarthy, whose 20-17 stumble against Arizona was just too much to stomach despite the years of rationalized failure preceding it.
With the concession that McCarthy was unfit for the head coaching role comes the painful acknowledgment of many wasted prime years of Aaron Rodgers, whose Sunday struggles were too great to be explained by the difficult weather alone. He somehow finished 31-of-50 for 233 yards (4.7 YPA) and one touchdown at the field where his career splits feature 262 yards (8.1 YPA) and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game. Rodgers probably isn't declining yet, but to see him struggle with such little hope in Lambeau of all places gave the Packers a terrifying reminder of the fact that even Rodgers will face physical decline eventually, and maybe it took those specific optics of Rodgers looking helpless at home to make clear just how doomed they'd be if McCarthy were still coach when Rodgers is no longer superhuman. No matter what fears came with the idea of dismissing a 13-year coach, the worst-case scenarios just don't seem as compelling when you're losing at home to the Steve Wilks Cardinals in the present.
From 2007 to 2016 the Packers made the playoffs an incredible nine out of 10 years,