Packers call McCarthy's fake field goal 'gutsy'
SEP 14, 2012 8:04p ET
And coach Mike McCarthy decided to try it simply to get his team's attention.
"I was trying to send our team a message when I did call it," McCarthy said. "We've been working on that play for, it's got to be two or three years. We were looking for a certain look from the Bears, they gave it to us and it was great execution on our players' part.
"Our guys executed and I thought it really lifted our sideline up. It was a big play in the game."
On the play, the snap went to the holder, Tim Masthay, who flipped the ball to Tom Crabtree. From there, with the Bears clearly confused, Crabtree ran untouched into the end zone for a touchdown to put the Packers up, 10-0.
Masthay was credited with a 27-yard touchdown pass and had a perfect 158.3 passer rating in the game. It was the punter's first-ever touchdown pass at any stage of his football career.
"I'll close the passing books for myself for the rest of my career on that," Masthay said. "To be honest, I was surprised when the call came in. That was a really gutsy call by Coach. I just had to make sure a certain look was there, and it was, so we kept it on and Tom made a great run and the guys blocked well."
The fact that it happened on fourth-and-26 only made the play that much more unique. It was in the 2004 playoffs when the Brett Favre-led Packers lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in large part due to the successful conversion on fourth-and-26 on a pass from Donovan McNabb to Freddie Mitchell.
"Oh, shoot, you said fourth-and-26, I was thinking you were talking about something in the playoffs a long time ago," wide receiver Donald Driver said after the game when asked about Crabtree's touchdown.
Driver is the only player left on Green Bay's roster from that game.
The word that was most used by the Packers players to describe the play-call by McCarthy to try a fake field goal was "gutsy," and that seems about right considering the score and time left in the game.
"It was a big play for us," Aaron Rodgers said. "That's a gutsy call – a gutsy call. You've got to score on that – fourth-and-26 from the 27 (yard line). That was quite a call. Glad it worked."
Masthay's touchdown pass was the first by a Packers punter since Nov. 19, 1972, when Ron Widby connected with Dave Davis for a 68-yard score.
But that wasn't the only notable special teams play in the game. In the fourth quarter, instead of trying another fake, Mason Crosby lined up for a 54-yard field goal and nailed it. It was the longest field goal by a Packer in Lambeau Field history.
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