The Green Bay Packers now have seven-plus quarters and two losses to NFC contenders under their belt in the Brett Hundley "era."
It's absolutely understandable to change expectations when Aaron Rodgers - the top-ranked passer (based on career passer rating) in NFL history - may be halted for the season with an injury, and you have to replace him with a quarterback who has no starting experience.
It's also required to change game plans to make the Packers more effective on offense than they have been in those seven quarters with Hundley (30-58, 244 passing yards, 1 TD, 4 INT's, passer rating of 39.73, 27 points scored on offense).
That means a change of playcalling on Mike McCarthy's part, as he told WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" on Thursday.
"I think it changes any playcaller's approach. You call the game to utilize your players," said McCarthy, who now has to utilize Hundley's different talents instead of Rodgers' immense gifts.
"We have a system of offense that is built around making the quarterback successful. That has always been here regardless of who the quarterback is. That is no different this week with Brett Hundley. We have to make sure we get the football to our playmakers and attack this defense."
McCarthy also gets that Hundley has a target on his back for defenses to go after with blitzes and other methods, since he can't beat you the way Rodgers can. (For that matter, neither can any other human being on earth.)
"When you play with your No. 2 quarterback, they're going to be much more aggressive. That's what we're anticipating."
McCarthy is also anticipating improved defensive performance from a unit that needs to produce higher level of performance for the Packers to stand a realistic chance at a playoff berth.
That unit has been decimated by injury as well in the first half of the year, particularly with key players like Mike Daniels and Morgan Burnett missing playing time, but the list of injured defensive playmakers is shrinking.
"Health is the biggest challenge, but we have to play better on defense," added McCarthy, citing the team's failures early in games.
"We're not starting the game good, particularly on the first series. We've got to do a much better job on third down. That's where the extended drives are hurting us. We're on the field too much the last two games on defense. We're focused on that. That's what the bye week gives you...spend more video time, more individual time with your positions to focus on the techniques and the fundamentals."
This stretch with a bye week also gave McCarthy time to be a husband and dad - including Halloween night where his duty was to escort his kids around the neighborhood while his wife had the duty of being home to distribute to other kids.
"Thanks to my wife Jessica, she has always bought the large boxes of candy. We were wiped out again Tuesday night. She hit the target," said McCarthy, who had no knowledge of the specific candy she gave out.
"I couldn't tell you. I didn't actually see it. I was on duty outside with the kids, up and down the streets. It's the big box candy. I think it's well received."
The coach did not dress up alongside his kids, and he did not discover anyone who dressed like him in a coaching outfit with headphones, playcalling sheets and the like.
He was appreciative of that fact, saying very simply, "Thank God."