"When the home team goes to a silent count (late in the game), that's significant," McCarthy said Monday.
The irony of thousands of green-and-gold-clad supporters' helping the Packers sneak out of Qualcomm Stadium with a 45-38 victory and their unbeaten record this season intact is that Green Bay's defense struggled at times to make its own noise.
The Packers nearly coughed up a 45-24 lead in the last 10½ minutes because of ongoing deficiencies in pass coverage. Philip Rivers rallied the Chargers with two of his four touchdown passes in the game, and he finished with 385 yards through the air.
"When you see breakdowns as far as pass coverage and the way they occurred during the game, it really goes back to communication, and that was our issue (Sunday)," McCarthy said. "We had a number of communication errors that resulted in players put in bad positions, bad situations, and San Diego took advantage of it."
A career-high third interception thrown by Rivers in the closing seconds of the game took the Packers off the hook from possibly having to go to overtime and having the 8-0 record they now have from not transpiring.
Safety Charlie Peprah had the game-clinching pick on a deep ball from Rivers inside the Packers' 20-yard line, and he returned it all the way to the Chargers' 6.
Green Bay turned its first two picks —one by Peprah and the other by cornerback Tramon Williams —into touchdown returns in back-to-back series in the first quarter. Those 14 points proved to be vital on an unusual day when the Packers' high-octane offense was actually outscored by San Diego's offense, despite a career-high-tying four touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers.
Veteran cornerback Charles Woodson was among several defensive players in the Green Bay locker room after the game who were anything but enthralled about the Packers' staying unbeaten.
"I think right now we're the liability on this team," said Woodson, speaking for the defense. "We can't ask our offense to do anything more than what they've done. For those guys to just go up and down the field and score points, we have to understand that it's not going to always be that way.
"There's going to be some time when we're going to have to come up bigger than the offense. That's just the reality. So, we're very fortunate to have the guys we have on the offensive side of the ball, but we have to carry our weight as well."
The Packers have allowed an average of nearly 300 passing yards per game, second worst in the league.
It's a head scratcher for defensive coordinator Dom Capers, a longtime NFL coach who is part of an 8-0 team for the first time.
"It's interesting because here talking to you guys (the media), we're 8-0, and a lot of the questions are like we're 0-8, which is not at all a bad thing, but I think that's part of the attitude and atmosphere in the meeting room," Capers said Monday. "There's nobody in that defensive room that is satisfied with being 8-0. We've got a lot more to give, and as coaches and players, we've got to keep challenging ourselves to improve each week, which I think is a healthy environment."