It’s not surprising that the Green Bay Packers parted ways with head coach Mike McCarthy. It was stunning that team president Mark Murphy made the move with four games remaining in the season.

Normally teams that fire coaches during the season are the bottom feeders of the National Football League, not storied franchises like Green Bay. In fact, it’s the first time the Packers have made an in-season coaching change in their long history.

Regardless, we believe the Packers made the right move at the right time.

To keep McCarthy on board for the remainder of the season is akin to keeping a captain aboard a sinking ship. It was best to throw McCarthy a life jacket, let him lick his wounds and pursue another job.

With that said, we admire and respect McCarthy for the 13 seasons he spent in Green Bay. He was a strong ambassador for the organization and showed class and dignity. He guided the team to numerous wins (second in team history to Curly Lambeau), multiple division crowns and a Super Bowl title (in 2010).

Even in his final press conference, without knowing he was going to be fired, he said he will come to work on Monday and “represent the Packers the right way.”

Detractors say he should have won more championships because he had Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre at the end of his career and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers in his prime. They will also point to many gut-wrenching losses, most notable the 2014 meltdown to Seattle in the NFC Championship game.

All are good points, but in McCarthy’s tenure, the Packers won more division titles than the rival Bears, Vikings and Lions and are the only NFC North team to win a Super Bowl in that time. Even Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have left Super Bowl titles on the table.

Obviously, winning a Super Bowl is extremely difficult. A coach should not be measured on that alone.

Despite the success, it is time for the Packers and McCarthy to split. The coach clearly has lost his team with many players — most notably Rodgers — seeming almost disinterested. To lose at home in December to a 2-9 Arizona team that plays in the warmest of NFL climates, with a rookie starting quarterback, is hard to fathom. It is one of the worst regular-season losses under McCarthy and ultimately the proverbial final nail in his coffin.

With four games left in the regular season, Green Bay will have time to evaluate the talent on their roster, including interim coach Joe Philbin and the other assistant coaches. More importantly, they will get a jump start on the search for a new coach, whether it be a current NFL assistant or fresh blood from the college ranks.

McCarthy, meanwhile, will survive. First, he doesn’t have to be a lame-duck coach for a month and answer the same questions about his lackluster team’s lousy performance. Second, McCarthy is a good coach who will work again if he chooses.

The Packer players and their highly-paid QB need to hear a different voice. It’s a divorce that’s good for both sides.