Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers found themselves down 31-23 late in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Likely NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers had his Packers inside the Buccaneers’ 10-yard line and facing fourth down with a spot in Super Bowl LV on the line.
That’s when LaFleur made one of the most boneheaded decisions that we’ve ever seen in the NFL Playoffs. The head coach literally opted to kick the field goal with just over two minutes remaining to pull the game within five points.
It obviously came back to haunt Matt LaFleur and the Packers. Faced with a third down and short on their following drive, the Buccaneers were able to milk the clock following a pass interference penalty against Packers cornerback Kevin King.
That ended the game with Tampa Bay shockingly upsetting the Packers at home to move on to the Super Bowl. For his part, LaFleur wasn’t a popular man for his decision-making late in the game.
With the season in doubt, LaFleur has chosen to trust Mike Pettine’s defense over Aaron Rodgers.— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) January 24, 2021
Matt LaFleur calling for the field goal— Thor Nystrom (@thorku) January 24, 2021
Everyone to Matt LaFleur after kicking a FG. pic.twitter.com/THksQlO4ey— Yahoo Fantasy Sports (@YahooFantasy) January 24, 2021
LaFleur trusts his defense in this spot more than Aaron Rodgers on fourth down. That is … surprising.— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) January 24, 2021
Rough one for LaFleur— Mike Sando (@SandoNFL) January 24, 2021
Do Matt LaFleur think there’s 5 quarters?— Boogie Bousins (@bansky) January 24, 2021
Wow – would’ve been so easy to blame this loss on Pettine. LaFleur lobbying for last minute credit. Go for it there!!— Cousin Sal (@TheCousinSal) January 24, 2021
Does LaFleur know they go home after this if they don't win— lindsey ok (@lindseyyok) January 24, 2021
WTH, Matt LaFleur?!? A FG down 8 with 2 mins left. I’m going to throw up— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) January 24, 2021
In Matt LaFleur’s defense, any time you have a chance at the end of the game to go from a touchdown down to “still a touchdown down, but without the ball,” you have to do it— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) January 24, 2021
Matt LaFleur’s press conference is going to be uncomfortable.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 24, 2021
Yeah, that’s not a great look for the head coach. LaFleur will now face a tremendous amount of questions during the offseason after failing to lead the top-seeded Packers to the big game.
For good reason.