Matt LaFleur Costs Packers Chance at Super Bowl

In Matt LaFleur’s first two seasons as the Packers’ head coach, he has led the team to a 26-6 regular-season record and two trips to the NFC Championship Game. Sunday against the Bucs though, LaFleur cost his team a shot at the Super Bowl in a 31-26 loss to the Bucs.

On 4th & Goal at the 8, down 31-23 with 2:09 left in the game, LaFleur told his team to kick a field goal. That’s a puzzling decision if Mitch Trubisky is your QB, but it’s downright awful when you have Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers were at the Bucs’ 8-yard-line. Worst case — meaning Rodgers, the MVP, doesn’t throw a touchdown — the Bucs would’ve been backed right up near their own goal line.

But they didn’t even try. Instead, they got three points that did nothing for them because, down five, the Packers still would have had to go the length of the field and score a touchdown to win, even if their defense had gotten a stop on Tampa’s next possession.

Did the analytics say to do this? If so, lol.

OutKick’s Clay Travis reacted on Twitter:

Nevertheless, give Tom Brady credit. In his first season with the Bucs, he is back to the Super Bowl. We will see who the opponent is, but Tampa just beat the best team in football. Who is going to bet against the G.O.A.T.?

For Matt LaFleur, it will be a long, long offseason.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

25 Comments

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  1. ‘Did the analytics say to do this? If so, lol.’

    Excellent dig.

    If these are the ultimate decisions coaches make after allegedly spending 20 hours a day preparing for the game ignoring their Ukrainian gold digging model GFs (yeah I know that’s McVay but I like adding it)…then I’m glad I’m not a NFL coach. Shoot Aaron freaking Rodgers was having a career year…let him take one more shot.

  2. That wasn’t the reason GB lost this game. Come on. Brady threw 3 picks, GB had opportunities they didn’t take advantage of, and then the dumb defensive holding at the end gave TB a first down. LaFleur was putting his team in position to win and they screwed it up. Period. I agreed with the field goal with 2:09 left and 3 timeouts. You pin them deep, 3 and out, get it back with 1:30 left with Rodgers with the ball. You simply have to make plays. They didn’t deserve to win the game the way they played.

      • Haha yeah I know that dude is clutch, but he honestly didn’t play great today. They felt they could stop them, and they would have not for a penalty. It’s rolling the dice. They had a shot there to get the ball back without that penalty and win the game. Tampa is legit, and it really wasn’t Brady tonight as much as their defense making huge stops and pressuring Rodgers. They’re really good on both sides of the ball.

  3. He is a clown. He went for 2 in the third quarter because…. analytics…. you kick the FG because of it too? They can’t both be true. Not just that what are you doing with playcalling inside the 10?

    This is the same reason I think Cliff Kingsbury is a terrible coach and won’t work.

    They hire these hot shot OCs but they are flat terrible at managing the game.

  4. Lafleur didn’t cost them the Superbowl, it would have been 4th and goal anyways. NO guarantee that they make the TD. And if they turn it over TB still just needs one first down to run the clock out. Even if they make the TD, they need a 2 point conversion. If they get that, they still need to prevent the GOAT from getting in FG range with 2 minutes left (Something he almost always finds a way to do with the game on the line, especially in playoffs or SB).

  5. I didn’t agree with the call its not why the Packers lost. They played a tremendously uneven game. Too many missed opportunities. Tepid special teams, two turnovers, lousy protection, a dropped pick, going brain dead at the end of the first half, inability to get off the field on third down, a dropped two-pointer, missed opportunities in the red zone, etc.

    • Yeah that’s reasonable. The call choice was debatable, I don’t think they convert for a TD there. I would’ve kick the field goal myself given the particular situation. They looked completely out of whack the 3 prior plays.

      The Hail Mary TD to close the first half was more costly. Without that mistake GB isn’t even in the 31-23 situation. I can see that argument more. It’s an ABC’s mistake you cannot make.

  6. Bobby, where’s your Chiefs’ story?

    The one you’ve written half a dozen times this year about how they’re ‘not that good’ and ‘barely skating by’?

    The story about how they’re gonna lose to the Ravens, then it was the Steelers, then it was the Bills, wait did we forget the Browns?

    I mean, you about had me convinced that of the eight or so defending Super Bowl champions to post the best record in the NFL and get back to the Super Bowl they were probably bottom of the barrel.

    The pathetic thing is that if you’d been right EVEN ONCE, you’d have written the ‘See! I was right all along!’ column.

    Instead, it all goes down the memory hole and you won’t even own how comically wrong you were for months. Hope you lost your own money on those garbage picks.

    Clown.

    Said it in September, saying it now.

    Clown.

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