Matt LaFleur stands by field goal decision in NFC Championship game

USA TODAY Sports

Just over a week removed from their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur stands by the decision to kick a field goal down eight in the closing minutes.

LaFleur elected for a 26-yard field goal try as the Packers trailed 31-23 with 2:09 left to play. The conversion closed the gap to five, but the Packers never saw the ball again as the Buccaneers closed out the victory.

Via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, LaFleur said Monday that he’d make the same call if he had the same situation presented in front of him.

“If I had to do it again, if it’s fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line, we’re kicking a field goal,” LaFleur said. “If it’s fourth-and-goal from the 5, I think we have a different discussion. You’ve got to play the percentages. We had three shots at it, gained no yards. That’s how it is. Some people will agree. Some people will disagree. It in my heart, that’s what I felt like was the best decision for us. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”

Reasonably, the decision to kick the field goal increased the chances the Packers could win the game in regulation. It also increased the chances they could lose the game outright without trying for the chance to tie with a touchdown and two-point conversion needed to keep the game going. It also meant giving the ball to Tom Brady with only a couple first downs needed to seal away the victory.

It didn’t work out. The Buccaneers are playing in the Super Bowl this weekend while the Packers are at home.

44 responses to “Matt LaFleur stands by field goal decision in NFC Championship game

  1. Sure Rodgers will love hearing this. “Yeah I wouldn’t put the ball in his hands if I had the shot, again”

  2. This late you can’t put the paste back into the tube. The offense was far more to blame for that loss than the defense. Arron was showing his arrogance in thinking he could pass his way out of this loss and ending up with interceptions instead. On top of that Matt LaFleur is trying to take the responsibility away from Arron and put it on a defensive call that was bad but in reality the offense was to blame. All they are trying to do now is placate the supposed goat and as usual, stroke his ego. All of you know who I’m talking about. They still want him around to train Love for another year or two. You can talk about the Vikings all you want, but this is a dumpster fire.

  3. Judge Rodgers presiding – “Standing your ground is not permitted in my courtroom Mr. LaFlueur. You are hereby stripped of all your play calling duties, which I will now officially call at the line of scrimmage.” – even though unofficially, I’ve been doing it all this time anyway 😉

  4. He’s right. People dismiss ARod messed up 3 earlier chances to score. Coach rightfully didn’t have faith a fourth try would result in a TD.

  5. Are we only going to roast LaFleur so Rodgers is completely blameless? He had at least 3 shots to score at the 8 yard line or gain more yardage but he didn’t get it done. And then he went into emo boy mode with his passive aggressive postgame comment that created a media storm about his future with the Packers. Enough already.

  6. With 1st and goal at the eight and 2:21 on the clock, its still hard to believe they didnt run the ball on first down. Yes, you need the TD but if you get it, you dont want to give Brady much time on the clock as well. Instead, three straight incompletions, though Rodgers himself could have ran towards the goalline. They still had to get the TD, so why kick a FG ?

  7. Swallow your pride, Coach.

    That decision put you in the same category as the Seahawks passing from the 1yd line and the Falcons blowing a 28-3 lead

    An all time great goof

  8. If the goal was to win in regulation, then in agree. However, he played for draw with opportunity to win overtime, then going for it on the 4th down and potentially having another opportunity was the better call. Not a good sign that he unwilling to acknowledge his mistakes. We must be related.

    Regards,

    Carson in Philly

  9. if LaFleur really believes what hes said, then he’s a hard-headed fool. Is tyhis an indicator of him being unable to learn from his mistakes & make changes? Time will tell.

  10. Moronic decision. The fact he continues to defend it is very troubling. Can’t admit he’s wrong? Hmm, sounds familiar. Aaron Rodgers familiar.

  11. I think something that’s been overlooked is if he kicks the PAT earlier in the game instead of failing with the 2 point conversion it changes the decision to kick the FG late on. If they’re only 7 points down the offense only has to make 1 play, with 8 it’s 2 plays in a row in the red zone where they’d struggled all game.

  12. Obviously there were a lot of plays that could’ve turned the game around and rescued the Packers from a myriad of self-inflicted setbacks, but if it weren’t for the phantom PI on an effective stop following the FG, the decision could’ve made him look like a genius. No wonder he thinks it was correct.

  13. I get his logic, but no, you don’t “have to play the percentages.” The percentages can’t possibly take into account every factor.

    The big factor in that game probably overlooked by “the percentages” was that you were going to turn the ball over to Tom Brady and his loaded offense. How many times had they converted on third down already? How many playoff and Super Bowl games have you seen him take the team down the field, chew up clock and deprive the opponent at another shot on defense? All I know is that when the Packers lined up for the field goal, I immediately said What? Are you kidding? And it seems like so did most people familiar with the scenario of Brady late in the game.

  14. If there were more than 5 minutes left on the clock I would agree, but with 2:09 left it is stupid. There was no guarantee they would get the ball back. The other question he should ask what would Andy Reid do.

  15. Wow! Never seen the packer trolls so triggered! 8 days later and the excuses are running rampant!

  16. Bad part is, it almost worked. Brady wasn’t playing well in the 2nd half, we couldn’t move the ball on 3 tries….I had no problem with it. We were a T-shirt tug away from getting the ball back with 2 minutes and 3 timeouts to win it, not tie. Every Packer fan knows how OT usually goes so I’ve got no problem with the decision. The problem I have is the refs suddenly deciding to care in such a crucial moment. They had let them play all day, then throw the flag on a ball that probably wasn’t catchable. SMH.

  17. The GM has no regrets with last year’s draft that didn’t help them this season. The coach remains steadfast with his in-game decision that most contributed to their loss.
    This adamance in the face of blatant errors is reason that they don’t win, never mind fuelling their quarterback’s continuing petulance in his own guilt-free career.
    Titletown needs to be renamed, because they don’t even try win championships anymore.

  18. Sounds like he’s blaming himself for calling three straight plays where the ball was thrown into the end zone. A run play on any of the three downs could have made it a much easier conversion. He also should be blaming himself for chasing points and going for 2 early in the game. Would have only been down 7 at the end.

  19. What’s worse: Making one of the biggest coaching blunders in history? Or not learning from making one of the biggest coaching blunders in history?

    Either way, I don’t think Lord Rodgers is too impressed.

  20. Wow! Never seen the packer trolls so triggered! 8 days later and the excuses are running rampant!
    —–
    A Viking fan posting to a Packer story calling Packer fans who have every right to post on said story trolls. Do they get any more clueless?

  21. Yeah, us Viking fans never make excuses . . . you know, like Green Bay gets all the calls, our team had a lot of injuries, the league is against us . . . we’d never do anything like that . . .

  22. Now packer bobo’s are blaming phantom penalties or tugs? You know the one, where king grabbed and held the jersey not just once, but twice, once with each hand. Undisciplined, blatant play at crucial moment needs to be called. Everyone drinks.

  23. Wasn’t that a week ago?
    I like how he threw Rodgers under the bus though for not running ‘If it’s fourth-and-goal from the 5, I think we have a different discussion’.
    I like how nobody points out Rodgers would’ve thrown an INT if the Bucs defenders didnt run into each other on 3rd down.

  24. “Reasonably, the decision to kick the field goal increased the chances the Packers could win the game in regulation. It also increased the chances they could lose the game outright without trying for the chance to tie with a touchdown and two-point conversion needed to keep the game going.”

    How can kicking the field goal increase the chances of winning while also increasing your chances of losing???

  25. bkinacti0n says:
    February 2, 2021 at 9:37 am
    Sounds like he’s blaming himself for calling three straight plays where the ball was thrown into the end zone. A run play on any of the three downs could have made it a much easier conversion. He also should be blaming himself for chasing points and going for 2 early in the game. Would have only been down 7 at the end.
    ________________________________________

    Couldn’t Rodgers have looked at the coverage and changed the play at the line of scrimmage? Maybe he went rogue like he did so may times in the past, only this time he failed.

  26. stellarperformance says: but if it weren’t for the phantom PI.

    pkrlvr says The problem I have is the refs suddenly deciding to care in such a crucial moment. They had let them play all day, then throw the flag on a ball that probably wasn’t catchable. SMH.

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    I thought it was Vikings fans that always blamed the refs(everybody drink)

    Packers fans would be so funny if they weren’t so hypocritical.

  27. You can talk about the Vikings all you want, but this is a dumpster fire.

    +++++

    Green Bay has lost 8 games (including playoffs) in the 2 seasons since LaFleur has been coach.

    The Vikings lost 9 games last season. Must be a really tiny dumpster.

  28. He’s not helping at all by still defending this move. Rodgers had 3 chances to score also and he didn’t run it, he passed when he had open field. Not sure why he didnt run it in. it will remain a beautiful mystery

  29. All of the cheese heads talking trash on every Vikings post have suddenly stopped telling us how bad Zimmer is

  30. So he’d call the same dumb play again? Something tells me he won’t be long in GB.

  31. Time will tell, but this could be your last chance at a Super Bowl.

    So this may be your 4th-and-26, or 2014.

  32. I like how nobody points out Rodgers would’ve thrown an INT if the Bucs defenders didnt run into each other on 3rd down.
    =====

    I like how everyone thinks Devin White wouldn’t have blown Rodgers up had he ran.

    .. and that Adams was open, had Rodgers thrown the ball on time.

  33. “It also meant giving the ball to Tom Brady”

    Tom Brady was going to get the ball back regardless. The difference here is that Tom Brady was handing off to Leonard Fournette–trying, and failing, to get the final first down on the ground while draining the Packers’ timeouts–rather than throwing bombs down the field to get the winning FG for Tampa as time expired.

    The plan almost worked. It was 3rd and 4. If the Packers had held on (and not the way King did) LaFleur’s gamble would have paid off.

  34. stellarperformance says:
    February 2, 2021 at 5:54 am
    but if it weren’t for the phantom PI
    ————
    Fat, drunk, and blind is no way to go through life. Stevie Wonder himself saw that PI!

  35. Stellar = the packers db King looked like he was water skiing behind WR Johnson on the obvious DPI. Johnson’s shirt was pulled out for 2 yards. Just stop it you are making a fool out of yourself again here.

  36. Bad move by LeFleur Rodgers and most others thought it was the wrong move to kick a FG. Matt doubling down isn’t going to improve his relationship with Rodgers knowing that he would take the ball out of Rodgers hands again in the future because he didn’t learn from this game.

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