Matt LaFleur: I should have communicated better with Rodgers late in loss to Bucs

Jacksonville Jaguars v Green Bay Packers
Getty Images

Two of the most-discussed decisions of the last NFL season came just seconds apart late in the NFC Championship Game: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers decided to throw when he had room to run on third-and-goal from the 8-yard line, and then Packers coach Matt LaFleur decided to kick a field goal instead of go for it after Rodgers’ throw fell incomplete.

Were the decisions wrong? Should Rodgers have run the ball on third down? Should LaFleur have kept Rodgers on the field on fourth down? LaFleur isn’t quite going that far, but he is acknowledging that he and Rodgers should have discussed the game situation to make sure they were on the same page of what they were doing on that final drive of their season.

LaFleur told Peter King in Football Morning in America that he regrets not being on the same page as Rodgers at the end of the game.

“One thing you definitely learn: I know my communication with [Rodgers] should have been better in that situation,” LaFleur said. “Maybe on that third down we do something a little bit different. His mindset was, We got four downs here. It comes down to communication, and that’s something I gotta learn from and be better with him.”

Ultimately, however, whether Rodgers knew LaFleur was going to send in the field goal unit or not, LaFleur erred by taking his offense off the field. The Packers were down by eight, so a touchdown and two-point conversion would have tied the game. Instead, LaFleur settled for cutting the deficit to five points, and that’s what Green Bay lost by as the Packers never got the ball again.

42 responses to “Matt LaFleur: I should have communicated better with Rodgers late in loss to Bucs

  1. The Bucs defense had already stopped the Packers a multitude of times at the goal line. Lets not pretend that it is a given the Packers would have made it on 4th down and then a two-point conversion. Highly unlikely.

  2. Could have would have should have. Monday morning quarterbacking. Might never get that chance again.

  3. Honestly, they should have continued to run the ball with Dillon in the 4th quarter. They were starting to get something something going with their power back in the cold weather, and it would have taken some pressure off of their tackles to pass block every down. That was the decision that should be under more scrutiny.

  4. Rodgers is cursed. Plays amazing in NFC Championships, but his defenses can’t stop a nosebleed and his coaches are too nervous to make competent play calls.

  5. Humility is refreshing in sports. A willingness to learn as you grow in your craft. In this case “coaching”.

  6. Communication is a two way street so it’s not all on LaFleur. Rodgers’ needs to man up and take part of the blame. It was his failure to convert on the first 3 downs that prompted LaFleur to make the decision he did.

  7. “LaFleur erred by taking his offense off the field. The Packers were down by eight, so a touchdown and two-point conversion would have tied the game.”
    ———————

    Having time to think about this now, the decision was actually RIGHT.

    You make is sound so easy to score. But Rodgers failed the previous three downs to score from the 8yd line. And the previous two drives they were 3-and-outs. Maybe if they were closer to the 3- or 4-yard line to open up the playbook with a possible run.

  8. LaFleur watched 3 straight downs gain zero yards. You kick and get their lead to 5, that takes away the need for a TD AND 2 pt conversion. He had 3 TO’s and the 2 minute warning to work with. LaFleur has a defense as well. He makes decisions in a game not just based on the offense.

    Had Aaron run the ball on 3rd, he most likely gets it down to the 3 or better. LaFleur 100% goes for it on 4th from the 3. That wasn’t the choice he was left with.

    The defense didn’t get the stop. It didn’t work out. You don’t dwell on the past, you are on to the future.

    Pointless to still ask questions about this, but LaFleur was kind enough to give a answer when he and everyone in the franchise 100% moved on WELL OVER a month ago.

    The focus is 2021 and the wheels are in motion.👏👍

    #OneTeamOneNation

    #PackerNation!✊

  9. The issue wasn’t communication it was poor decision making by both Rodgers and Lafleur . The big difference between the two poor decisions is Rodgers was in the heat of battle and even the best aren’t always going to get it right . LaFleur has no excuse . He’s standing on the sidelines with time to think yet he makes the boneheaded call to kick the FG . Rodgers made a mistake that hurt their chances but that didn’t lose the game , LaFleur’s decision to kick the FG did .He can make all the excuses he wants but it doesn’t change the fact LaFleur choked under pressure .

  10. You never take the ball out of the hands of your best player, let alone one of the league’s best, with a chance to tie or win. Ever. Coaching 101. I’ve never been a coach and I know that.

  11. Butlers interception against Wilson. Awesome play. Game-winner. MVP…….in my world. That wasn’t lucky for Brady, was it? Nah.

  12. Meet the new boss…..same as the old boss….isn’t this what Big Mac said all the time when they lost? Look, AR deciding to throw instead of run is a split second decision. I don’t find fault with that. Throwing three bad passes? Hey, that happens too. The obvious and very major error in all this was kicking the FG. No rhyme or reason to that whatsoever.

  13. I’m baffled that packer fans would try and justify kicking the FG. Just complete nonsense. It’s ok to criticize an obvious mental mistake by your coach. It doesn’t mean you hate your coach, your team, your city. Leave that up to us Vikings fans to do.

  14. chefboyd says:
    March 8, 2021 at 8:38 am
    “LaFleur erred by taking his offense off the field. The Packers were down by eight, so a touchdown and two-point conversion would have tied the game.”
    ———————

    Having time to think about this now, the decision was actually RIGHT.
    //////////
    Nope. It was the most wrong decision there is. Look here, if you think your defense is going to get a stop, and you have 3 TO’s, then you make them punt from inside their own 10 yard line if you don’t score on 4th down. Then, obviously, you have much better field position. It’s different if a FG there puts you within 3. But no, you still have to score a TD, because you were down 8, and then you were down 5. Of course, even if you were within 3 with a FG there, you still never got the ball back, so you still lost.

  15. stellarperformance says:
    March 8, 2021 at 8:59 am
    Butlers interception against Wilson. Awesome play. Game-winner. MVP…….in my world. That wasn’t lucky for Brady, was it? Nah.

    ========================================One player does not make a team and a good leader like Brady knows that. It’s why Brady has 7 rings and Rodgers is still a ‘One Hit Wonder.’

  16. LaFleur didn’t tell Rodgers because he knew Aaron would wig out when told he trusted to the Defense more.

  17. There is a lot of ya- buts, there are a lot of armchair quarterbacks – why go for 2 in the second quarter, why go for it on 4th down , why didnt you go for it on 4th down. etc etc.

    And hindsight is 20-20. But actually Lafleur would have been called a genius if it wasnt for the bad PI call after TB was throwing a pass ( which would have stopped the clock) and AR would have gotten the ball back with 55 seconds left in the game. Now if GB scores it is game over.

    If GB scores and get the 2 pointer then to win the game might/probably would have come down to a coin toss.

    So one could look at this 2 ways. I favoured going for it but I also realize that GB was a bad team on 2 pointers all season long and bad on scoring inside the 10 yard line on this particular game. So you can see why MLF did what he did. And AR should have ran on 3rd down and get what he could get – at least to the 1 or 2 if he didnt score.

  18. stellarperformance says:
    March 8, 2021 at 8:59 am
    Butlers interception against Wilson. Awesome play. Game-winner. MVP…….in my world. That wasn’t lucky for Brady, was it? Nah.
    ————
    This must be a fun world you live in that Brady is “lucky”. Lucky is Trent Dilfer winning a Super Bowl. Winning 7 is inherently great, regardless of your fandom you have to tip your hat to a guy who is the best.

  19. 1st and goal at the 8;

    Allen Lazard.. WIDE OPEN!.. with a clear path to the zone.. not.even.looking.for.the.ball

  20. Meet the new boss…..same as the old boss….isn’t this what Big Mac said all the time when they lost?
    ———

    Pad level
    We’ll get it cleaned up

  21. Had Aaron run the ball on 3rd, he most likely gets it down to the 3 or better. LaFleur 100% goes for it on 4th from the 3. That wasn’t the choice he was left with.
    ———

    Adams was open.. WIDE open, in fact

    Rodgers had to step up to get the ball out, and that second, or second and a half was all the defenders needed to close.

    .. and did you see Devin White racing around like a bat out of h@ll in the Playoffs? That’s who Rodgers would have been running at.

  22. He can talk all he wants. He made a dumb decision and cost them any chance to win the game. That’s inexcusable, especially when you have a game-changer at QB.

  23. I really like LaFleur. Madly in love with his offense.

    But this was very Sherman and McCarthy-esque. Other than Andy Reid, I can’t name a coach who managed to live something like this down.

  24. I’m baffled that packer fans would try and justify kicking the FG. Just complete nonsense. It’s ok to criticize an obvious mental mistake by your coach. It doesn’t mean you hate your coach, your team, your city. Leave that up to us Vikings fans to do.
    ———

    Amen! Leaves no room for second guessing.

    If they get the TD, even if they don’t convert the 2-pointer, they all 3 timeouts, and have a great shot to get the ball back again.

    Heck, even if they don’t get a TD, the Bucs are buried deep. You likely get one last frantic opportunity to tie it up.

  25. One of the worst coaching decisions I have seen… no way the team doesn’t second guess him from now on.

  26. This is hilarious.

    LaFleur went for the win instead of the tie–which is what aggressive coaches are supposed to do–and we’re comparing it to McCarthy going into a shell in Seattle?

  27. Butlers interception against Wilson. Awesome play. Game-winner. MVP…….in my world. That wasn’t lucky for Brady, was it? Nah.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    What happened a few plays before this to get Seattle in TD territory? Did a ball get tipped, bounced off a knee, hand, helmet, and arm before landing in the receivers lap? Is that not lucky?

  28. You make is sound so easy to score. But Rodgers failed the previous three downs to score from the 8yd line. And the previous two drives they were 3-and-outs. Maybe if they were closer to the 3- or 4-yard line to open up the playbook with a possible run.
    ———

    The Packers were 2 for 3 on 2pt conversions in the regular season.

    St Brown dropped a sure 2pt’er in the game.

    .. I think its tougher sledding inside the 5, honestly. Especially since LaFleur wasn’t serious about running the football. Just look at the play to Adams. A split second, if Rodgers got the ball out in time, was the difference between an easy score, and an incompletion.

  29. Matt LaFleur: I should have communicated better with Rodgers late in loss to Bucs.

    You think? How about catching Capers’ ear for a second just before halftime? Do you think that might’ve been a good idea? Heck, I’d rather Rodgers call everything as he sees it and ignore sideline play-calling altogether before watching something like that again. I’m glad LaFleur “plays to win,” but come on. LaFleur thought he could get the ball back in good field position, and he did! Oh wait! Stop! Lucky Brady, the LOAT, gets a phantom PI in the nick of time. Whew! Dodged one there, eh Tom?

  30. stellarperformance says:
    March 8, 2021 at 6:32 pm
    Matt LaFleur: I should have communicated better with Rodgers late in loss to Bucs.

    You think? How about catching Capers’ ear for a second just before halftime?
    ———
    Why would he contact Dom Capers? Watch the game and get off Rodgers jock, you clearly lack knowledge of your own team.

  31. You think? How about catching Capers’ ear for a second just before halftime? Do you think that might’ve been a good idea?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Capers, huh?

    Also, everyone outside of Packers fans knows that was a definite PI. pretty funny that you and your ilk say Vikings fans blame officials( everybody drink) Hypocrites.

    Another BTW. I see you have a new hobby horse(loat) Give it up. You jusst look like a jealous baby by continuing to type that. No amount of crying is going tp put Rodgers in the same breath with Brady, Joe Montana even said Brady was the Goat, he would know. I will take his word over a simp in front of a computer in his packer underoos.

  32. What you should have done is RUN THE BALL! Guys were picking up yardage then you started throwing…WHY MATT! YOU BLEW IT!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.