Packers’ Coach Matt LaFleur Doesn’t Regret Decision For Field Goal In NFC Title Loss
Should the Green Bay Packers have gone for a touchdown? That is a question that will remain in NFL history after the Packers’ decision to go for a field goal when a trip to the Super Bowl was on the line.
The Packers were in a tough battle against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC title game on Sunday. The winner would punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. However, it was all about Tampa as they were able to take the lead from the first quarter and the rest of the game.
By the end of the first half, it was Tampa Bay leading 21-10. The third quarter saw Green Bay rally a comeback to cut the deficit to just five at the end of the third quarter. At the start of the fourth quarter, it was a close score of 28-23 in the Buccaneers favor. The fourth quarter saw Aaron Rodgers unable to lead a touchdown for Green Bay. The same happened to Brady, who could not score as well, due to the Green Bay defense.
The Buccaneers extended their five-point lead by three after converting a field goal. The score was now 31-23 and Green Bay got an opportunity with over two minutes remaining in the game. The Packers, who had the best offense, were at the 10-yard line to potentially tie the game at 31. All Green Bay had to do was score a touchdown and go for a two-point conversion. That did not happen at all.
On fourth and goal, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur opted for a field goal. Green Bay converted the field goal, but was it the best choice? The decision proved costly as Tampa Bay ran out the clock, as the Packers’ defense were unable to get a stop. The score ended at 31-26 as Brady earned his 10th Super Bowl appearance.
During the post-game interviews, LaFleur doubled down on his choice. The coach explained his rationale: “So the way I was looking at it was, we essentially had four timeouts with the two-minute warning and, you know, we knew we needed to get a stop. I thought we were gonna have a stop at the end, but we got called for the PI, it didn’t work out.”
The coach did not trust in his offense because of the teams’ failure to break through the defense, “It was just the circumstances of having three shots and coming away with no yards and knowing that you not only need the touchdown but you need the two-point (conversion). We’re always gonna be process-driven here, and the way our defense was battling, the way our defense was playing, it felt like it was the right thing to do.”
As for the Packers’ quarterback, he had no say in the decision for the field goal. Rodgers told reporters, “That wasn’t my decision. I understand the thinking – above two minutes with all of our timeouts – but, yeah, that wasn’t my decision.”