Matt LaFleur became the latest NFL head coach to exhibit questionable decision-making skills on Sunday in the NFC Championship.
The Green Bay Packers head coach elected to kick a field goal with his team down eight points late in the fourth quarter. Mason Crosby knocked in the chip shot to bring LaFleur’s club within five, with just over two minutes remaining in the ball game.
The decision was head-scratching to say the least. The Packers trailed by just a touchdown and a two-point conversion at the time of the call, meaning that they could’ve been tied up the game on that possession. Instead, LaFleur opted for three points, leaving his team still needing a touchdown to pull out the win.
Unfortunately for Packers fans, Green Bay never got the ball back. On a penalty-heavy last drive, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers clinched the game and punched their ticket to the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay won the conference championship 31-26.
Although the Packers had plenty that they needed to improve upon in order to pull out a victory, LaFluer’s late game decision didn’t help. The NFL world crushed the Green Bay head coach for his fourth quarter move on Twitter.
Did they really just kick the field goal????? #Packers
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) January 24, 2021
Do Matt LaFleur think there’s 5 quarters?
— Boogie Bousins (@bansky) 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
2 more field goals and you win
— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) January 24, 2021
Matt LaFleur worked his whole life to have a chance to coach a team to the Super Bowl, and he just kicked a field goal down 8 with two minutes left. Never have dreams. Never care about anything
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) January 24, 2021
LaFleur will join a long list of coaches who have made horrendous playoff decisions, but this one will sting in particular. Green Bay looked like the strongest team in the NFC throughout the year, but will end their 2020 season in disappointment following Sunday’s loss. 37-year-old Aaron Rodgers looked dejected as he saw his bid for a second Super Bowl ring fall short.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers will find themselves just one win away from a league title. Brady will make his 10th Super Bowl appearance in just a few weeks, becoming just the fourth quarterback to make the last week of the season on two different teams.
Rodgers and the Packers will head home, scratching their heads at what went wrong on Sunday.