Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur was highly scrutinized after deciding to kick a field goal with just over 2 minutes to play in the NFC Champio
Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur was highly scrutinized after deciding to kick a field goal with just over 2 minutes to play in the NFC Championship against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A touchdown and a two-point conversion would have tied the game. A field goal would have still forced the Packers to score a touchdown if they got the ball back. LaFleur chose the field-goal route from the Buccaneers’ eight and cut Tamp Bay’s lead to five points.
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On the surface, the Packers just need a defensive stop and they essentially had four timeouts since the 2-minute warning hadn’t gone off just yet. Green Bay never got that stop and it appeared LaFleur had taken the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands with a risky move that didn’t pay off in the end.
LaFleur tried to explain the move after the game, according to the team’s website.
“I was looking at we essentially had four timeouts with the two-minute warning,” he said, adding that the prospect of a two-point conversion was a factor in his decision-making.
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“Anytime something doesn’t work out, do you regret it? Sure.”
Rodgers also made clear it wasn’t his decision.
“That wasn’t my decision. I understand the thinking above two minutes with all our timeouts, but it wasn’t my decision,” Rodgers said.
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The Packers lost in the NFC Championship for the second consecutive season. Rodgers’ future as Green Bay’s quarterback is also murky even as he appears to be a shoo-in for MVP.