Matt LaFleur explains his awful decision to kick field goal
Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur explained his questionable decision to kick a field goal instead of going for a potential game-tying touchdown with just over two minutes left in the team’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With the Packers down 31-23 and facing 4th and goal from the Tampa Bay 8-yard line, LaFleur opted to kick and hope the defense could get Aaron Rodgers the ball back with three timeouts remaining. That didn’t happen, as the Buccaneers were able to get a first down and run out the clock.
LaFleur said several things factored into his decision, including the fact that the Packers had thrown three consecutive incompletions, the need for a two-point conversion on top of the touchdown, and the fact that the two-minute warning would function like a fourth timeout.
Matt LaFleur says "it was just the circumstances of having three shots and coming away with no yards" that led to him kicking. He says needing a 2-point conversion and essentially having four timeouts left also played into the decision to kick.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 25, 2021
The fact of the matter is the Packers needed eight points and had the ball at the 8-yard line. LaFleur essentially thought it was more likely that his defense could stop the Buccaneers and his offense could quickly move the ball downfield for another touchdown. That seems like a bad bet. Plus, LaFleur has one of the game’s best quarterbacks in Rodgers, and nobody would have blamed him for putting the ball in Rodgers’ hands and telling him to go make a play.
Rodgers didn’t criticize the decision, but he definitely didn’t seem thrilled with it either. LaFleur can explain as much as he wants, but few are going to be with him on this.