It took him quite awhile, but Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is finally owning up to a major mistake that may have cost his team the NFC Championship game.
The Packers were just a few plays away from punching their ticket to the Super Bowl, getting inside the 10-yard line with a fresh set of downs, and roughly two minutes remaining in the game against the Bucs. They trailed by a score at the time, and it seemed unlikely that one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history wouldn’t get his team into the end zone.
But an incomplete pass intended for Davante Adams forced a fourth down, and for some reason, LaFleur elected to kick a field goal. The head-scratching decision proved costly, as the Packers never got the ball back.
Rodgers might have been able to pick up some yardage — or possibly even score — had he taken off and run, but he was under the impression that the team had one more down to work with. But LaFleur had other plans, even though he never communicated that to his quarterback. He’s finally come out and admitted he should’ve done so, taking blame for the communication breakdown.
“One thing you definitely learn: I know my communication with [Rodgers] should have been better in that situation,” LaFleur told Peter King of NBC Sports. “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.”
Packers fans have been saying that since the final seconds of the game ticked off. It’s good to finally hear LaFleur own up to it.