Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur was heavily scrutinized after deciding to field a field goal kick with just 2 minutes to play in the NFC Championship against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A touchdown and two-point conversion would have tied the game. A field goal would still have forced the Packers to score a touchdown to get the ball back. LaFleur picked off the Buccaneers’ eight by field-goal route and cut Tamp Bay’s lead to five points.
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On the surface, the Packers needed just one defensive stop and were essentially four time out yet after a 2-minute warning. Green Bay never got that stop, and it appeared that Lafleur had taken the ball out of Aaron Rodgers with Aaron’s move that did not pay off in the end.
According to the team’s website, LaFleur tried to explain the move after the game.
“I was seeing that we were essentially four timeouts with a two-minute warning,” he said, adding that the possibility of a two-point conversion was a factor in his decision making.
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“Nothing ever works, do you regret it? Sure.”
Rodgers also clarified that it was not his decision.
“It wasn’t my decision. I understand the thinking above two minutes with all my timeouts, but it wasn’t my decision,” Rodgers said.
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The Packers lost the NFC Championship for the second consecutive season. Rodgers’ future as Green Bay’s quarterback is also strong as he appears to be a shoo-in for MVP.