“Felt Like the Right Decision” – Matt LaFleur Reflects on Controversial 4th Down Call in NFC Championship Loss

Published 01/24/2021, 10:44 PM EST
Jan 24, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


There was a lot of optimism surrounding Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers heading into Sunday’s tie against Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Packers were knocked out in this exact stage last season against Kyle Shanahan-led San Francisco 49ers. This was A-Rod’s first home NFC Championship Game, but things did not go as per plan for Matt LaFleur-coached Green Bay.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The NFC North champions were handed a 5-point loss at the hands of Tampa Bay Buccaneers, courtesy of a Tom Brady masterclass. RB Leonard Fournette and the Tampa defense also deserve credit for Sunday’s 26-31 win in Wisconsin. However, coach LaFleur has come under severe criticism on social media for a controversial decision that took place in the second half.

DIVE DEEPER

Tom Brady Opens Up on His Decision to Join Tampa Bay Buccaneers after NFC Championship Win

6 months ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Green Bay Packers HC Matt LaFleur faces flak after poor judgment call

Matt LaFleur suffered his second-straight loss in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. But one could argue that he was partly at fault for the defeat, considering his controversial call in the fourth quarter with 2:09 on the clock.

LaFleur made the call to go with the field goal instead of another shot into the end zone for a possible TD and 2-point conversion which would have tied the game. Despite his goof-up, LaFleur stood by his decision as he maintained in the post-game press conference.

He said, “The way our defense was playing it felt like the right decision to do. It just didn’t work out.”

Jan 24, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass against Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) during the third quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

“Any time it doesn’t work out, you always regret it. It was the circumstances of having three shots and coming away with no yards and knowing that not only you need the touchdown, but you need the 2-point (conversion). We essentially had four timeouts with the two-minute warning. We knew we needed to get a stop,” LaFleur said after the game.

When QB Aaron Rodgers was asked to comment on this strange call, he had no words to respond.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

This loss will be tough to take for the Packers’ faithful. They had already started dreaming of a much-anticipated appearance at a Super Bowl. Unfortunately, as things stand, their decade long wait is set to continue.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Bruce Arians Revels in ‘First Football Win of the Year’ as Buccaneers Seal Super Bowl Berth

6 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Daniel Arambur

1669 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories