Two of the most-discussed decisions of the last NFL season came just seconds apart late in the NFC Championship Game: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers decided to throw when he had room to run on third-and-goal from the 8-yard line, and then Packers coach Matt LaFleur decided to kick a field goal instead of go for it after Rodgers’ throw fell incomplete.
Were the decisions wrong? Should Rodgers have run the ball on third down? Should LaFleur have kept Rodgers on the field on fourth down? LaFleur isn’t quite going that far, but he is acknowledging that he and Rodgers should have discussed the game situation to make sure they were on the same page of what they were doing on that final drive of their season.
LaFleur told Peter King in Football Morning in America that he regrets not being on the same page as Rodgers at the end of the game.
“One thing you definitely learn: I know my communication with [Rodgers] should have been better in that situation,” LaFleur said. “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.”
Ultimately, however, whether Rodgers knew LaFleur was going to send in the field goal unit or not, LaFleur erred by taking his offense off the field. The Packers were down by eight, so a touchdown and two-point conversion would have tied the game. Instead, LaFleur settled for cutting the deficit to five points, and that’s what Green Bay lost by as the Packers never got the ball again.