Just over a week removed from their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur stands by the decision to kick a field goal down eight in the closing minutes.
LaFleur elected for a 26-yard field goal try as the Packers trailed 31-23 with 2:09 left to play. The conversion closed the gap to five, but the Packers never saw the ball again as the Buccaneers closed out the victory.
Via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, LaFleur said Monday that he’d make the same call if he the same situation presented in front of him.
“If I had to do it again, if it’s fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line, we’re kicking a field goal,” LaFleur said. “If it’s fourth-and-goal from the 5, I think we have a different discussion. You’ve got to play the percentages. We had three shots at it, gained no yards. That’s how it is. Some people will agree. Some people will disagree. It in my heart, that’s what I felt like was the best decision for us. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”
Reasonably, the decision to kick the field goal increased the chances the Packers could win the game in regulation. It also increased the chances they could lose the game outright without trying for the chance to tie with a touchdown and two-point conversion needed to keep the game going. It also meant giving the ball to Tom Brady with only a couple first downs needed to seal away the victory.
It didn’t work out. The Buccaneers are playing in the Super Bowl this weekend while the Packers are at home.