By Tim Peterson
It’s been almost a week and I’m still trying to figure out what Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was thinking.
You’re down eight points and on the Tampa Bay 8-yard line on fourth down with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. So you’re going to need a touchdown somewhere along the line anyway. Three points still you leaves needing a touchdown to win. Even if it fails you have the Bucs pinned inside their own ten yard-line.
So do you kick a field goal and give the ball back to arguably the best quarterback to ever put on the uniform to do you go for it with your quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who last I checked isn’t too bad himself? I turned to a couple of friends I was watching the game with and jokingly said, “Watch, so LaFleur will bring in Mason Crosby and kick a field goal.” We all had a good laugh but two minutes later LaFleur was doing exactly that. And of course Green Bay never saw the ball again.
At that point we all said, ‘That’s game.” I think everybody said “That’s game.” Everybody except Matt LaFleur. The Packers made some mistakes. Rodgers could have ran for touchdown and did throw a pick. And of course the blown coverage at the end of the first half that Tom Brady turned into a touchdown. That play cost Green Bay DC Mike Pettine his job.
But you can survive some mistakes. Heck, Brady threw three picks. Calls like that however, you can’t survive. When the game is there, right in front you, you need to take it. You play to win, you don’t play not to lose. LaFleur played not to lose and, of course, he lost.
Last thing on LaFleur’s call. Usually on a coach’s decision in a big game like that the opinions are about 50-50. Half of the people will think it’s a good call and half won’t. In the last week I haven’t read or seen or even heard of one person who thought LaFleur made the right call. Unanimously bad.
Speaking of Brady, he’s not what he was three or four years ago. he’s still better than probably 90 percent of the quarterbacks in the league but he’s not MVP type Brady. He survived three interceptions due to the Packers miscues. That won’t be so easy against Kansas City.
I still have another week to decide but if the Super Bowl was set to be played tomorrow I’d go with the Chiefs. If the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes they have the advantage. I thought last week that if he was out Buffalo had the edge. Mahomes played and that put them over the top. Mahomes is better than Brady right now. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Andy Reid is calling the plays and not LaFleur. Kansas City by a touchdown.
The Rams aren’t getting Deshaun Watson and despite the rumors, even with LaFleur still in place, Rodgers isn’t going anywhere. Now if you’re talking Matthew Stafford, there’s going to be a conversation. Current Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes was a Rams executive before taking the Lions job this month and he has a working relationship with Rams GM Les Snead. Snead has said as well that it would be possible to work out a deal. Jared Goff could use a fresh start and the Rams could use…well…a better quarterback. Stafford is better. Make it happen. Update: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday night that the Lions are trading Stafford to the Rams for Goff, two future first round picks, and a third round pick.
Another thing I’d like to see happen is a high school football season. I mean c’mon I can only do a “One Year Ago” series for so long. Former Arroyo head coach Jim Singiser laid out what he called “a map” this week on Twitter.
“5 games as it stands now: 1st game by 3/19. Pads by 3/1. 4 weeks to go from Purple to Red to Orange and from Phase 1 (for most schools) of Return to Play Protocols to Unrestricted Practice in pads. That’s 24 days if you restart on 2/1,” he tweeted.
I started to get pumped for a spring season but after questioning him further in the same conversation he wrote this. “We will resume FB pods when it’s safe & stay in them because we see the benefits for kids to be out there conditioning while adhering to County guidelines. For the EMUHSD: Purple to Orange to Red & Phase 1 to Pads in 24 days couldn’t be done safely.”
Oh well, we all can dream right. Circle August 2021 on your calendars. Meanwhile I’ll be working my “Two Years Ago” series.
That’s my principle.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tspeterson40.