The NFL Week 4 meeting between the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots saw both head coaches make questionable late-game decisions.
Before Bill Belichick decided to give the ball back to Aaron Rodgers and company in overtime, Matt LaFleur wasted a challenge and timeout late in the fourth quarter. With the score tied at Lambeau Field, Romeo Doubs appeared to give the Packers the lead on a 40-yard bomb from Rodgers, but replays clearly showed the rookie wide receiver did not survive the ground. Despite the clear-cut nature of the tape, LaFleur threw his red flag and hurt Green Bay’s chances of winning in regulation.
The lapse in judgment didn’t come back to bite the Packers, as they outlasted the Patriots in the extra frame. Still, LaFleur bemoaned the decision after his team improved to 3-1 on the season.
“I’m not too proud of that moment,” LaFleur told reporters, per ESPN. “That was an emotional decision, and I think it’s a great learning lesson that you can never make those emotional decisions in the heat of battle. You know better. You’ve got to survive the ground. Connor Lewis was in my ear, he’s up in the box and he’s in my ear, and he said, ‘I don’t think so.’ And he said that we shouldn’t challenge it. Just made an emotional decision, and it was almost like throwing a Hail Mary. That could have came back and bit us in the butt.”
Sunday proved to be a day of lessons for LaFleur and the Packers. Green Bay’s head coach made sure to remind his team that no win comes easy in the NFL, even when the odds are heavily stacked against the opposition.
The Packers certainly won’t overlook their next opponent, as the 3-1 New York Giants have looked like a tough out through the first quarter of the campaign.