Packers coach Matt LaFleur regrets late challenge on Romeo Doub’s drop

Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur said he made an “emotional decision” when he went against the advice of an assistant coach and the fall of receiver Romeo Doubs in the end zone late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the New England Patriots challenged.

Doubs briefly pulled in Aaron Rodgers’ deep pass 3rd-and-8 from the 40-yard line at 2:02, but the rookie was unable to control the ball due to ground contact, resulting in an incomplete pass.

LaFleur, despite the advice of assistant quarterbacks coach Connor Lewis, challenged the call hoping to get the touchdown and lost, forcing the Packers to lose a precious timeout late in the game.

“I’m not so proud at that moment. That was an emotional decision,” said LaFleur. “It was a great learning lesson. You can never make those emotional decisions in the heat of battle. You know better. You have to survive the ground. Connor Lewis, he’s in the coffin and he’s in my ear, and he said, ‘I don’t think so.’ He said we shouldn’t argue. I just made it an emotional decision. It was almost like throwing a Hail Mary. That could have come back and bit us in the ass. I’d rather learn from that, now that I’m on this side, thank goodness our guys saved me in that regard. Definitely the worst decision of the day from me.”

If the call had been reversed, Doubs’ touchdown would have given the Packers a 31-24 lead. But the rule is now clear: A player must “survive” to get to the ground or the call is incomplete, and Doubs clearly lost the ball when hitting the ground in the end zone.

The decision to challenge hurt the Packers in the regulation. After losing a timeout, LaFleur had only one left, and the Patriots—after a punt to the 2-yard line—were able to run out most of the remaining clock in the fourth quarter and a last attempt to prevent the Packers violation to win the game in regulation.

Instead of getting the ball back with about 50 seconds and a legitimate chance to get into the field goal range, the Packers had only four seconds left and played a desperate game from their own 42-yard line to close out the fourth quarter. .

The Packers eventually won in overtime, so LaFleur dodged a bullet. An emotional decision that had real implications for the game didn’t cost the Packers a win in the end.

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