Packers’ Matt LaFleur Has Blunt Response to Earning Playoff Spot

Packers coach Matt LaFleur hugs Jordan Love (right) after the team earned a spot in the playoffs.

Getty Packers coach Matt LaFleur hugs Jordan Love (right) after the team earned a spot in the playoffs.

There were times in Sunday’s Week 18 win over the Bears, a game played at home with a trip to the NFL playoffs on the line, during which it seemed that Packers coach Matt LaFleur might not make through the entire 60 minutes. At the end of the first half, for instance, when the Packers blew a chance to kick a last-second field-goal by letting the clock run out, a sequence of events that ended with LaFleur chucking every available piece of technology — headphones, tablet — into the ground.

LaFleur was not happy then, nor was he happy at other points when either the referees or the Packers’ own mental mistakes put the win in jeopardy. But win the Packers did, by a mostly ugly tally of 17-9. And just like that, Matt LaFleur earned himself some redemption.

Yes, he needed it. LaFleur came off a season last year in which he failed to make the playoffs with Aaron Rodgers on board. It was the final season, of course, with Rodgers at the helm. Without him, LaFleur was left to prove that his success (he was 47-19 entering this year) had something to do with his coaching and not just the excellence of Rodgers.

He did it. And he finally got himself some credit, free of Aaron Rodgers.

When he was asked about last year, LaFleur, exasperated, responded bluntly, “I’m tired of talking about last year.”

Praise Rolls in For Matt LaFleur

It was not the easiest road for the Packers, of course. The team raised hopes by playing well in the first three games of the season with Jordan Love, finally, at the helm, but then lost four in a row to fall to 2-5. Only a 7-3 finish, including three wins in a row, pushed the Packers into the playoff picture.

The accolades for LaFleur came rolling in on Sunday.

Wrote ESPN’s Adam Schefter: “Packers reached the postseason. Based on average age weighted for playing time, the Packers are now the 5th-youngest team since the 1970 merger to make the playoffs, and the youngest since the 1977 Bears, per @EliasSports. HC Matt LaFleur, staff and players got it done.”

From NFL Network host Rich Eisen: “The  @Packers are in the playoffs, people. What a remarkable first year as starter for @Jordan3Love. And take a bow, Matt LaFleur and Brian Gutekunst: Green Bay is the youngest team to make the playoffs.


And form Milwaukee radio host Bill Schmid: “The #Packers head to the playoffs after a one year absence! Matt LaFleur sprinted to Jordan Love after he took the final knee as those two celebrate one of best accomplishments in franchise history!”

Matchup vs. Cowboys in Playoffs Up Next for Packers

Next up for Matt LaFleur and the Packers is the daunting task of going into Dallas and playing the Cowboys, who have not lost at home this season. That should be a scary challenge for LaFleur, but then, coaching the youngest team in the NFL should have been scary, too.

LaFleur says he knows no one will believe it, but he never thought of his task this season as scary or daunting or anything.

“You guys are going to think I am full of crap but I don’t operate that way,” LeFleur said. “I have a hard time–I really and truly try to take it one day at a time and try to find ways to push these guys to get better. It’s a credit to the guys. They don’t have to buy into anything if they don’t want to. It’s a close-knit group.”


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